The crowd at the ball game

Original Text: 
William Carlos Williams, Spring and All ([Paris]: Contact, 1923): 93-95. PS 3545 .I544S7 1970 Victoria College Library
1The crowd at the ball game
2is moved uniformly
3by a spirit of uselessness
4which delights them --
5all the exciting detail
6of the chase
7and the escape, the error
8the flash of genius --
9all to no end save beauty
10the eternal --
11So in detail they, the crowd,
12are beautiful
13for this
14to be warned against
15saluted and defied --
16It is alive, venomous
17it smiles grimly
18its words cut --
19The flashy female with her
20mother, gets it --
21The Jew gets it straight -- it
22is deadly, terrifying --
25It is beauty itself
26that lives
27day by day in them
28idly --
29This is
30the power of their faces
32the crowd is
33cheering, the crowd is laughing
34in detail
35permanently, seriously
36without thought


23] Inquisition: perhaps the Roman Catholic tribunal for the exposition and persecution of heretics, only finally abolished in the early 19th century. Back to Line
31] solstice: June 22, a point on the ecliptic at which the sun is further north from the celestial equator. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
The Dial 75.2 (August 1923)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.