On the eve of Barry Bonds’ historic, asterisked, record-shattering deed (“achievement” seems like the wrong word), I am unveiling now, for the first time, a sonnet I wrote about him back in 2005. Inevitably, it bears some superficial similarities to John Keats’ 1816 sonnet about someone else’s homer.
The immediate inspiration for my work was Jose Canseco’s book tour for his sensational memoir Juiced, in which the author not only acknowledged his own scandalous steroid use, but named names of other baseball stars who allegedly had. My editors politely declined the opportunity to publish the work back then. But now that I have a blog they can’t very well stop me. (Please excuse the dated topical references.)
On First Looking into Barry’s Homers
Much had I wondered at the home runs tolled,
By aging vets in quanta never seen;
Eclipsing marks long owned by Ruth pristine;
Which Bonds and Sosa and McGwire now hold.
A syringe, I oft had darkly mulled,
Might explain the whole unlikely scene
Yet would I never voice a thought so mean,
Till I heard Canseco speak out loud and bold.
Then felt I a vengeful ire within me rise
Like lymphocyte beholding pathogen,
Or like wronged Jane Welch, with mature but fiery eyes–
When a youngish journo wrecked her marital den–
Listing GE’s (GE) perks and plotting Jack’s demise,
Silent on an off-peak to Darien.