Monday, September 6, 2010

James Wright: Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio

Happy Labor Day, all!

Football season has officially arrived and Kevin will likely spend Labor Day morning watching yesterday's Tivo'd Notre Dame game (no spoilers, please). Football season means weekends change drastically in our house, and believe me, this used to be a big point of contention. I've never been a football fan or understood the desire to sit in front of the TV for hours on end on what is often a beautiful weekend day.

Until, with true Midwestern lemons-into-lemonade determination, I decided to train myself to write on football Sundays.

I've never been the kind of writer who can work with noise of any sort. No music, no movement, nothing. But for the last couple seasons, I've forced myself to write during football. Now, when the game starts, I type away with the roar of the crowd in the background and tasty football snacks within reach. Kevin can occasionally yell out "watch this play!" and I can ask "what do you think of this line?" He gets his game, I get some pages done, and all in all it's a lovely Sunday (or Saturday) afternoon. Go team!

In honor of the season, here is a James Wright poem I adore:

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio
by James Wright

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.


Shannon Morgan said...

I write during football, too -- the commentators' voices drone well enough to stay in the background.

I did create a fantasy team this year to help fill out a friend's league, so I'll probably be a bit more invested in the games now.

Happy writing this season!

Josephine Cameron said...

My husband might die of shock if I ever joined a fantasy league. But I am looking forward to the season this year! Happy writing to you, too!

Very Sleepy Girl said...

Sounds like a good plan!

margaret j said...

Jos, I remember at some point I rounded the bend, and began to really look forward to the football games...slows you down...I would pile up things to do and the togetherness was comforting...ironing (obsolete, I know), Christmas cards, letter writing, knitting, bill paying, drawing...etc...en-joy! Mom