There are two types of people in this world
(i would have said
had i wished to
and the deep
The shallow take a game of no import,
Give meaning to it, and call it a sport.
Take words that sound the same and make a song
Take ideals and call some right and some wrong.
They did for years, not knowing any worse
Or better; rigid morals, rigid verse.
and they were supplanted from the places that mattered
when the dead ball era gave way to lively batters
after the world was torn, and poets changed
ignoring conventions useless strange
now they are deep, the poets
needing no useless fetters
how they feel
and the ones who are aware of this divide
(smart enough to know)
are the deep ones
For me it always will come back to numbers.
I was only a child that summer
Knowing no better, smart but far dumber
Than the deep. In the paper every day
I read statistics, then learned of the play.
First just a tally, then something more
Real people striving beyond the score.
Real people, I learned, the heroes who awed
There are moralizers shaking impotent fists
Sighing for a past they’re too young to have missed
Brainwashed by nostalgia. The past may be checkered
But does it matter when each old-time record
Can be traced back, and forward to today?
That’s why we have to all play the same way.
No cheating, no distorting this succession
It must be one continuous progression.
there are the deep too
they have to
nothing can matter
but if they have nothing else
nothing to hold onto in a time like this
they have themselves
that they are the smart ones
what those pitiful fools
will never be
But what if I was smart enough to know
That I was shallow? What if I could see
The thoughts the deep abandoned long ago
Were timeless, and the ones that spoke to me?
Then I would turn within myself and seal
Myself in an ivory tower
If nothing else, the numbers would be real
Whatever the source of their power.
And I would be as shallow as they came
Although I’d know that I was shallow. It
Might not count for much as I watched the game
Enjoying each simple, meaningless hit.
But it would count, and it would be enough.
When heroes fall, and no one speaks for you–
Neither mourners nor modernists–it’s tough
But I speak for myself, for I have to.