Thursday, June 14, 2012

At the Bat

     Whether you're a baseball fan or not, it is hard to deny the power of Ernest L. Thayer's Casey at the Bat for capturing a sense of the game's potential for both heroism and tragedy.  An unusual way to experience this grand poem is in picture book form, specifically in Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888, illustrated by Christopher Bing.
     Bing's illustrations evoke not only the game itself, but the entire time period, as his images are collaged with newspaper clippings and other assorted materials that round out the sense of time and place (all of which are, in fact, illustrated by Bing, mind you).  A standout example of how literature can be adapted and what images can do for words.

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