Bill Littlefield, first and foremost a writer, plays games even as he writes about them. He unabashedly versifies not for profit, cosmic meaning, or a championship cup, but for fun. He makes no bones about it: these verses are doggerel, defined in the OED as “comic or burlesque verse, usually of irregular rhythm … mean, trivial, or undignified verse.” And while there is nothing mean or trivial in the lines that follow here, much is exuberantly undignified. The rhythms, too, are sharper than they might look at first glance—Read them aloud. Doggerel rhythms and rhymes have an honorable place in grown-up English letters, at least since Chaucer’s day, both unself-consciously, as in the touching and ludicrous verse of William McGonagall; or self-consciously, as in the urbane lyrics of Ogden Nash. And radio, which has long been Littlefield’s primary medium, proves an encouraging breeding-ground for light verse of various kinds.
—from the Publisher’s Introduction
Take Me Out, Bill Littlefield
Take Me Out
Illustrations by Stephen Coren
ISBN 978-1-938890-09-3 (paper)
5½ x 8
What is it about rhyme? Whatever it is, we fall in love with it (if ever) early in life: as soon as we learn to talk, or probably sooner. The same can be said about love for sports. By bringing together these two forms of attachment, the clever Littlefield reminds us that poetry and sports, at a level deeper than their different kinds of grandiosity, both have roots in childhood pleasures.
—Robert Pinsky, Former U.S. Poet Laureate
Poetry in sport?
If there’s a Little field
Where’s the big court?
So next time out
And take in
Take Me Out.
—Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, NPR & Real Sports
Bill keeps pace with a variety of sports through the rhythm of his verse and prose. Always entertaining.
—Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic Gold Medalist