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Body and soul - B.H Fairchild's Body and Soul Out of all...

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B.H. Fairchild's Body and Soul Out of all the poems I’ve presented this month, I saved my very favourite poem for last. This is my favourite poem. Unabashedly I love this poem and the fascinating story it tells, shuffling the wide gauntlet of emotions from gritty to heart-warming. Fairchild's characters are well developed and many of the lines are well crafted lyrics. When I think of good, lasting poetry I think of this poem. You don't have to love baseball, be from Oklahoma, or have lived through WWII to enjoy this poem, probably because the poem's theme is universal. Like Fairchild's working class families, all of us endeavor to persevere through adversity and carve out our slice of greatness. Sometimes it takes the pinnacle of brilliance to deliver perspective---in this case, a baby-faced farm boy with a mischievous swing who'll eventually slug his way into the New York Yankees hallowed history. Before I delve into the meat of Body And Soul, it's important I explain a little more about the important place this poem occupies in my mind and heart. When B.H. (Pete) Fairchild came to read at Emerson College two years ago, one of my grad school professors, Dan Tobin, introduced me to B.H. Fairchild. Dan knew the depth of my admiration for Fairchild's poetry and wanted to make sure I could pick his brain for a few minutes. After his reading, I asked B.H. about Body and Soul, specifically about the shocking turn of revealing "the kid" to be a young version of the legendary Mickey Mantle. As I was asking my question a fit of Goosebumps cascaded down my arms and then over my whole body. It's rare that we come face to face with the creators of our favourites. I never met Alfred Hitchcock for coffee to ask him how he conceived the final haunting scene of Vertigo. Steve Carell and I have yet to cook up burgers on his George Foreman grill and talk about the intricacies of playing Michael Scott. I wasn't alive to sit in on an Otis Redding recording session at Stax Records in Memphis. I could continue with a litany of other favourites, but I think you catch my drift, or as Otis would have said "you dig." Poetry might be one of the last accessible art forms. Please tell me you see the inherent and wicked irony in this last sentence. Poetry isn't as difficult, highbrow, or esoteric as some would have you believe.
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Body And Soul is by no means a short poem. It's probably the longest poem I've presented this month,
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