Mingus at the Showplace

Mingus at the Showplace is, in my opinion, a really cool poem. It jumped out at me immediately because of its title, but its content is really fantastic. The irony of the story is amusing and fun, while Matthews’ baseball executive metaphor brings up a great point which is particularly relevant to a poetry class (how, if baseball executives were like poets, they would destroy sandlots to save the game from children). 

This poem’s sound is not based on a rhyme sceme or regular meter. Instead, the poem is written in such a way that emphasizes the natural flow of the sentences without the need for any (arguably) cheesy rhyme or meter. The poem reads in a very natural way, like a well-told story. Morgan Freeman should narrate it. When I read the poem to the class, I did my best to emphasize the natural flow of the poem’s sentences and conversation-like language. I should have rehearsed reading it out loud a bit more in order to really make the poem sound like a story. I’m not a fan of public speaking, so my lack of relaxation probably caused me to rush a little bit as well. 

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One thought on “Mingus at the Showplace

  1. You read this poem well, with a clear sense of its conversational tone and dry wit. The metaphors you chose to explain to the class drew out the poet’s sense of humor and allowed us to reflect on the way we think about (or try to avoid thinking about) bad or immature poetry. Apart from an unfortunate stumble on the first “miserable,” my only complaint with your delivery is that your hand movements were kind of distracting–scratching your chin and neck, etc. Probably another sign of nervousness.

    (Sorry for the delay in commenting; I was just going through my notes and realized I hadn’t responded to you directly.)

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