The Warsaw Sparks

Gary Gildner, Author, Albert E. Stone, Foreword by
Gary Gildner, Author, Albert E. Stone, Foreword by University of Iowa Press $27.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-87745-270-6
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
This idiosyncratic memoir of an American poet and fiction writer's experience coaching a baseball team in Warsaw is a potpourri of politics, social commentary, the author's family history, humor, poems and, of course, baseball. Gildner examines the sport in order to address other concerns: the poem ``A Mouse,'' about a player getting hit with a pitch during practice and the apologetic, affectionate kisses of the pitcher, ends as the narrator tries ``to picture / something like this in the States. / Maybe at a nursery school you'd see it, / where people have good manners, love, / and other things to teach.'' All the poems resonate, detailing characters and situations introduced elsewhere. The prose, too, features such moments as a player holding his mitt out to field the moon, waiting to make ``a catch unlike any other, involving earth and heaven.'' But when Gildner ( The Second Bridge ) moves away from baseball to describe his childhood or a Solidarity demonstration, the book lags; these diverse topics never fully cohere. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
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