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Analysis and comments on The Crowd At The Ball Game by William Carlos Williams

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Comment 9 of 19, added on April 3rd, 2008 at 4:12 PM.

This poem reminds me of Julius Caesar's rise to power and the Roman
Coliseum. Julius Caesar was a diplomatic and military genius. He escaped
accusations of treason, caused the Roman Senate to make several critical
errors, and gave show of his military genius in the battle of Pharsalus.
The Coliseum was used as a means of entertainment. What better way to keep
an impoverished people from revolting then to keep them entertained and
fed. The Coliseum gave them both.
I agree with Derek Burns about the Roman Catholic Tribunal as well.
This said I think he's not just warning against the dangers of crowd
mentality but about organized sports. The stadiums used in today's sports
may not all be a giant circle, but the crowd still "encircles" the field.
The crowd is just as obnoxious as it was in the Roman time period. But I
think most of all he's illustrating a parallel in hopes that we won't
become so consumed with sporting events that we begin to forget about what
the government is doing.

Matt Lilly from United States
Comment 8 of 19, added on February 25th, 2008 at 4:48 AM.

I think the Inquisition in line 23 is the Roman Catholic tribunal for the
exposition and persecution of heretics, only finally abolished in the early
19th century. Williams could be saying a crowd is like this in the way it
discriminates and persecutes

Derek Burns from United States
Comment 7 of 19, added on January 26th, 2006 at 1:13 PM.

Really great poem. It has alot of powerful messages.

Taquantatanta Lamauntafanta from Philippines
Comment 6 of 19, added on January 11th, 2006 at 12:58 AM.

This poem represents mob mentality, and the speaker seems to have an
omniscient point of view like that of a blimp driver floating over the game
seeing the crowd as one living, breathing, thinking creature rather than

Matt from Canada
Comment 5 of 19, added on November 10th, 2005 at 9:32 PM.

This poem is quite referential to the works of Emily Dickinson. Use of
hyphens is the first key. In addition, short microcosms consume each
stanza. Finally, metaphor is apparent; such as: "a spirit of uselessness
which delights them-". This compares the crowd to "uselessness".

Jennifer from United States
Comment 4 of 19, added on March 7th, 2005 at 5:26 PM.

I think it kind of shows how a crowd can be cruel. Discriminatory or
otherwise. This poem really made me think..

Rob from Canada
Comment 3 of 19, added on February 3rd, 2005 at 9:36 AM.

that reminded me of the kkk

Trisha Jones from United States
Comment 2 of 19, added on October 24th, 2004 at 1:17 PM.

A great indictment of herd mentality.Personification showing how a
crowd/mob can take on a life of it's own.I just heard that a 21 year old
jounalism student was struck dead in Boston, while she was in a crowd of
revelers celebrating the winning of the pennant.

Robert Frost from Jamaica
Comment 1 of 19, added on October 24th, 2004 at 11:46 AM.

this poem is a very very good poem!! :)

Britt from United States

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Information about The Crowd At The Ball Game

Poet: William Carlos Williams
Poem: The Crowd At The Ball Game
Added: May 7 2003
Viewed: 1164 times
Poem of the Day: Mar 18 2008

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