the dense essence of
my entire past: Rugs, chicken,
lysol, dust, cigars
From the poem, In and Out – A Home Away from Home, 1947, by L. E. Sissman.
I searched out this poem for one reason and one reason only.
I was looking for a quote about baseball and sports by EB White.
As I was scanning through the Letters of EB White, I came across this note in a letter to Roger Angell.
Roger Angell covered baseball for The New Yorker.
Mr. Angell was also the son of EB White’s wife, Katherine Angell White.
I cannot recall if he was ever officialy adopted by EB but they had a close relationship.
EB wrote to Roger that he had enjoyed his article on the Houston Astro’s along with his comments on Texas and Texans.
EB then writes, ” … you were in the same issue with Sissman’s “In and Out,” which to my mind is the best poem we [The New Yorker] have published since they invented poets.”
With that as a recommendation, I had to find the poem.
And thanks to the Google, I did.
I have read several times and maybe I will read it again later.
But the best poem ever published by The New Yorker?
Lets get one thing straight.
If there was anyone who could refer to The New Yorker using the imperial WE, it would be EB and Katherine Angell White.
And if there was anybody whose judgement I would defer to without reservation on any thing literary, it would be Elwyn Brooks (Andy) White.
But in the back of my mind is another quote of Mr. White.
Something along the lines that the most beautiful sound at 5:00PM is the tinkle of ice.
Maybe a martini in hand, and I will see In and Out with eyes that recognize it as one of the greats.
I will with hold judgement until then.
But I don’t drink martini’s so it may be awhile.