June 03, 1985 12:00 PM

by Donald Hall

The lyrical essays in this collection by New Hampshire’s poet laureate also cover such sports as table tennis and pro basketball, but most of them are about baseball. In one, Hall recalls listening to a car radio broadcast of a Dodger-Giant game in 1940 or 1941 with his father. When the young Pee Wee Reese hit a home run to beat the aging Giant pitcher Carl Hubbell, Hall was delighted, but his father hated the affront to the great Hubbell: “Sitting there in the front seat, 11 years old, I clap and cheer. Then I hear my father’s strange voice. I look across my mother to see his knuckles white on the wheel, his face white, and I hear him saying, ‘The punk! The punk!’ With astonishment and horror, see that my father is crying.” (North Point, $13.50)

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