vocalisms #42: Linda Gregerson


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from Voca, the Poetry Center's online audiovisual archive of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.


black and white portrait of Linda Gregerson against a white wall

In this 2002 recording of Linda Gregerson, a meditation on baseball reaches heights I could never have imagined on my own. Gregerson’s deft mind and rich vocabulary allow phrases like “quaint / tight pants” and “repose and adroitness” to sit next to one another; the familiar game is played and “around the diamond summer runs / its mortal stall.” This is a meditation on mortality, on fleeting strength, and on the brief moments of “pure felicity” when every element aligns in defiance of decay. Gregerson reads with the cadence of a Shakespearean actor, drawing us into the subtle meanings of the moment she describes.