The Ted Williams Villanelle by Wendy Cope Ted Williams is known as one of the all time greats in baseball. During his long baseball career, Ted skipped some seasons and served as a Marine Corps pilot. During his time in WWII and the Korean War, we would all assume that Ted gained tremendous leadership skills. These skills helped him on the baseball field, and throughout his entire life. Ted could be mistaken as a coach in these lines. He talks to someone as if he is teaching them. He repeats himself constantly. Cope uses the line, “Don’t let anybody mess with your swing”, four times.
It is as if Ted is talking toa young baseball player. He then repeats a line about watching the ball and doing your thing. Ted is not telling the player to do whatever he wants, but more importantly to be comfortable at the plate. Being a former baseball player, I know that it can be nerve wrecking to be at the plate in close situations. Ted wants his players to be comfortable and confidante; because he knows that’s when they will do best. When Ted talks about not letting someone “mess with your swing”, I believe that these lines have two different meanings.
Baseball players change from team to eam, and see lots of new different coaches. Ted does not want a player to try and change up his batting style from year to year. He is not saying to not listen to coaching, but to stick with basic principles that they learned on. Ted is also referring to peoples characteristics. Often times, and especially now days, dugouts are loaded with all sorts of different people from different countries. He does not want the young player from Kentucky to show up in Boston and completely try to change his ways to fit in. He wants everyone to have their own character and charisma.
He is aying that we should accept different people. This poem is very repetitive, but it is for a reason. It shows how much ofa leader Mr. Williams really was. This poem was not written by Ted, so obviously others new of him to act as a leader. The Critic that I chose was not very baseball knowledgeable. He did bring up former information on Ted, but on different subjects. However we both acknowledged that Ted was very repetitive. He did point something out that I liked. Cope uses the two most popular lines together at the very end of the poem. They were a same ending rhyme, and it finished the poem fantastically.