Poetry, Books and Film

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Poetry is the gift that keeps on giving in terms of inspiration and enjoyment. A personal favorite (and there are many) is “The Sun Rising” by John Donne. Poet Carol Rumens describes this work as “one of the most joyous love poems ever written.” In only three stanzas, Donne gives life to a “busy old fool” who should bother tardy students and leave young sweethearts alone to idle in bed. His words resonate so well that we see the pesky intruder in our mind’s eye and bid her a quick adieu.

Margaret Mitchell was no less influenced by a poet’s pen. According to “10 Fascinating Facts about ‘Gone With the Wind’,” this classic novel took its title from the imaginings of Ernest Dowson. A UK poet who inspired famed William Butler Yeats, Dowson pined for a childhood amour when he wrote “I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind.”

The power of the poem was clear once again when Oscar-winning screenwriter William Inges reminds filmgoers of the sad words of Williams Wordsworth. Multiple tissues later, the ending of Splendor in the Grass reunites Natalie Wood with Warren Beatty to say goodbye and remember that “Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”

Who could forget the recital of W.H. Auden‘s lamentation about a fallen love in Four Weddings and a Funeral when one of the main characters himself had lost a best friend? “He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.”

The intersection of poetry with other forms of art continues. Lucky us to be inspired in so many ways.