Friday, September 16, 2005

Poems From Phillums

Before we do the Light Brigade act into the pomes, a delightful discovery needs to be shared. Terry Mordue (may his tribe increase) is trying to annotate as many allusions as he can from the works of P.G.Wodehouse. And from the notes on The Clicking Of Cuthbert, we learn about this absolutely delightful lady, Jael the wife of Heber. Read on. Its absolutely deliciously cute. Might have to slip a little something in Heber's drink and live happily ever after with Jael.

Poems from fillums. First of all, before you Google experts scuttle away to your little searches, in the manner of roaches when the light is turned on, a very decent list is available. So no nenu cheppanu kadaas from you. Secondly, we have already spoken of some of these here and here. And finally, perhaps we should try to avoid being lazy by resorting to such stratagems as including Shakespeare poems from "Shakespeare movies", Neruda poems from Neruda movies or even including Paul Verlaine's tragic sounding Song Of Autumn, just because the verses were used by the Allies to advise the French Resistance about the impending Normandy landings (and this was later depicted in The Longest Day.

Caveats having been dispensed with,


A very favourite movie has a couple of very favourite poems. First, Robert washes Meryl's hair to the pace of the fantastic Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Very apt poem for such an activity. Also a great poem to mug up during long runs. Then, near the end, Meryl reads A.E.Housman's To An Athlete Dying Young over Robert's grave.


Surely, we must include The Hollow Men, read so chillingly by Marlon in Apocalypse Now.


The very very entertaining Dreamcatcher apparently has this one thrown in there somewhere.

More can be added.


Anonymous said...

The final link from Dreamcatcher doesn't seem to work....

Falstaff said...

Off the top of my head:

a) Mike Nichols made a movie with Emma Thompson called Wit which features a whole bunch of John Donne poems - including several of the holy sonnets and Valediction: Forbidden Mourning

b) There's a scene in Woody Allen's Anything Else, where Christina Ricci quotes Edna St. Vincent Millay's famous "My candle burns at both ends" poem.

c) There's a scene in Godard's Les Carabiniers where this woman who's about to be executed recites a long Mayakovsky poem - I can't remember the name of the poem (something about a Wonderful Dream?)

d) This probably doesn't clear the ground rules on the Harwood list, but Bergman's Fanny och Alexander has a whole bunch of Shakespeare quotes - including a wonderful rendition of the last lines of Twelfth Night.

Will see if I can think of some more - the Harwood list is amazingly exhaustive, though.

Oh, also, don't like the translaton of the Neruda that you have - think the W.S. Merwin translation is so much better. You can find that at

Veena said...

Do you have the Prufrock one from Apocalypse now?

Ludwig said...

[anonymous] Both links appear to be working fine.

[falstaff] I surrender! You do the list next time :) You're right about the Neruda translation, the one you pointed out is better. I think that is the 'standard' translation, no?

[veena] True, true. There's that one as well. Till very recently, I couldn't tell The Hollow Men", TLoJAP and The Wasteland apart. Not sure if I can even now.

Falstaff said...

Ludwig: Not sure - I've seen both versions, and have actually seen the version you posted more often.

Also, huh? The Hollow Men and Wasteland I can see the overlap - specially all that "This is the dead land / This is cactus land" stuff. But Prufrock? That's such a different tone. Next you'll be telling me you can't tell Wasteland and the Four Quartets apart.

Ludwig said...

[falstaff] "Next you'll be telling me you can't tell Wasteland and the Four Quartets apart."

No, no. Next I'll be asking you what the Four Quartets are! Truly, the only T.S.E poems I can distinguish are the ones from "Old P's Book Of P Cs"!

Anonymous said...

Can't tell The Wasteland apart from The Hollow Men? My, my - aren't we being rather modest!

Falstaff said...

*with look of absolute horror* okay, please, please, please go buy a copy of Eliot's Four Quartets. NOW! It's only the most stunning thing that Eliot ever wrote.


Ludwig said...

[Anonymous] Honestly, until a colleague read out and explained TLoJAP a couple of weeks back, I hadn't read a complete T.S.Eliot poem, barring the ones from OPBoPCs. Was definitely familiar with the bits and pieces from "Apocalypse Now" and elsewhere.

[Falstaff] :) Okay, okay :)!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, your posts refute your statement - there is so much knowledge and understanding infixed into them, that one always learns something new. Which is probably why I come here and read your blog. And which is also why I maintain you are being modest. :).

Veena said...

Are you also anonymous? :)

Ludwig said...

[veena] :) I think I would write something mind-bogglingly superlative about me, if I was someone else.