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Write a poem that casts a fresh eye over a classic movie—any form, any length, any mood. This challenge comes from the lovely Susan Jarvis Bryant. Her example is below. Post your movie-inspired poem in the comments below.

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Wafting in the Wind 

“Quite frankly, my dear, I just don’t give a damn!”
He declaimed as the curtain came down
On her high-cotton life as a wife to this man—
She’d been crazy to cling to a clown.

He had sucked the bold breeze from her billowing sails.
Scarlett’s cheeks turned as red as her name.
As the keen buzzards pecked on love’s steaming entrails,
Vexation held Butler to blame.

He had picked on a vixen equipped with the kick
Of a mule fueled by scorn and raw hate.
She flicked her cute boot in a trick so dang quick
The Grim Reaper appeared at the gate.

Rhett wafts in the wind as it wails through the night
While O’Hara plays coquettish host
To her shadowy cad clad in wild wisps of white—
She has thrown her stone heart to a ghost.

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93 Responses

  1. Brian Yapko

    Great Gone with the Wind poem, Susan! Challenge accepted. Here goes:

    ONE VON TRAPP TOO MANY

    Everything was fine before she came
    With wimple, old guitar and hidden mike.
    All smiles and pluck, she calls us each by name
    And makes us warble tunes throughout the Reich.

    She traumatized us first with “do-re-mi”
    Then yawn and on about her favorite things.
    And now we’re trapped like rats with tunes of twee
    Compelled to harmonize if someone sings.

    Why must I stay in line like a trained poodle?
    Why must I keep my youthful interests hid?
    Won’t someone somewhere tamper with her strudel
    And let me simply be a normal kid?

    Tonight she’s pushing us to sing again —
    A puppet show this time – her worst idea.
    Just watch me sneak away! Auf wiedersehen!
    That’s how you solve a problem like Maria!

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Thank God someone else finds “The Sound of Music” unbearable! It is the most saccharine piece of drivel to hit the silver screen. Christopher Plummer (who played Baron von Trapp) always referred to the film as “The Sound of Mucus.”

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Wow Brian!! What a way to open this challenge! Beautifully written and hilarious to boot… the closing line is a riot after the magnificent build up to it. I’m with Joseph on the ‘Sound of Mucus’ front. This film has certainly had a fresh eye cast over it. I love it!

      Reply
    • Gail Naegele

      This is not only interestingly and to me, uniquely humorous, but the rhyme and meter have excellent flow and the imagery is phrased with eloquence and pizzaz. Really enjoyed your imaginative take. Well done!

      Reply
  2. Gail Naegele

    The Treasure of The Sierra Madre

    The scent of ore sails on the breeze
    with tropic mist that hangs from trees.
    There gather ghosts of tall tales told
    of ancient mountains gowned in gold.

    The paupers sit beneath the trees
    and there inhale the luring breeze
    then dreaming seek the scent of ore,
    in mountains rich with mythic lore.

    Through tropic jungles, dense and hot,
    where terror lurks, where bandits plot,
    where stinging insects’ songs stir fright
    and tigers’ eyes glow in the night.

    Ahead that pierce the tropic sky
    rise snow-capped mountains, wild and high,
    and when the rising sun shines down
    the mountains wear a golden crown.

    With awe the paupers view the sight
    of haunted hills in golden light.
    The luring scent is strong and sweet
    for gold lies here beneath their feet.

    One night cold clouds engulf the sky.
    White lightning strikes and paupers die.
    Still tropic trees host tall tales told
    of groaning ghosts consumed by gold.

    The scent of ore sails on the breeze,
    with tropic mist that hangs from trees.
    More paupers sit beneath the trees
    and there inhale the luring breeze.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Gail, I have never heard of this film, but intend to look it up having read your atmospheric and enticing poem. Thank you!

      Reply
      • James A. Tweedie

        Gail, This was my first choice of a movie to write about but I couldn’t find a satisfying way to rhyme the line:

        “We don’t need no stinking badges!”

      • Gail Naegele

        Hi Susan: Novel by B. Traven, screen script by John Huston (with my fav. Humphrey Bogart or “Boggie”. I like to combine the original literature with the movie for research. I believe, classic literature is at the root of classic movies, and therefore, I’m inspired to add classic poetry to the established classic arts combined in both classic literature and cinema. I hope you enjoy the movie, it is quite famous. Thank you for reading and commenting. G.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Gail, I’m with you on the classic literature being at the root of classic movies front. I read ‘Gone with the Wind’ when I was around 12, having been blown away (excuse the pun, hehe) by the movie. I love the narrative and dialogue in the older movies… nowadays movies rely heavily on visual appeal, but words always win for me. I am certainly going to seek out this film after reading your poem. Thank you!

      • Gail Naegele

        Hi Susan: I loved reading ‘Gone with the Wind’ many years ago. The book ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ was very interesting, and discusses gold treasure hunting in much broader terms than the movie, that’s why some circumstances in the poem go beyond the movie, which is, BTW, still in black and white. It won 4 academy awards. I do hope you enjoy the movie. Blessings.

  3. Paul Freeman

    (Beware: spoilers)

    The Magnificent Seven were brave
    fighting thieves and a pitiless knave.
    At the end of the day,
    they fought for no pay
    and four ended up in a grave.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Paul, I love ‘The Magnificent Seven’. I’m glad I’ve seen it having read your revealing limerick. ‘Beware: spoilers’ is hilarious. Great fun!

      Reply
    • Gail Naegele

      Paul: Amazing how you have the whole movie down in one excellent and descriptive limerick. Well done!

      Reply
  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Three Movies

    La Strada (1954)

    Gelsomina hooks up with a bruiser
    Whose plan is to use and abuse her.
    She meets a nice clown
    But he’s whacked in the crown
    And the bruiser winds up as a loser.

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

    Two good-looking chicks cross the ocean
    In search of true love and devotion.
    With their legs and tight blouses
    They land perfect spouses
    And enjoy an erotic explosion.

    White Heat (1949)

    The boss of a criminal gang
    Has a mother who’s sharp as a fang.
    She helps him plan stickups
    And murders and pickups
    But her son goes insane with a bang.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joseph, having read your three marvelous limericks with their excellent end rhymes (bruiser/abuse her/loser; blouses/spouses… my favorites) I think all film reviews should be written in limerick form. I’m tired of trawling through tedium to find a film that suits my taste. You’ve sold all three of these to me… in a flash. Thank you!

      Reply
    • Gail Naegele

      Joseph: All great movies you picked, and your limericks do a great job of hitting the spice of all three. La Strada my favorite, Great job!

      Reply
  5. C.B. Anderson

    I’ve got a couple, both previously published in The Magic Lantern Review:

    Villanelle on a line from The Outlaw Josey Wales

    Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

    His enemies have failed to come to terms
    With landscapes where the air is seldom hazy
    And buzzards need to eat, the same as worms.

    Their lack of preparation just confirms
    His old suspicions: All of them are crazy.
    His enemies have failed to come to terms

    With mortal wounds and pathogenic germs
    That threaten both self-starters and the lazy.
    The buzzards need to eat, the same as worms,

    And hover when a gut-shot body squirms
    Before it pushes up a proper daisy.
    His enemies have failed to come to terms

    With streaming blood that overflows the berms
    Of mountain roads, precipitous and mazy.
    The buzzards need to eat, the same as worms,

    And mercies, like albino pachyderms,
    He shuns. (In Road House so does Patrick Swayze.)
    His enemies have failed to come to terms
    With buzzards needing meat, the same as worms.

    Thank Heaven for Little Girls

    It’s been two weeks since I remembered that
    I’m not a star. Maurice Chevalier,
    Enshrined forever as the true old hat,
    Was debonair, with such sweet things to say

    That everybody’s mother once upon
    A time was charmed by him. But back to me:
    While heading down the one-wat Autobahn
    Of life, attentiveness and urgency

    Aren’t necessary, and they’re out of place,
    For over time one learns to float and drift:
    As teachers say, “This test is not a race.”
    A second bite at failure is a gift

    That no one can refuse, and if success
    Occurs, it’s something any Anderson
    Will take in stride and cotton to, unless
    The benefits surpass all understanding.

    I’ve long pretended to enact the role
    Of some laconic self-sufficient human
    Being averse to living on the dole,
    A character such idols as Paul Newman

    Or Gary Cooper might have played. The truth?
    I’m good at dishing, not enduring, pain,
    An actor more akin to John Wilkes Booth
    And nothing like a latter-day John Wayne,

    Who made the world a living hell for cattle
    And outlaws in the Technicolor West
    But never let a lady feel like chattel.
    The girl who knows me best and knows what’s best

    For me is unbelievably forgiving.
    When I lose track of what I am, she’ll grin
    And somehow find a way to keep me living
    The scripts where bad guys stand a chance to win.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      C.B., these two poems are magnificent! You’ve knocked my “Wafting in the Wind” into a cocked hat, and I’m still smiling – such is the wonder of your words. Great stuff!

      Reply
  6. Jeff Eardley

    Pussy Galore was a hell of a chick,
    With her bust bursting out in that “Goldfinger” flic.
    With bold Jimmy Bond and his gadgets galore,
    All shaken and stirred how we sat there in awe.
    With “Odd-Job’s” steel bowler stuck fast in the bars,
    And mealy-mouthed mobsters crushed flat in their cars.
    The gold-painted lady was every boy’s dream,
    But the table-top laser made most of us scream,
    And big German blokes getting sucked out of planes,
    We went back and watched it again and again.
    But as for his latest, I just had to cry,
    At the “Woke” transformation in “No Time to Die”

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, I love this! Your poem explodes on the page like a thunderball, with all the wonder and appeal of a fun Bond movie. I’m with you on the clever closing couplet. Bollox to woke!

      Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      This is hilarious, Jeff! You nail it. I’ve seen Goldfinger at least half a dozen times and it just gets better with age. The great thing about doing a Goldfinger parody is it recalls Austin Powers which, in turn, makes one realize that the James Bond films (at least the classic, canonical, unrepentantly unwoke, entertaining ones) are almost parody already.

      Reply
    • David Whippman

      Jeff, you summed up why James Bond can’t, alas, really make the transition to this “woke” age. I remember watching “Goldfinger” in my early teens, and having a huge crush on Shirley Eaton (the gold-painted girl.) Thanks for the nostalgia.

      Reply
  7. James A. Tweedie

    “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water
    Here comes a shark to provide us a summer beach slaughter.
    Blood in the water is one way to get our attention;
    Music composed by John Williams adds dramatic tension.

    Scheider and Dreyfus and Shaw are the stars being followed;
    One of them doomed by the script to be chewed up and swallowed.
    The movie’s plot-line is built on a premise prepost’rous,
    But, as a blockbuster drama, its profits were monstrous.

    Spielberg taught us the ocean’s a place people die in.
    Later, however, he went on to save Private Ryan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you for this, James. Jaws scared me witless as a kid… I was so horrified, I wouldn’t swim in the deep end of our local swimming pool for some months afterwards. Steven Spielberg made me fear sharks – that’s how good his film was. I’m proud to announce, I stroked a few awesome sharks last year at our local aquarium and can now see their appeal. Mike refused to touch them… I wonder if he’s seen Jaws?! 😉

      Reply
  8. Jack DesBois

    This one’s for Sidney Poitier, God rest his soul:

    “The laborer is worthy of his hire,”
    Exasperated Homer Smith demands,
    But Arizona nuns have hidden fire
    When answered prayers send them hardy hands.

    And so, an egg the sisters deem sufficient
    To recompense the man and feed his brawn.
    Poor Homer disagrees, but, beneficent,
    He grudgingly accepts; the deal is on.

    He starts to build their chapel. Once begun,
    The parish, whether Homer likes or not,
    Lends many hands, as stubborn as the nuns.
    Before too long, a blessing has been wrought.

    “Amen!” he slips away (for hearts are healed),
    Considering the Lilies of the Field.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’ve got this film lined up and ready to go on Amazon Prime… because of your poem, Jack, I’m pushing the “Play” button tonight. Thank you!

      Reply
  9. David Watt

    The Time Machine (1960) (1978) (2002)

    Time for a Time Machine

    If I could have a Time Machine as penned by H.G. Wells
    I’d travel to a time back when the right to speak came free,
    And masks were worn by highwaymen, or pirates on the sea,
    Instead of on the faces of the likes of you and me!

    And there, in some much saner time, where wokeness meant to rouse
    And facebook on a printed page was just a spacing glitch,
    I doubtless would hear twitters, musical and rich—
    Not the electronic kind to socialise and bitch!

    By railway car or steamer, I would travel where I chose,
    Without the need to prove I’d had a jab required by State;
    And if I caught a lung disease, the culprit would be fate,
    Or taking in the bracing air on winter evenings late.

    Respect, in such a time would be expected and admired,
    For elders and the rule of law, without the need for fires
    Burning institutions down to ashes, just for liars
    To satisfy their warped ideals and socialist desires!

    Please let me have a Time Machine with fancy knobs and dials!
    I swear that I would use it for the betterment of Man,
    By writing science fiction tales (part of a cunning plan)
    Forewarning of a later time when evilness began.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, I love your poem and its sentiment… I think many of us would love to travel back in time… we didn’t realise we had it so darn good. I love your closing stanza, but has anyone taken any notice of George Orwell? Has anyone taken any notice of their forefathers?… I fear we will continue to make the same catastrophic mistakes forever… what a pitiful pessimist I’ve become! Thank you for rising to the challenge… your timely and topical poem on this much-loved classic rocks!

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Susan… don’t you remember George the guy next door? He was old man Orwell’s boy. He was telling me that he figured out the year that everything went south… then that house and George disappeared last year…

      • David Watt

        Thank you Susan. Your “Wafting in the Wind” was the perfect introduction to this challenge. Unfortunately, it does seem that we never learn, or have to relearn what we should have known from past mistakes.

  10. Paul Freeman

    The Invisible Man is a bloke
    misanthropic who hates normal folk.
    He’s not one who dithers
    at rock, paper, scissors
    and these days plays punch, kick and choke.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      H.G. Wells is a popular choice. I’ve watched the latest take… WOW… very scary indeed!

      Reply
  11. Mike Bryant

    If you wondered why so many UFOs are being sighted near California… maybe this is it.

    A Texan translation of ET

    ET Phones Home

    Hey Mom, it’s me, ET.
    I’m calling from LA!
    Everything is free!
    I think I’m here to stay.

    Since we’re minorities,
    We’re first in every line.
    The mad authorities
    Just want your vote and mine.

    So don’t y’all worry none.
    There’s room for you and Pop.
    Just head towards the sun,
    The blue rock, that’s your stop.

    Now, ring up all your friends.
    It’s time to make the switch.
    Here’s where our trouble ends.
    We’re gonna ALL be rich!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Absolutely spot on, Mr. Bryant! Earth would look so much more attractive to ET these days.

      Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      This, Mike, might be the funniest poem of yours I have read to date, and I suspect that this is not the last time I’ll say that.

      Reply
  12. Joseph S. Salemi

    Three More Movies

    The Naked Jungle (1954)

    A guy tries a mail-order wife
    But only gets trouble and strife.
    The jungle is scary
    And things get quite hairy
    When an army of ants comes to life.

    Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)

    A Dutchman is sailing the seas
    In search of salvation, and he’s
    Met by Pandora
    And learns to adore her
    And they’re caught in a Liebestod-ish freeze.

    Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

    A man wants a dukedom (the swine!)
    But as heir, he is just Number Nine.
    So he kills eight relations
    By bizarre machinations
    In order to shorten the line.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      ‘The Naked Jungle’ sounds like my type of film. It screams for popcorn! What could possibly go wrong with a hairy encounter with ants?!

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        I saw the movie in 1954 when it came out. I was just a kid, and it scared the living daylights out of me. Savagery, shrunken heads, people eaten alive by rampaging soldier ants… Whenever I see it as a rerun on TV, I’m still petrified. It’s one of Charlton Heston’s best roles, and Eleanor Parker is drop-dead gorgeous as his mail-order wife.

      • Paul Freeman

        Remember the guy in the film who had one job – and fell asleep?

        Apparently the ants were not showing much interest in Charlton Heston (making it visually boring), so they smeared honey on him to attract them.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        There was another guy (the evil red-haired Gruber) who also fell asleep in his canoe after getting drunk. When Heston and the Commissioner found him, they lifted up his hat, and all that you saw was a skull with red hair. He had been totally devoured by the ants. That shot is encaustically fixated into my memory.

      • Paul Freeman

        Oh, yes, I remember the red-haired Gruber scene.

        The scene that always got me though was the guy who was meant to turn a handwheel and flood some fields, but fell asleep (at the wheel, ha, ha!) and woke up getting swarmed.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        A skull with ginger locks beneath a hat after the ants had feasted on their Gruber banquet! Nasty!… I think I’ll pass on the popcorn. Mind you, those ants are smarter than cats… they’ll never suffer with hairballs.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Norma, have a go! I would love to read one of your poetic takes on a classic movie… I know it will be good. I’ve thrown down the gauntlet. 🙂

      Reply
      • Norma Pain

        Thank you Susan for your vote of confidence. I hate the expression ‘my muse has left me’, but lately, it seems to be so. Too much time spent stressing over losing our freedoms perhaps. Like you and many others, I am so worried about the possible long-term effects of these vaccines on our children and youth, not to mention the plans to poison babies eventually. All vaccines cause harm to varying degrees but this fact is well-hidden from the average person.
        Your poetry and that of so many others, is amazing and keeps me busy reading and entertained. Thank you again.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Norma, we are living in very tough times. I often feel helpless. I want to do so much to bring the truth to light in a world crammed with propaganda. I know it’s highly unlikely that I’ll make a huge difference where these evils are concerned… but, I’m going to continue to be a thorn in the sides of those supporting this madness…. by telling the truth – the immutable, proven truth. It’s getting out there bit by bit, mainly via trucks at the moment. I have hope.

  13. Jeff Eardley

    This is a lovely chortle inducing piece. It sent my mind back to the famous ‘Singing Nun,’ a parody of which appeared in one of those gloriously unwoke “Airplane” movies. I love poodle with strudel by the way, a great rhyme.

    Reply
  14. Norma Okun

    The Little Girl
    Was a bad seed
    Stealing a medal from her classmate
    She decided it had to belong to her
    And drowned the boy and hid the medal
    She was wearing her pretty dresses
    And pretty smile
    Hidden inside her brain her plots to kill she sealed
    As she skillfully hid her bad deeds
    And offered her parents basketful of kisses
    Fooling them and everyone else
    The mother whose child she murdered
    Knew the little girl was bad
    And so did the gardener
    She ended his life by putting fire to the barn
    She ended badly herself as she reaped what she sows
    Plotting away she ended up in the bay
    And if all the evil was in her DNA
    It all stayed with her
    Amen
    From the film
    The Bad Seed
    By Norma Okun

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Norma. I’ve just looked this film up online… it just goes to show how deceptive looks can be. What a dreadful child. It’s a film that’s popular with the audience… I think I might give it a go… after I’ve watched those ants through my fingers with pursed lips and no popcorn.

      Reply
      • Norma Okun

        Thank you, Susan. I am intrigued with Henry James books about children. I love What Maizie Knew. She is so beautiful, unlike this little girl and the ones that he describes in The Turn of the Screw.

  15. Toshiji Kawagoe

    “12 angry men”

    Look my Lord, what fools these mortals be!
    They don’t know as jurors who summoned them?
    They talk about a crime supposed to be
    committed by a boy living in slum.

    In a locked room under the blazing sun,
    his crime’s about to be proved in debate.
    But, do they not know if they judge someone,
    they too will be judged at some future date?

    “What is truth?”retorted jesting Pilate
    when Jesus our Lord was accused in court.
    Could anyone give an answer so clear-cut?
    If so, what his sentence would be, in short?

    When one god-fearing man stood up
    and pointed out witnesses were mixed-up,
    then he saved not only innocent soul,
    but heaped on the jurors’ heads burning coal.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      This is one of my favorite films, Toshiji. It’s great to see it in poetry form on this page. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Toshiji Kawagoe

        Susan, thank you for your comment.

        I also like its satirical adaptation “The Gentle Twelve” produced by Koki Mitani (both in movie and theatrical play). Unfortunately no English title is available, you can watch the theatrical version on YouTube.

  16. Julian D. Woodruff

    With Falling Tights and Baby Swine,
    Two Hours of Laughs art Surely Thine

    When Bad Someone usurped the throne
    Of England, claiming it his own,
    There lived too a fake Robin Hood,
    Not good with bow, nonetheless good—
    An anti–hero named Will Hawkins
    (Saner and merrier than Dawkins)
    Who found a job, on hope’s fair wing,
    As jester to this cruel king.
    From that point on the laughs don’t stop,
    As Danny Kaye heads up a crop
    Of players tearing through cliches
    Of jolly England’s storied days.
    And all is put to right at last,
    With kisses on the true king’s ass.

    Verdi Should Have Known

    A Night at the Opera sends up the genre
    With silliest slapstick and double–entendre.
    The Marx Brothers’ victim was Il Trovatore.
    They made of that warhorse a really sad story.
    “Miserere,” indeed! Those terrific clowns served
    Up what one critic claimed Il Trov truly deserved.

    Recycled Dust

    That Red Dust was a hit;
    The fans were Gable–bit.
    The crowds all loved that show;
    Producers loved the dough—
    So much so that, applying crafty wit,
    They recycled him, and it, in Mogambo.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Great stuff! Thank you very much for rising to the challenge, Julian. This page is now my go-to place for looking up the next film to watch. I have spent hours scouring film sites to much disappointment.

      Reply
  17. Paul Freeman

    Jurassic Park Limerick

    An old dude brought dinosaurs back,
    but some learned to hunt in a pack.
    The villain got nailed,
    the heroes prevailed
    and most of the sequels were cack.

    Reply
  18. Allison Asbury Baggott-Rowe

    Titanic: From the View of the Ship

    They will say I wanted salt air,
    Cross-Atlantic and with a high fare,
    What no one announced,
    Was that one single ounce,
    Of water made this ship damn scared!

    The high, lofty nobles came first,
    Oaken trunks that would be their hursts,
    The deckhands relieved,
    Luggage of filigree,
    Not knowing it would have no worth,

    Steam billowed as anchor was weighed,
    Onto the platform passengers strayed,
    Young Jack jumping on,
    With a ticket he won,
    Pretending to be the first mate,

    Young ingenue soon to meet prince,
    For now, a pauper distanced,
    Some new money clothes,
    His reputation sure, rose,
    Two scenes away from a rinse,

    The tempest began then to swirl,
    As she stripped down to her fine pearl,
    A steamy sex scene,
    Made all the girls dream,
    “Jack, paint me like one of your girls!”

    The iceberg was far too late spied,
    By crewmen that clearly were pied,
    Had they not been so drunk,
    They might not have sunk,
    All imbibing still as they died,

    With lifeboats for only a few,
    Fiancé lost Rose as he spew,
    The cad was de-spoused
    With passengers doused,
    There was nothing more they could do…

    “Jack, I’m flying!” left far behind,
    As they ran the race against time,
    One hand to hold,
    Until it went cold,
    And this ship has finished its rhyme.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Allison, what a unique take on ‘Titanic’ – you’ve most certainly cast a fresh eye over it… thank you very much! I took my son to see this film in Leicester Square in London when it first premiered. The cinema had a piano player there to set the mood and my young son was thoroughly impressed… more with Kate Winslet than the Titanic, I think. Thank you for this.

      Reply
  19. Phil Friday

    Beauty it is thou dost create
    With steady lens and mellow heart
    My senses they, are left agape
    In the presence oft thine art.

    The fluid lines, the light so soft
    With music mingle to form a whole
    My soul revels, is lifted loft
    I cry to others “this art, behold”.

    The lines of either breast or face
    Head or toe where erst thou start
    The shallow shadows fall in place
    On the world you leave your mark.

    All of this transpires and yet
    Who could prompt such a poem?
    Romeo and Juliet
    Photography in best of form.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Phil, this poem is beautiful… you capture the wonder of bringing words to the screen. There have been many fine portrayals of Romeo and Juliet, but when you have the lighting, the camera angles and the genius of a fine director… the big screen will add to the fans of the Bard… and that’s a good thing in my book. Thank you very much for this gem of a poem.

      Reply
      • Phil Friday

        Thank you, I wrote that many moons ago after seeing the movie shortly after it was released.

  20. Phil S. Rogers

    A Tribute To Animal House

    I crawled across the frat house floor
    as drunk as I could be,
    and I thought I saw a cockroach
    Just staring down at me.
    The restroom it was there I knew,
    I could not find the door.
    I scratched and clawed the paneled walls,
    some help I did implore.

    When at length I reached the restroom,
    I heard a rocking band.
    The door swung abruptly open,
    some girl stepped on my hand.
    I was getting really dizzy,
    the room began to swirl,
    my roommate poured draft beer on me,
    I felt like I would hurl.

    I crawled up to the toilet bowl,
    but could not raise my head.
    I saw my girlfriend on the floor,
    I thought that she was dead.
    Alive was she, but smelling bad
    looking slightly tarty,
    but all in all I have to say,
    it was a damn fine party!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Huge fun… I love it! I’ve not seen “Animal House”, but now, it’s on my list. Thank you!

      Reply
  21. ROYAL W RHODES

    “I met Death today. We are playing chess.”
    ~ Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal

    In the darkened, box-shaped room
    the Swedish film cast loops of light.
    A knight, his windswept hair pure white
    played chess upon this Day of Doom,
    while meeting Death– magnesium
    faced. My startled students blinked
    at this figure, bored and numb
    by epidemics that they linked
    to barking throats and missed alarms.
    I watched them as they each consumed
    the mad girl caught and soldiers harmed,
    soon burned for sinful sex presumed
    with impish devils, as the knight
    climbed the kindling — in her deep
    and devilish eye could God or light
    be found?– but nothing, as in sleep,
    an “O” of terror, as I gazed
    into the students’ eyes that cast
    back nothing, while my own eyes glazed,
    like Bergman’s dreaded atom blast.

    Reply
  22. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Royal, I’m sold with this atmospheric, sensual poem that has me scouring the streaming platforms for this intriguing film. The imagery in your poem is as stunningly beautiful as the leading lady… I must see it!

    Reply
  23. Mia

    I wanted to get away from the news and the war as I have written
    A few poems/ doggerel, I can’t really submit. So I wrote this instead
    And then noticed the similarities. Some things you just can’t get
    Away from, however hard you try.
    Anyway apologies for my doggerel

    The Godfather

    Michael my boy, listen, it all
    Depends on you now, no don’t
    Sit down, stand tall, you can
    Make this family proud, for
    They’ll all try to take you down.
    Remember, they’ll try to kill you
    Anyway, whether you are in or out.

    I know you care about the family.
    It’s no good pretending you’ll run
    You are not a coward and too
    Honourable for that. Besides you are
    My son, I know you’re the only man
    Who can stand his ground. What’s
    More where will you go, you who can’t
    Forget what happened long ago.

    Your destiny, whether you like it or not,
    Has been chosen for you; Michael you are
    A Corleone to the bone. Promise me son that
    You will take the crown, but remember this
    Is a matter of life and death and those who
    Don’t want to be the first to do the necessary
    Deed are always the ones that end up dead.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mia, poems on favorite films are much better for you. The Godfather is a powerhouse of a film… thank you for your contribution.

      Reply
  24. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Tamara, this is one of my favorite films and your poem has captured the depths of despair rippling under the surface of the dark humor… thank you. After watching this, I never wanted to hold a dinner party or swing from the chandelier again! 😉

    Reply
    • Tamara Beryl Latham

      Thanks, Susan for commenting. Yes, it was one of my favorites, as well.

      I had asked Evan to remove the poem, because it was free verse, but he hasn’t yet responded.

      Reply
    • Tamara Beryl Latham

      Susan, I couldn’t find the reply button to your Gone With the Wind poem, but wanted to tell you it was spot on.

      You have a special talent for poetry and it is evident in all of your poems. 🙂

      Reply
  25. Gary Borck

    Once upon a time in the West (1968)

    The thoughts of McBains youngest son as he waited for Frank to kill him.

    If death had to call on this ill cursed day,
    my dear beloved at least were spared his face,
    and not the torturous malice that delayed
    the surety that brought life’s last embrace.

    I looked into his blue foreboding eyes
    but not before I heard his fearsome roar,
    and saw the horror that he caused here lie:
    my stricken family by his sharp teeth, gored.

    At least the day had woke us with a smile,
    that found the faces of my erst glad kin,
    before with cruel intent and loathsome guile,
    the Devil marched his evil purpose in.

    I pray my death he will not long defer,
    to rid me of my mind’s cruel saboteur.

    Reply
  26. gary

    Again: Once upon a time in the West

    I hope this isn’t turning into an obsession
    Again: The young boys thoughts before Frank kills him.

    My kin lay on the desert sand
    sprawled out like, hunted game.
    Their bodies hold the devil’s brand,
    all fiery temperament tamed.

    The shot that tore my sisters heart
    has wound its way to mine.
    Now on the soil their blood imparts
    a vigorous ruddy wine.

    Step mum who I had never met
    whom my father, proudly wed,
    your first sight of his dear loved pets
    will see us lain down dead.

    I look into the Devil’s face
    and see his cold blue eyes.
    and know the life I once embraced
    will leave me here to die.

    At least there’s mercy in the breeze
    which gently blows my hair,
    while I ready as the trigger’s eased
    for the bullet I will wear.

    Reply
  27. g.KayeNaegele

    Lust for Life
    I writhe on a bed of confusion,
    recalling traumatic details,
    confined I receive a transfusion,
    that tethers my tempests to veils.
    My love was rejected as frightful.
    No woman could bear my excess.
    The whispers of neighbors were spiteful,
    my habits evoking distress.
    From summits of sundry emotions
    my head was a haven of schemes;
    then plunging to odd ebon oceans,
    ’twas lust in my dreams.

    So thrusting my passion to painting,
    that beauty would glow in clear light,
    my zest overcame to near fainting,
    by lantern that burned day and night.
    I drew in the workshops with weavers,
    we gathered by fire to share;
    at harvests collected by heavers,
    their flesh etched by wear.

    The landscape in Arles glowed in sunlight,
    its colors absorbed by my soul;
    my brushes a storm seeking foresight,
    with vision of beauty my goal.
    A steamengine stripped of direction,
    relinquishing self as I race,
    till I look at the mirror’s reflection,
    ’tis blood that I face.

    Poor Theo sits sad with devotion,
    good news is the painting that sold,
    but I’m back in the odd ebon ocean,
    and flooded by lust’s frenzied hold.

    g.KayeNaegele 4/1/19, edit 3/28/22
    A/N: 1935 “Lust for Life” novel by Irving Stone, 1956 movie “Lust for Life” and letters to Theo

    Reply
  28. g.KayeNaegele

    The Little Foxes
    At sunrise on the foggy field
    once fertile crops were gone;
    without the glow of grain to yield
    the Hubbard kin moved on.
    They settled in a sultry town
    with avid appetites
    and ravished every ripened crown,
    each golden grape by bites
    Although appearances defied
    existence of a lack,
    they slithered round the countryside
    to steal a savory snack.

    By hoax the foxes flourished there,
    but lusted ever more.
    They coveted king’s robes to wear,
    in castles built of gore.
    Rejoicing those gains gratified
    from friend or foe or kin,
    if aims remained unsatisfied
    a mate might lose his skin.
    Now foxes own the ninety-nines
    and sit on seats of gold.
    When vice and violence make headlines,
    the devil’s grin is bold.

    g.KayeNaegele 11/23/17, edited 7/4/20

    A/N: Play 1938 by Lillian Hellman, movie 1941 with 8 Academy
    Award nominations. “There are people that eat the earth and eat
    all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. Then there are people sho stand around and watch them eat it. Sometimes I think it ain’t right to stand and watch them do it”. Lillian Hellman
    © 4 years ago, G.EveKaye aka G.Kaye Naegele

    Reply
  29. g.KayeNaegele

    The Night of the Iguana
    As Reverend Shannon I was praised.
    I preached and pious hands were raised;
    exalting God’s love, faith and grace,
    divine light filled the chapel space.
    When suddenly a supple flower
    lured me from my vowed willpower,
    my sin reproached me from each face
    and god’s love fled from my disgrace.

    How swiftly sway the autumn leaves
    in seasons of a bitter breeze.
    And soon once sunlit verdant greens
    that graced the skies with summer dreams,
    turn to a glowing gold and rust
    then curl and crack and float to dust;
    with no betrayal of dismay,
    in silence in the breeze they stray.

    Now sweat drips from my shabby tees,
    on shoddy tours old crows to please
    who scowl, complain and disapprove;
    they scorn the tour, my every move.
    Like the lizard lashed to a post,
    I’m bound as food for fools to roast.
    Is this the fate to which I fell,
    a bitter curse in living hell?

    I pray to be that peaceful leaf
    that in its silence knows no grief;
    to gently float without a care,
    oblivious to life’s despair.
    But when I note the lizard’s plight,
    its struggles tied to rope in fright,
    provoked I cut God’s creature free
    as grace renewed enlightens me.

    g.KayeNaegele 8/26/17, edited 10/14/21
    A/N: With tribute and apologies to Tennessee Williams

    Reply
  30. g.KayeNaegele

    The Grapes of Wrath
    Wrath born of dust in endless drought,
    where once lush crops were plenty,
    caused hungry farmers’ desperate rout,
    their pockets torn and empty.
    They hobbled hungry to the West,
    where rumor whispered wages,
    that sunlight shone and soil was blessed
    with bounty for the ages.
    Old trucks swayed on the rutted road,
    past flowr’ing fields of plenty.
    The fear in children’s eyes forebode
    the sorrow of the many.
    What wages bought was bitter bread,
    in land that flowed with honey.
    Tormented migrants toiled and bled,
    while few grew fat with money.
    More progress came with plutocrats,
    pretending to be sages.
    Sweet grapes they left to rot in vats,
    bred wrath that soured ages.

    g.KayeNaegele 2/16/17, edit 3/26/21 AN: The book by John Steinbeck, 1939, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
    © 5 years ago, G.EveKaye aka G.Kaye Naegele

    Reply
  31. g.KayeNaegele

    The Agony and The Ecstasy
    I beg among the lonely hours
    oblivious to time and space
    and pace beneath the Sistine towers
    where pigments paint my puzzled face.
    Why call me to divine commission,
    as if I am the King’s magician,
    to turn blank skies to holy vision;
    oblivious to time and space?

    I flee to hills of alabaster,
    where ancient gods sleep in soft stone;
    there gaze at dawn from fields of aster,
    in sunlit clouds, behold a throne!
    Benign, God glows in grace and glory,
    his finger tracing allegory,
    on clear blue skies creation’s story
    His vision of the towers shone.

    With passion’s pulse I paint the towers
    as form and color mold blank sky;
    a tempest tethered endless hours
    to paint the vision or to die.
    Though my flesh and bones are aching,
    for beauty’s cause the world forsaking,
    for splendor by His love creating
    and as I paint I sing and cry.

    After Swinburne
    g.KayeNaegele 4/18/17, edited 11/11/21 A/N: Book by Irving Stone 1961, movie titled above 1965 about Michelangelo Buonarotti.

    Reply
  32. g.KayeNaegele

    DR. JEKYLL and MR. HYDE

    An ancient curse has chained me to a fool,
    confined to suffer his self-righteous path.
    Propriety, adherence to strict rule,
    the bane of my repression raises wrath.

    Freedom drenched in instinct my desire,
    my impulses displayed in brash array.
    A bold and tasty tart to light my fire,
    to crush an obstacle would make my day,

    Slyly I suggest those secret byways
    where pleasure yields unusual delight,
    tempting thrills on hedonistic highways
    down alleys dark where flesh is sold by night.

    Stunned to grasp his soul is bound to evil,
    the doctor suffers devastating strife;
    his psyche and behavior in upheaval
    he seeks to separate Hyde from his life.

    He mixes steaming potions in his lair,
    dreaming science holds the healing key,
    but Hyde emerges with excited flare
    and he controls the chain now that he’s free.

    Dragged to sights demonic, Jekyll’s shattered,
    constrained to sow despicable despair.
    He begs to find himself but he is battered.
    Now both lie dead upon a London square.

    If knowledge of a tree of good and evil
    is causing human suffering and strife
    and decreed by divinity primeval,
    we’re bound to pay a price in hell or life.

    g.KayeNaegele 6/ 8/18, edited 19/12/21 A/N: Genesis 2:17
    Robert Louis Stevenson, novella 1886
    Movie, 1941

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Kaye, thank you for your magnificent poetic contribution to this challenge. Your poems shine and the wonder or your exquisite words has drawn me to a couple of films I haven’t had the privilege of viewing.

      Reply
      • g.KayeNaegele

        Thank you very much Susan. I had spent young years enchanted with classic literature; and when later, I saw classic cinema I was amazed by the expansion and combination of the art in both modes; literature, theater, acting, directing, scriptwriting, cinematography, set directing, costumes, etc. The combination of art types made me feel that poetry should be added to that artistic list. I had a mentor on the AP site who taught PhD classic poetry, and she suggested the idea, for students, that a book of “poetic cliffnotes for classic literature and cinema” would be a welcomed addition for students. I could not find a way to accomplish what she suggested, and when I saw this contest, I thought perhaps someone here might be interested in such a project. There are so many excellent poems in this contest that relate to the entire issue. At any rate, thank you for creating a space for poets who wish to poeticize cinema. Regards and thank you again. PS: They were all award winning movies! Perhaps you would enjoy them.

  33. Morrison Handley-Schachler

    The Seventh Seal

    My master on a game of chess
    Has staked his life – and mine, no less –
    His lady’s and yet others’ too.
    It was the best that he could do.

    For Death the game which now is played
    A mandatory contest made.
    There was no choice. My noble lord
    Must meet him at the chequerboard.

    And if by chance or lack of skill
    Death’s strategy and moves go ill
    And Death checkmated must admit
    That he has had the worst of it,

    We know that he will not renege
    But spare us from this deadly plague.
    For even should that come to be
    We win but temporarily.

    For if we come through this alive
    Then Death will make it best of five
    Or best of nine or eight-one,
    Until we lose and must be gone

    Over the hills, a tragic band,
    Dancing and reeling hand in hand,
    While those who this time watch and stare
    Wait for their turn to travel there.

    Reply
  34. Gary Borck

    Morris, when I read your poem I felt like I was reading Andrew Marvell! I don’t know if he’s an influence of yours or if it was coincidence. It was so like his style.

    Anyway, loved reading it and thought it was very well crafted.

    Reply
    • Morrison Handley-Schachler

      Hi Gary
      Thanks very much – and you’re right. It’s not a coincidence. Marvell is a great favourite of mine, especially “To his coy mistress” and “Bermudas”.

      Reply
      • g.KayeNaegele

        Lust for Life
        I writhe on a bed of confusion,
        recalling traumatic details,
        confined I receive a transfusion,
        that tethers my tempests to veils.
        My love was rejected as frightful.
        No woman could bear my excess.
        The whispers of neighbors were spiteful,
        my habits evoking distress.
        From summits of sundry emotions
        my head was a haven of schemes;
        then plunging to odd ebon oceans,
        ’twas lust in my dreams.

        So thrusting my passion to painting,
        that beauty would glow in clear light,
        my zest overcame to near fainting,
        by lantern that burned day and night.
        I drew in the workshops with weavers,
        we gathered by fire to share;
        at harvests collected by heavers,
        their flesh etched by wear.

        The earth in Arles shone ‘neath the sunlight,
        its colors absorbed by my soul;
        my brushes a storm seeking foresight,
        with vision of beauty my goal.
        A steamengine stripped of direction,
        relinquishing self as I race,
        till I look at the mirror’s reflection,
        ’tis blood that I face.

        Poor Theo sits sad with devotion,
        good news is the painting that sold,
        but I’m back in the odd ebon ocean
        and flooded by lust’s frenzied hold.

        g.KayeNaegele 4/1/19, edit 3/28/22
        A/N: 1935 “Lust for Life” novel by Irving Stone, 1956 movie “Lust for Life” and letters to Theo

      • Gary Borck

        I thought so. Andrew Marvell is also a favourite of mine. He has a very distinctive voice that appeals to me. I like the two poems you mentioned and ”The Garden’ amongst others.

  35. g.KayeNaegele

    THE SEVENTH SEAL – The Black Plague, Crusades and the
    Silence of God, REV 8.1

    “Why hast Thou so abandoned me
    though I repent and worship Thee”,
    sobbed the wounded soldier to the skies.
    “These wars persist to wax and wane,
    a promised cross in name to gain,
    yet only silence speaks unto my cries.”

    The silence reigned around the bay,
    on Nordic rock in mist they lay;
    the trusted squire and his noble knight.
    He glanced upon a rocky rim.
    The ‘hooded one’ had followed him
    across depleted desert sands in flight.

    The knight drew close to speak to Death,
    his words to wager his last breath,
    with skill to best him in a game of chess.
    The Reaper’s lips betrayed a grin,
    “a game of chess, your breath to win”
    and with a flourish flaunted his finesse.

    Through forests on a shaded trail,
    dark shadows loomed an eerie veil,
    upon the village nestled in tall trees.
    There crept along worm wooden carts,
    within stacked broken body parts,
    as tales of terror trembled through the breeze.

    Why hast Thou so abandoned these,
    who begged for mercy on their knees,
    lamenting for salvation to the skies.
    Redemption at death’s door is vague,
    both saint and sinner sleep in plague,
    yet only silence speaks to their demise.

    “Oh God, why won’t you answer me,
    your silence mocks reality.”
    cried the dying knight unto the skies.
    But standing near, the hand of Death,
    killed the king, the knight’s last breath,
    and dragged him up the hill to silent skies.

    g.EveKaye 2/4/16 edited 10/4/21
    1957 Movie written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

    Reply
  36. Tom Sheppard

    The Theme of Schindler’s List

    When seeing all the faces fading from my passing days
    Names my twilight can’t remember, names I thought would live forever,
    Only now in dreams they come alive
    They’re gone beyond this world yet living still
    Gone beyond this world yet living still

    And I one day will fade in mist and yet be living still
    Joining those who rose before me, seeing name and face together,
    Meeting some I’ve never met before
    For heaven is the dream where mists are clear
    Heaven is the dream where mists are clear

    I recently heard the theme song from the movie Schindler’s List again. I thought of people fading from memory and the sadness of that forgetting, perhaps only remembered in snippets of dream. We will follow that historic progression soon enough, forgotten by a spinning world. Yet there is a time in the future of all believers when we will live in heaven, intact and clear. There we will meet new people, reacquaint with lost memories, and enjoy clear, perfected minds. This poem fits the theme of the song, which you would notice if you read the poem with Itzhak Perlman’s violin playing in the background.

    Reply
      • Tom Sheppard

        Dear Kathy,

        I have a dear cousin, Kathy, who enjoys my poetry. If you read this poem with Perlman’s violin playing the words and music fit very well together. Thank you for reading. Tom

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