Poetry in Film

filmA good friend recently sent me an article from Flavor Wire titled 10 Famous Poems that Appeared in Film.” The selection is actually surprising.

William Blake is prominent on the list. There is mention of Jim Jarmusch’s cult 1955 Western “Dead Man,” which is supposedly based on the visionary poems of William Blake. And, there is mention of the now-classic film “Blade Runner,” also inspired by the poetry of William Blake. Excerpts from the English poet’s book “America, a Prophecy” recur throughout the noir film.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” is prominent in the heavyweight “Citizen Kane.” So its inclusion in the list is a must.

But, I was ignorant of the fact that Charles Bukowski had written a film, 1987’s “Barfly.” From its IMDB trailer and recap, the movie looks terrible. But, it might be worth watching just to pick up the fragments of Bukowski’s work that appear in the script.

My favorite item on the list, though, is Thomas Hood’s poem “Silence,” which appeared in “The Piano.” Although the poem fits the film beautifully, I enjoyed the reference more because it reminded me of how great the movie is, how much it deserves an entire, undistracted Sunday afternoon.



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