Friday, December 2, 2011

Films & Poetry

For this Poetry Friday, we have poems that have been made into movies (or used in movies). The list of films inspired by poetry is longer than you might guess. For starters: Beowolf, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Night Before Christmas, The Man from Snowy River, Jabberwocky, Mulan, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Howl, El Cid, Troy, and O Brother Where Art Thou?

The first time I saw Anthony Hopkins was in The Silence of the Lambs. He is far far far more attractive here, reading Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. It starts at 1:30.

Makes me want to see Awakenings again:

I can't seem to stop:

You used to be able to watch the entire The Song of Lunch online. But now all you can see is the trailer:

* An Angel at My Table about poet Janet Frame looks worth checking out.
* A mention of Bright Star about John Keats.
* Poet of the Wastes, a Persian movie.
* Pandaemonium, a movie about Coleridge and Wordsworth.
* Funeral Blues from Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Carol has today's Poetry Friday round-up.


laurasalas said...

Fantastic. The Four Weddings and a Funeral one made me want to re-watch. Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Sigh. Loved Anthony Hopkins, too, and the Kite Runner one (I have not read nor seen that--is the boy dying?). And Awakenings...these films really made great use of poetry. Thanks for rounding up some fine examples in one place, Tabatha!

david elzey said...

when i was in college and first really exposed to foreign films i was surprised by how often poetry and philosophy were incorporated into the movies. people would read or recite, and it wasn't forced or awkward, and i wondered "why don't more american films do that?"

nice collection of highlights.

Author Amok said...

Hey, friend. I am reading an Oliver Sacks book right now and enjoyed the clip from "Awakenings." I agree -- "Four Weddings" has one of the best movie readings of a poem.

maria horvath said...


Your list is a great idea.

Three movies I'd like to add:

- "Dead Poets' Society," starring Robin Williams
- "Sylvia," with Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath
- "Byron," starring Johnny Lee Miller as the celebrated but scandalous poet (note: the film "Lord Byron" is not about this poet at all)

Janet said...

I don't think I was familiar with Rilke when I saw awakenings, but I remember this scene from the movie. Powerful!

Remember that scene in Sense and Sensibility when the irritating younger sister instructs Hugh Grant in how to read a Shakespeare sonnet? Comes to mind now.

Neat idea. Thanks for compiling!

Linda B said...

Beautiful! I loved every one of your examples, & also wonder why not poetry in more American films? When I first saw 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' I had to search & search to find the poem, & then really read Auden for the first time. I have used 'El Postino' with older middle school students, who were taken to a deeper level after viewing. Thank you for this sharing of another way poetry can be honored.

Tara said...

What fun! I now want to watch the Song of

Mary Lee said...

What a great post. I'm pretty movie illiterate, but I was hoping and hoping that you'd include the poem from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Maybe with an iPad and a Kindle Fire, I can build my movie literacy! These that you've listed here will be a great place to start!

Robyn Hood Black said...

What a great idea for a post - thanks for sharing these gems! I'll now be on the lookout for other examples....

Doraine said...

I really enjoyed your post. I love the bit from Spenser's Faerie Queen That Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) reads to Marianne (Kate Winslet) in Sense and Sensibility.