Like many people who only knew Robin Williams through his work, I have been shedding tears for him in the past day. Was it his vulnerability that enabled him to touch his audience so deeply?
Robin Williams chose a number of films that had poetry in them one way or other. The most obvious is Dead Poets' Society, but there were also poems in Awakenings and Patch Adams. Perhaps others, too? I saw the clips of the sonnet Williams reads in Patch Adams and the second clip made me cry (he's reading it in a cemetery). I'm not going to share that clip here, both because I don't want to make anybody cry and because I don't think the producers want the clip around. But here's the poem:
by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.