|misty morning, sunrise|
Photo by J. Harrington
What the Hell?! Academy of American Poets!? For suggestion 21 on how to celebrate National Poetry Month, you offer "Watch a poetry movie." So far, so good. Then you provide a list that includes "Films About Poetry" and "Films That Reference Poetry." Fine! But, you have absolutely no mention of the films about or with America's latest Nobel Laureate in Literature (poetry), BOB DYLAN? (Yes, I am shouting. I'll try to calm down.)
Try including these poetry movies next year, or, even better, edit them into this year's list:
- Don't Look Back, D.A. Pennybaker's 1967 documentary
- No Direction Home, Scorsese's 2005 documentary
- The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival
- I'm Not There, six incarnations of Dylan
There are other options, but the ones listed seem to be an inexcusable omission since Dylan's award was "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition". Even the Academy's biographic notes on Dylan acknowledge that he is also the author of Tarantula, "a collection of prose poetry." How the egregious omission of Dylan's movie poetry, or would that be poetry movies, could have occurred is beyond me. Perhaps it's evidence of ... what? what could account for it.
Late night July, Minnesota, John asleep on the glassed-in porch, Bob Dylan quiet on a cassette you made from an album I got rid of soon after you died. Years later, I regret giving up your two boxes of vinyl, which I loved. Surely they were too awkward, too easily broken for people who loved music the way we did. But tonight I’m in the mood for ghosts, for sounds we hated: pop, scratch, hiss, the occasional skip. The curtains balloon; I’ve got a beer; I’m struck by guilt, watching you from a place ten years away, kneeling and cleaning each with a velvet brush before and after, tucking them in their sleeves. Understand, I was still moving then. The boxes were heavy. If I had known I would stop here with a husband to help me carry, and room—too late, the college kids pick over your black bones on Mass. Ave., we’ll meet again some day on the avenue but still, I want to hear it, the needle hitting the end of a side and playing silence until the arm gives up, pulls away.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.