Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: From Page to Screen With Bonus Poems!

For today's Broke and Bookish Blog Hop that asks us which books we'd like to enjoy as movies, I'll honor National Poetry Month by offering ideas for bio-pics about poets who dared.

Start with Edna St. Vincent Millay:  A wild woman who wrote such gentle poetry, unafraid of public responses to her artistic endeavors and her social liaisons (not that she remained unmoved by public scrutiny, but rather that - for the most part - she lived her life as she pleased, regardless).  A motion picture made from the stellar biography Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford would raise eyebrows and accolades even now, I'll warrant.

And a film of prolific poet-performer-
autobiographer Maya Angelou's life story would offer surprising drama and depth spanning pivotal moments in the 20th-21st centuries.  Did you know that she was the first African American female cable car operator in San Francisco?  And she toted up many other firsts for African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Movement as well.  And how about her brilliant inaugural poem for Bill Clinton, "A Rock, A River, A Tree"?  Stunning.  And her performance of "Still I Rise".  Woa.  Come on, Oprah: Produce this!

And what about a film featuring Javier Bardem living the life of poet Pablo Neruda?  Who knew that poets could be action heroes and political world movers?  Why not celebrate that?  Il Postino was based on a fictionalized version of Neruda's time in exile on the island of Capri, but that's just a tiny fragment of a colorful and action-packed writer's life.  And there's a documentary in the works right now, but I'm talking full-on bio-pic, and I'm voting for Bardem in the lead role, not just for his stellar acting and easy-to-look-at nature, but also for his similar artist-activist life path.  And who wouldn't go to see him play Neruda?
Finally, I look to my shelf of favorite poetry and see Rumi, and Kahlil Gibran (writer, artist, activist, and third best selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tse) side by side.  Wouldn't you find it memorable to see their lives acted out upon the screen, to witness the links between real life action, writing, and ecstatic spirituality?  And the line of A-list actors chomping at the bit for those parts would stretch all the way down Hollywood Boulevard, no?

There. I feel fine with five, but I'd love to hear your choices for poets who dared, and for who should play them.  Who would you cast as Vincent?  As Maya?  As Rumi?

And do share your own favorite idea for a book (needn't be poetry...) that needs to make that leap to the big screen... 

If you're inspired to wade a tad further into the splendidly vast ocean of poetry, why not join me here (or at ActionReaders.com) on Thursday for our 'Poem In Your Pocket ' blog hop?  I'll put a linky up so we can see each others' posts (our cyber-equivalent of pockets), and you can share your pocket poems in our Poetry In Action group at Action Readers too.  Plus, there's a book give-away too for those who email me at ActionReaders@gmail.com or sign up on our site before midnight on the 14th!  (See this post for details.)

See you then!  Viva la poesia!  And thanks as always to The Broke and the Bookish blog hop!


1 comment:

llevinso said...

LOVE Edna St. Vincent Millay! Did you see the whole post I did on her a week or so back? http://femalebookreader.blogspot.com/2011/03/world-poetry-day.html

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