The Poem I Turn To: Actors and Directors Present Poetry That Inspires Them


Movies and poetry have been intertwined since the dawn of cinema. Poets have written about movies, and movie actors have written and been inspired by poetry. Selected by 42 acclaimed entertainers, The Poem I Turn To includes selections from Pulitizer Prize winners and Poets Laureate, as well as inspiring contemporary poets. Listen to compelling readings on the CD and read the actors' thoughts describing how ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $1.99   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Movies and poetry have been intertwined since the dawn of cinema. Poets have written about movies, and movie actors have written and been inspired by poetry. Selected by 42 acclaimed entertainers, The Poem I Turn To includes selections from Pulitizer Prize winners and Poets Laureate, as well as inspiring contemporary poets. Listen to compelling readings on the CD and read the actors' thoughts describing how poetry has affected their lives.

30 poems on one audio CD, including:
* Adam Arkin reading Theodore Roethke's The Waking
* John Landis reading Mark Twain's The War Prayer
* Lili Taylor reading Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken
* Stacy Keach reading Shakespeare And Many More

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The concept is simple: A book/CD package in which Hollywood actors and directors select and read poems that have influenced and inspired them. The match-ups are impressive: John Lithgrow reads W. B. Yeats; Lili Taylor recites Robert Frost's beloved "The Road Not Taken"; Mary Louise Parker brings to life Mark Strand's capsule classic "Keeping Things Whole"; and Michael O'Keefe re-creates Ezra Pound's imagist still life "In a Station at the Metro." Other contributors include Diane Keaton, Steve Buscemi, Peter Bogdanovich, Joanne Woodward, and Kyra Sedgwick.
Library Journal

Shinder (founding director, YMCA National Writer's Voice; Arrow Breaking Apart) combines several of his loves-filmmaking, directing, acting, writing, and editing-in this compilation of poems selected by approximately 45 actors and directors. The actors/directors are a diverse lot that includes Alan Arkin, Eve Ensler, and Philip Seymour Hoffman; the poets whose work they chose range from established (e.g., Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, and Sylvia Plath) to current (e.g., Nikki Giovanni, Seamus Heaney, and Mary Oliver). The text includes biographies of the poets and the actors/directors as well as a brief narrative explaining why each person selected a particular poem. On the accompanying CD are audio recordings of 30 poems read by actor Lili Taylor, National Book Award finalist Carol Muske Dukes, and others (the book's proceeds will support a scholarship in the name of the late character actor David Coleman Dukes, Muske Dukes's first husband). Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins writes the preface. With this book, whose selections each reveal something about the people they inspire, much-beloved poems are made new again. Recommended for all libraries-both public and academic-with large poetry and/or audio collections.
—Pam Kingsbury

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402205026
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: A Poetry Speaks Experience Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 702,329
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 9.76 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Shinder's books include Lights, Camera, Poetry! and Best American Movie Writing, Every Room We Ever Slept In (a 1985 NY Public Library Noted Book) and Among Women (short listed for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry). He is also the director of The Writing Program at Sundance Institute.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Billy Collins Preface

Jason Shinder Introduction

Adam Arkin
"The Waking" by Theodore Roethke
"All Night I Could Not Sleep" by Li Yi

Alan Arkin
"The Guest House" by Rumi
"The Man Watching" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Jon Robin Baitz
"In Despair" by Constantine Cavafy
"Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed

Bob Balaban
"Paradox" by Clarence R. Wylie, Jr.
"The Grasshopper and the Ant" by Jean de la Fontaine

Ken Brecher
"A Summer Night" by W. H. Auden
"Four Quartets: East Coker (Section V)" by T. S. Eliot

Steve Buscemi
"I Found a Dead Fox" by Mary Oliver

Brian Cox
"Ae fond kiss" by Robert Burns
"I Am" by John Clare

Peter Coyote
"Long-Legged Fly" by W. B. Yeats
"This Tokyo" by Gary Snyder

Eve Ensler
"i like my body when it is with you" by E. E. Cummings
"Epilogue" by Anna Akhmatova

Carrie Fisher
"anyone lived in a little how town" by E. E. Cummings
"This Be The Verse" by Philip Larkin

Michael Fitzgerald
"Four Quartets: East Coker" by T. S. Eliot

Jane Fonda from "The Sonnets to Orpheus" by Rainer Maria Rilke
"Moving Forward" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Rodrigo Garcia
"Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias" by Federico Garcia Lorca
"Ode to the Artichoke" by Pablo Neruda

Kathleen Glynn
"My Son, My Executioner" by Donald Hall
"The Shipfitter's Wife" by Dorianne Laux

Paul Guilfoyle
"Casualty" by Seamus Heaney
"To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell

Daryl Hannah
"On the Great Joy of the Stars" by Blaise Cendrars
"Ode to the Hummingbird" by Pablo Neruda

Philip Seymour Hoffman
"Inventing a Horse" by Meghan O'Rourke
"The People Who Succeed..." by Eugene O'Neill

Stacy Keach
"Sonnet 30" by William Shakespeare
"The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Swoosie Kurtz
"From a Norman Crucifix of 1632" by Charles Causley
"Death of a Son" by Jon Silkin

Michael Lally
"Danse Russe" by William Carlos Williams
"Faith" by Terence Winch

Alix Lambert
"Touch Me" by Stanley Kunitz
"Letter to My Wife" Miklos Radnoti

John Landis
"The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

Melissa Leo
"Point Shirley" by Sylvia Plath
"Sonnet 64" by William Shakespeare

John Lithgow
"The Lake Isle at Innisfree" by W. B. Yeats
"To Autumn" by John Keats

Billy Luther
"White Shell Ever-Changing Woman" by Sunny Dooley from "On the Pulse of the Morning" by Maya Angelou

Peter MacNicol
"Sea Fever" by John Masefield
"Song of Enchantment" by Walter De La Mare

Matthew Maher
"The Song of Wandering Aengus" by W.B. Yeats
"The Invisible Men" by Nakasak.

Walter Mosley
"Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota" by James Wright
"The Sundays of Satin-Legs Smith" by Gwendolyn Brooks

Tim Blake Nelson
"For The Union Dead" by Robert Lowell
"Death Fugue" by Paul Celan

Michael O'Keefe
"In a Station at the Metro" by Ezra Pound
"Passengers" by Denis Johnson

Mary-Louise Parker
"To You" by Kenneth Koch
"Keeping Things Whole" by Mark Strand

Kyra Sedgwick
"The Kitchen" by Jocelyn Wright

Paul Simon
"The Long Boat" by Stanley Kunitz

Stewart Stern
"The Pasture" by Robert Frost
"Forgive Oh Lord" by Robert Frost

David Strathairn
"Eurydice's Hairpin. Cassandra's Curse" by Adam LeFevre

Holland Taylor
"Dulce et Decorumn Est" by Wilfred Owen
"My love is multi-lateral" by Jean Pedrick

Lili Taylor
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"Say Yes Quickly" by Rumi

Stanley Tucci
"Children, It's Spring" by Mary Oliver
"Alone" by Anonymous

Taika Waititi
"The Tyger" by William Blake
"Night on the Island" by Pablo Neruda

George Wendt from "Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2" by William Shakespeare
"White Key" by Carol Muske-Dukes

Dianne Wiest
"Black Rook in Rainy Weather" by Sylvia Plath
"The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter" by Ezra Pound

Alfre Woodard
"Ego Tripping" by Nikki Giovanni
"When a Beggar Beholds You" by Anonymous

Afterword John Lithgow On David Dukes

Carol Muske-Dukes
"The Machine" by Carol Muske-Dukes

About the Contributors About the Editor Acknowledgements Permissions and Credits Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Poetry as Creative Muse

    A lovely collection that, by extension, shows the power of poetry in the daily life of creative people everywhere. In ¿The Poem I Turn To¿ we are given an impressive cross-section of film artists sharing the poems that move and inspire them. The poets chosen lean on the Anglo-American canon, but the selections do step out and also rub against each other in interesting ways. You¿ll love meeting both familiar friends and new poems in ¿The Poem I Turn To.¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)