Reel Verse: Poems About the Movies

Reel Verse: Poems About the Movies


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A unique Pocket Poets anthology of a hundred years of poetic tributes to the silver screen, from the silent film era to the present.

The variety of subjects is dazzling, from movie stars to bit players, from B-movies to Bollywood, from Clark Gable to Jean Cocteau. More than a hundred poets riff on their movie memories: Langston Hughes and John Updike on the theaters of their youth, Jack Kerouac and Robert Lowell on Harpo Marx, Sharon Olds on Marilyn Monroe, Louise Erdrich on John Wayne, May Swenson on the James Bond films, Terrance Hayes on early Black cinema, Maxine Kumin on Casablanca, and Richard Wilbur on The Prisoner of Zenda. Orson Welles, Leni Riefenstahl, and Ingmar Bergman share the spotlight with Shirley Temple, King Kong, and Carmen Miranda; Bonnie and Clyde and Ridley Scott with Roshomon, Hitchcock, and Bresson. In Reel Verse, one of our oldest art forms pays loving homage to one of our newest—the thrilling art of cinema.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101908037
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/22/2019
Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 384,243
Product dimensions: 4.36(w) x 6.48(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

HAROLD SCHECHTER is a retired professor of American literature and culture at Queens College, CUNY, and the author of several mystery novels featuring Edgar Allan Poe, as well as coeditor of two previous Everyman's Library Pocket Poets. He lives in New York City.
MICHAEL WATERS is the author of numerous poetry collections, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Darling Vulgarity (2006) and Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems (2001). His honors include fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes. Waters teaches at Monmouth University and Drew University. He lives in Ocean, New Jersey.

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Reel Verse"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Michael Waters.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Meena Alexander, “South India Cinema”
John Allman, “Loew’s Triboro”
Robert Hayden, “Double Feature”
Robert Hershon, “1948: Saturdays”
Edward Hirsch, “The Skokie Theater”
Langston Hughes, “Movies”
Esther Lin, “Poem Ending in Antarctica”
Frank O’Hara, “Ave Maria”
Theodore Roethke, “Double Feature”
Jon Tribble, “Concessions”
John Updike, “Movie House”
Ellen Bryant Voigt, “At the Movies, Virginia, 1956”
Amy Clampitt, “The Godfather Returns to Color TV”
Martha Collins, “Meanwhile”
Jane Cooper, “Seventeen Questions About King Kong
Denise Duhamel, “An Unmarried Woman
Amy Gerstler, “The Bride Goes Wild
Allen Ginsberg, “The Blue Angel
Juliana Gray, “Rope”
George Green, “Art Movies: The Agony and the Ecstasy
Richard Howard, “King Kong (1933)”
Allison Joseph, “Imitation of Life
Ron Koertge, “Aubade”
Maxine Kumin, “Casablanca
Gerry LaFemina, “Variations on a Theme by Ridley Scott”
Laura McCullough, “Soliloquy with Honey: Time to Die”
John Murillo, “Enter the Dragon
Stanley Plumly, “The Best Years of Our Life
Anna Rabinowitz, “from Present Tense”
Philip Schultz, “Shane”
May Swenson, “The James Bond Movie”
Susan Terris, “Take Two: Bonnie & Clyde/Dashboard Scene”
Richard Wilbur, “The Prisoner of Zenda
Frank Bidart, “Poem Ending with a Sentence by Heath Ledger”
Christopher Buckley, “For Ingrid Bergman,”
Gerald Costanzo, “Fatty Arbuckle”
Marsha de la O, “Janet Leigh is Afraid of Jazz”
Louise Erdrich, “Dear John Wayne”
Sonia Greenfield, “Celebrity Stalking”
Patricia Spears Jones, “Hud
Jack Kerouac, “To Harpo Marx”
David Lehman, “July 13 from The Daily Mirror
Vachel Lindsay, “Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress”
Patricia Lockwood, “The Fake Tears of Shirley Temple”
Robert Lowell, “Harpo Marx”
Sharon Olds, “The Death of Marilyn Monroe”
William Pillin, “You, John Wayne”
Nicole Sealey, “An Apology for Trashing Magazines in Which You Appear”
William Jay Smith, “Old Movie Stars”
John Wain, “Villanelle for Harpo Marx”  
John Wieners, “Garbos and Dietrichs”   
Angela Ball, “To Lon Chaney in The Unknown
Gregory Djanikian, “Movie Extras”
Cornelius Eady, “Sam”
Martín Espada, “The Death of Carmen Miranda”
Kenneth Fearing, “St. Agnes’ Eve”
Edward Field, “Curse of the Cat Woman”
Richard Frost, “Horror Show”
Howard Moss, “Horror Movie”
Ogden Nash, “Viva Vamp, Vale Vamp”
Robert Polito, “Three Horse Operas”
Virgil Suarez, “Harry Dean Stanton is Dying”
David Trinidad, “Ode to Thelma Ritter”
William Trowbridge, “Elisha Cook, Jr.”
Chase Twichell, “Bad Movies, Bad Audience”
Marcus Wicker, “Love Letter to Pam Grier”
Paul Carroll, “Ode to Fellini on Interviewing Actors for a Forthcoming Film”
René Char, “Antonin Artaud”
Robert Creeley, “Bresson’s Movies”
Robert Duncan, “Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal”
James Franco, “Editing”
Major Jackson, “After Riefenstahl”
Claudia Rankine, “from Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
Jean-Mark Sens, “In De Sica’s Bicycle Thief”
Vijay Seshadri, “Script Meeting”
David St. John, “from The Face, XXXVI
Timothy Steele, “Last Tango”
Gerald Stern, “Orson”
Michael Waters, “Blue Ankle”
David Yezzi, “Stalker”
Kim Addonizio, “Scary Movies”
Elizabeth Alexander, “Early Cinema”
John Berryman, “Dream Song #9”
Ryan Black, “This is Cinerama”
Richard Brautigan, “Mrs. Myrtle Tate, Movie Projectionist”
Kurt Brown, “Silent Film, DVD”
Elena Karina Byrne, “Easy Rider
Nicholas Christopher, “Atomic Field, 1972 #6”
Rita Dove, “Watching Last Year at Marienbad at Roger Haggerty’s House in Auburn, Atlanta”
D. J. Enright,“A Grand Night”
Aniela Gregorek, “Cinema”
Joseph O. Legaspi, “At the Movies with My Mother”
Michael McFee, “My Mother and Clark Gable on the World’s Most Famous Beach”
Mihaela Moscaliuc, “Watching Tess in Romania, 1986”
Paul Muldoon, “The Weepies”
Carol Muske-Dukes, “Unsent Letter 4”
Tom Sleigh, “Newsreel”
Elizabeth Spires, “Mutoscope”
Michael Paul Thomas, “Movies in Childhood”
David Wojahn, “Buddy Holly Watching Rebel Without a Cause
Billy Collins, “The Movies”
Carol Ann Duffy, “Queen Kong”
Albert Goldbarth, “Survey: Frankenstein Under the Front Porch Light”
Kimiko Hahn, “The Continuity Script: Rashomon
Bruce F. Kawin, “Old Frankenstein”
Glyn Maxwell,  “Disney’s Island”
Rajiv Mohabir, “Bollywood Confabulation”
Geoffrey O’Brien, “Voice Over”
Michael Ondaatje, “King Kong Meets Wallace Stevens”
Elise Paschen, “Red Lanterns”
Matthew Zapruder, “Frankenstein Love”

David Baker, “Violence”
Tom Clark, “Final Farewell”
Lucille Clifton, “Come Home from the Movies”
Hart Crane, “Chaplinesque”
Stephen Dunn, “At the Film Society”
Lynn Emanuel, “Blonde Bombshell”
Robert Hass, “Old Movie with the Sound Turned Off”
Terrance Hayes, “Variation on a Black Cinema Treasure: Broken Earth
Marie Howe, “After the Movie”
Steven Huff, “Merton, Lax and My Father”
Ann Inoshita, “TV”
Weldon Kees, “Subtitle”
Haji Khavari, “Upon the Actor’s Longing for the Alienation Effect”
John Lucas, “Hollywood Nights”
Donna Masini, “A Fable”
William Matthews, “A Serene Heart at the Movies”
Eileen Myles, “Absolutely Earth”
Ishmael Reed, “Poison Light”
David Rigsbee, “Lincoln”
Muriel Rukeyser, “Movie”
Grace Schulman, “The Movie”
Gary Soto, “Hands”
George Yatchisin, “Single, Watching Fred and Ginger”

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