Monday, January 10, 2011

Dead Poets Society - What Will My Verse Be?

Dead Poets Society

What Will My Verse Be?

I was home this afternoon feeling pitiful, nursing a bad cold which was accompanied by a cough and chills – you get the picture.  I turned on the TV, flipped through the channels and saw the Dead Poets Society had just started.  Wrapped in my afghan, sipping hot apple cider, I was quickly immersed in this compelling drama.  By the end I was wiping away tears.  I’ve seen this movie before, but not since I started writing poetry.  It suddenly took on a whole new level of meaning. 
John Keating (played by Robin Williams) teaches at a private boys’ boarding school and has a unique flair and inspirational heart that pulls his impressionable students out of the confining constraints present at this very traditional school.  He speaks to them of passion, individual thought, being brave enough to ask questions, looking beyond the obvious and embracing their own potential as human beings.  He challenges them to look for words of beauty to express their feelings. He huddles up the boys toward the beginning of the movie right in the middle of the classroom and says:
“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for….the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
I sat there asking myself that question – what will my verse be?  I was inspired, excited to think about the power of poetry.  I felt like I was in his classroom being urged onward.  So, here’s a poem inspired by this beautiful movie. 

What Will my Verse Be?

Forming verse
So deftly drawn
Replete with words
So fine
I’ll drink them in
Then pour them out
Like port or sparkling wine

I’ll cherish every vowel
Regard each chosen word
A loving glance
A potter’s touch
Will guide
My sweet romance

I’ll speak of honor
Truth and hope
I’ll speak of perfect dreams
The words will glow
With favored grace
Describing untold scenes

My verse will be
The words I leave
Both spoken and in rhyme
The way I live, love and work
The way I use my time

My verse will be

And I will be

Just fine


  1. Thank you, Libby. It's such a great movie - it inspired my words.