Friday, September 14, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Thomas and New Contest

Happy Poetry Friday!

Roundup is at Hip Writer Mama.

This week, I'm starting a new contest, one that I think everyone will find easy, fun and interesting. Yes, yes, we're putting the last contest down to my poor combination of medication. Sigh....

This contest theme: High Culture meets Pop Culture

So I was driving home from work the other night, and for some reason suddenly found myself thinking of Rodney Dangerfield reciting "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" in the movie Back to School.



Which led me to remember Charles Bronson in the movie Telefon, and that scene in the phone booth where the classic lines from Robert Frost are quoted:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

What a lovely way to be brainwashed.

And then I thought of one of my favorite scenes from Porky's II (a movie that made me giggle so much I almost wet myself), where Pee Wee plays Shakespeare's Robin in the school play and gives the closing speech from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." This scene coming right on the heels of the outrageous sex and vomit sting scene was a fabulous juxtaposition. What's remarkable to me is that it was because of Porky's II that I fell in love with this little bit of Shakespeare. How many of you can say that? How many would admit to it?

Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon,
Whilst the heavy plowman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite
In the church-way paths to glide.
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate's team
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic. Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house.
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.

And so back to the contest....

Here is your mission, if you want to play:

Submit your comments here with examples of TV shows, popular songs, or movies that used references or quotes from famous poets or authors in a way that may have caught people by surprise. Caught by surprise? I mean, don't include the movie Sense and Sensibility, where half of it was quotes from poetry because two of the characters sat around and read each other poetry throughout. Don't include Shakespeare in Love or Hamlet, where of course there will be a lot of, um, Shakespeare.

Give me movies like Porky's II, or songs like Dire Straits "Romeo and Juliet." Better yet, give me quotes from The Simpsons. Any extra explanation you can include, similar to mine above about Porky's II, will gain you extra points.

You also get extra points for posting about this contest on your blog.

Deadline: October 12
Prizes: Good. I'll randomly draw 4 winners and I'll send them gift cards worth real money ($10 to 25).

Enjoyment factor: 10

Oh, and I'll create a post of all the submissions. Please include links to videos, or pictures, if you can, because that will make the post more fun.

17 comments:

cloudscome said...

Of course I thought of the Simpsons first. What a great contest!

Sara said...

Well, there was the Wordsworth rap that Fuse8 found, but she should get the credit for that hilarious bit, not me. Link: http://fusenumber8.blogspot.com/2007/05/video-sunday-poetry-misc.html

Kelly Fineman said...

There was the use of Walt Whitman and Shakespeare in Dead Poets' Society, but I'm thinking that may fall into the Sense & Sensibility category.

Sting quotes from Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 in "Nothing Like the Sun". He takes the line "my mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" and switches up the conclusion.

Kelly Fineman said...

Oh, and I posted about it chez moi: http://kellyrfineman.livejournal.com/233621.html

Nancy said...

Sara, you brought it here first, so thanks! That was worth watching.

Kelly, the Sting one is perfect. Love it!

Nancy said...

Cloudscome, I don't watch the Simpsons, so feel free to be the first to use that for specific examples.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the post Kelly!

Michele said...

"Doctor Who": Season 1 - we had a meeting with Charles Dickens (doing his "A Christmas Carol" one-man show) in "The Unquiet Dead"; Season 3 - we had a meeting with Shakespeare (lots of quotations in "The Shakespeare Code", plus references to Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle", Harry Potter and the "Back to the Future" fims - talk about giving me a Nerdgasm !), poetry quotations from T S Eliot in "The Lazarus Experiment", and part of Laurence Binyon's "For The Fallen" at the end of "The Family of Blood". In addition there were the episodes with historical themes (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Tooth and Claw, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Idiot's Lantern, Evolution of the Daleks/Daleks in Manhattan, and Human Nature/Family of Blood).

And that doesn't include the many, many meetings with literary and/or historical characters that were scattered throughout the Classic Who series.

Plus which, David Tennant's going to be playing in "Hamlet" and "Love's Labour's Lost" next summer/autumn - that's bound to get at least a few non-Shakespeare fans into the theatre !

Michele said...

Oh and I Blogged about it !

diane said...

My favorite unexpected poetry moment came during a commercial break for Super Bowl XXXIV, when Monster.com quoted from Robert Frost's "A Road Not Taken".
http://about.monster.com/roadnottaken/

You'd better believe I pointed that out to students the following day!

aBookworm said...

Ah, my brain wheels are churning!
One touching moment I recall is Naomi Watts in Le Divorce reading a poem about love in marriage even as her husband leaves her for another woman. Woody Allen's movies also have poetry galore. One made deft use of Emily Dickinson, I forget which. In Willy Wonka there were some mentions of Shakespeare and Out of Africa also had some poetry. And I seem to remember Homer Simpson once rapping about a tomato(?)

aBookworm said...

I've posted it on my blog as well : http://abookwormsdiary.blogspot.com/2007/09/poetry-and-contest.html

Sherry said...

Gilligan's Island did a musical version of Hamlet, and I have never forgoten the lyrics:
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
Do not forget; stay out of debt.
Think twice, and take this good advice from me,
Guard that old solvency.
There’s just one other thing you ought to do,
To thine own self be true."

Sara said...

okay, this is so totally cheating, but if you check out any great masterpiece, like "Macbeth," at Wikipedia, you get a slew of cultural references with the main entry. Everything from video games to HBO series.

Douglas Twitchell said...

Bugs Bunny does some of that kind of stuff. There was one cartoon where he's sitting in his rabbit hole, playing a banjo (a BANJO! of all things!) and singing Poe's "The Raven"

Then, though this doesn't exactly fit what you're looking for...there's all those times when he calls Elmer Fudd a "Nimrod", which is very tongue in cheek, since Nimrod was an obscure Bible character who was referred to as a "mighty hunter"

Oh...and in some episode of Babylon 5, the Narn ambassador quotes parts of Yeats' "The Second Coming"

Anonymous said...

DEAR NANCY:I'm Brazilian poet and i make this poetry.I hope that you like.

THOUSAND MILES

Thousand miles

Nino Bellieny

Today, I don’t wake up

My body is invisible, my eyes are closed

Today, I don’t be.

I stay somewhere distant from me.

NINO BELLIENY
47 AGE
nino.bellieny@hotmail.com
ninobellieny.com.br

PARDON FOR MY BAD ENGLISH.Our idiom in to Brazil is a Portuguese,but i
learn English by myself.Soon,is a very,very bad...
lOVELY,nino.

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