The Poem I Turn To: Actors and Directors Present Poetry That Inspires Them edited by Jason Shinder
Publisher: Sourcebooks MediaFusion | 2008 | 227 pages
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Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.
I found the above-mentioned quote here. Sounds interesting, huh? I don’t know what Mitchell meant by poetry ignoring people. Can somebody step up and share your thoughts on it?
Anyway, The Poem I Turn To is a book of collected poems. Jason Shinder went out and asked various actors and directors to share their favourite poems and explain why they like them. These actors and directors would include Alan Arkin, Adam Arkin, Peter MacNicol, Carrie Fisher, Jane Fonda, Stanley Tucci and lots more! So, if you happen to be a fan of theirs, then you may get to know them a little bit better by knowing what poem inspires them.
Well, what kind of poems do celebrities like? Shakespeare? Poems by Robert Frost? Yeah, there are some sonnets from Shakespeare in it. It would be relatively surprising if nobody actually turned to Shakespeare’s words. Besides that, the simplest poem in it would be ‘Alone’ where there’s only one lone word in it, Alone. It is one of Stanley Tucci’s favourite poems.
Oh, do you like listening to poems being read aloud? I do! This book is accompanied by a CD where you can listen to some of the actors read their favourite poems. I didn’t really like Paul Guilfoyle’s (from CSI Las Vegas) poetry recitation. His voice was soft and he read the poems way too fast! Is that supposed to be a style? If I weren’t holding the book as well as reading and listening to the poem at the same time, I wouldn’t catch what he said. By the way, there are 30 poems being read aloud on the CD. And if you don’t like hearing other people read them, why don’t you read aloud yourself and record it? =)
All the same, this hardcover book has a lovely cover although it’s quite wordy. But I like it! Somehow I have a good feeling when I look at it. I’ve always liked poems. The poem I like most in this book would be The Guest House by Rumi. If only we had learnt more English poems in school. The only poems we were exposed to were:
Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
If by Rudyard Kipling
Monsoon History by Shirley Lim
There’s Been A Death In The Opposite House by Emily Dickinson
Si Tenggang’s Homecoming by Muhammad Salleh
Life’s Brief Candle by William Shakespeare
The Dead Crow by A. Samad Said
The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W.B. Yeats
Still, it’s a good start.
So…which poem do you turn to?
***A heartfelt thanks to Christiaan Simmons of Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of this wonderful book.