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Lights, Camera, Poetry! American Movie Poems, the First Hundred Years Paperback – March 28, 1996


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Movies have dominated American culture and stimulated the American imagination since their inception, engaging the rapt attention of everyone from plumbers to poets. Poet and anthologist Shinder, a self-confessed movieholic, has found more than 100 poems about the movies written by American poets from Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg to Patricia Smith and Michael Warr. Arranged chronologically, these poems express everything from rapture to affection, bemusement, melancholy, irony, and outrage over racial stereotyping. Poets muse on the odd displacement of going to the movies during the day or comment on the precariousness of glamour. Jack Kerouac and Robert Lowell consider Harpo Marx; Sharon Olds and Delmore Schwartz pay tribute to Marilyn Monroe. Robert Duncan ponders Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal; Robert Hass is inspired by Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Ai writes of James Dean; Adrienne Rich describes the poet at the movies "dreaming the film-maker's dream but differently" ; and Frank O'Hara is devilishly funny as he intones, "Mothers of America / let your kids go to the movies!" Then there are Amy Clampitt on The Godfather, Ginsberg on Dietrich . . . Can you tell? This collection is bliss. Donna Seaman
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