Jane Campion’s gorgeous film, Bright Star, as noted here on Scarriet  [click here and here for our 2 articles], was hardly discussed on the Poetry Foundation’s Blog:Harriet  despite the well-written and timely article by Abigail Deutsch [click here] — yet another example of the failure of Harriet  to discuss anything to do with poetry after the blood-letting of September 1st.

We at Scarriet  had a feeling this sobering, sad, but breathtakingly beautiful effort on behalf of the poet John Keats and his friend Fanny Brawne, by one of the best directors in the business, would be ignored by the entertainment industry’s honoring system as well.

Avoiding every pitfall of the Hollywood bio-pic, Bright Star  features an intelligent script, extremely moving performances by Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Kerry Fox, Paul Schneider, and Edie Martin, (as Fanny’s little sister) and  is a feast for the eyes and ears.

The old days, when films such as Amadeus and Room With A View earned major nominations and awards, seem to be gone.

Let’s skip the rant on the increase of cultural ignorance—for such a thesis could only be a rant.

We’ll just recommend you get the CD soundtrack, or see Bright Star, with its moving depiction of Keats,  Charles Armitage Brown, Fanny Brawne and her family.

And switch from Harriet to Scarriet, of course, to stay abreast of what’s really happening in poetry!



  1. Christopher Woodman said,

    December 22, 2009 at 4:29 am

    We just had one of our biggest days ever on Scarriet, and today looks as if it will even surpass it. So obviously there are a lot of people out there who are interested in what is really happening in the world of poetry as it unfolds on Scarriet.

    Harriet seems interested as well, or at least we suspect it was somebody associated with Harriet who hacked into Scarriet, messed up the editorial structures including the passwords, and left some grafitti behind for all the world to see. Check out Christopher Woodman’s last comment on the preceding post, “Travis Plays His Final Card,” and look what they did to his user-name [Click here].

    Do you think The Poetry Foundation is going to be proud of whoever sought to improve its reputation by defacing a user-name on Scarriet?

    And do you remember when Alan Cordle posted a grab of the IPs of the individuals who were leaving obscene messages on his Blog in August 2009 shortly before he was banned from Blog:Harriet altogether? Do you remember where they were from? Well, Click here if you don’t.

    So who needs friends like that?


  2. thomasbrady said,

    December 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Scarriet did discuss Bright Star back in September, for those of you who missed it:

    Yes, a lot of visitors today! Welcome, everyone!

  3. thomasbrady said,

    February 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Oscars have completely snubbed this beautiful film as well.

    The entertainment industry promoting the usual smarmy crap…

    Nothing new here, of course, but one gets the feeling as the old guard dies off, a shallow frat boy crassness seems to be increasing…

    The industry’s sense of history seems to be: re-making horror films. Their sense of taste…well, there is none.

    A shame.

  4. thomasbrady said,

    February 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Silliman discussing this year’s Oscar nominations….DOH!

    No one in po-biz is outraged at Bright Star’s snub…?

    No wonder the public is turned off poetry…po-biz can’t even bring itself to defend one of its own…

  5. Bob Tonucci said,

    April 14, 2010 at 12:43 am

    11. ABOUT TOM SPRATT (from “Send Bygraves”)

    Martha Grimes

    We wish that he would stop at home
    Instead of wandering the streets
    Accosting everyone he meets
    And babbling nonsense, but that’s Tom.

    He’s always setting off alarms
    And getting out the fire brigade,
    Or pouring ale on someone’s head
    Down at the Bell or Chairman’s Arms.

    Because he lolls and lollygags,
    Because he drops his trousers down,
    Because he wears his shirts backwards,
    No one suspects he killed the dogs–

    And yet, who knows what passions seethe
    In Tom Spratt’s breast for Madrigal
    (Engaged to Whipsnade, secretly
    In love with Geoffrey Smythe-Montcrieff,

    That huntsman with his pack of hounds,
    Who rides in pinks and sounds his horn).
    Tom hunkers down on frosty morns
    In thickets while they do their rounds,

    Thinking his evil, evil thoughts,
    Rolling his eyeballs back to whites.
    He haunts Dredcrumble Moor o’nights
    And plots, and plots, and plots, and plots–

    He’ll fall into the lake and drown,
    Or be sucked down by quicksand, that’s
    The way it ends with idiots.
    There’s one of them in every town.

  6. Bob Tonucci said,

    April 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm


    By Alan Shapiro

    All of the pokey small town chicken-shit
    scratching in the chicken-yard dirt
    for power—

    the public left hand conserving this
    so that the private right hand
    could develop that

    while sweeping the ever-gathering homeless
    under the downtown
    welcome mat—

    the gerrymandered and the jury-rigged,
    the zoned, oh, we were good at it,
    weren’t we, Mr. Mayor,

    your honor, you and I, we were
    some team, never defeated,
    never caught.

    Our foreplay was the ploy
    of values, the clean

    of straight talk, and the flashing
    ordinances that passed
    in looks

    between us in the council
    chambers and before
    the press.

    We sought the sly impolitics
    of love under the table
    like a kickback.

    Oh, some of course suspected,
    we had our enemies,
    ex-wives, ex-

    friends, and even the ex-
    exes that had to pass
    for friends.

    Daily there were deals to broker,
    palms to re-grease,
    and files, so

    many files to open and keep open
    —I kept meticulous files—
    I managed all of it

    for you, sir, I managed everything,
    I who now can’t manage
    to move or speak.

    If you could only see me here,
    if you could visit—though
    I know you won’t,

    you couldn’t—what handler now
    would let you?—but if
    you could slip in

    some night when hardly anyone’s
    on duty, and could see
    my nurse,

    my handler, my chicken come home
    to roost, I think the vision of her
    would amuse you,

    hymning her righteous ha-ha—I’m saved
    you’re not, O Jesus my
    loving savior—

    while she washes down my body
    in that rushed half-assed

    way of hers that leaves my legs exposed,
    the johnny bunched up
    around my thighs,

    and the catheter, my last cocksucker,
    running out from beneath the
    covers shamelessly.

  7. The Noochie-Coochie Man said,

    July 31, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Apollonius of Tyana reads your future
    From The Circus of Dr. Lao, Charles G. Finney, 1935.

    The widow Mrs. Howard T. Cassan came to the circus in her flimsey brown dress and her low shoes and went direct to the fortuneteller’s tent. She paid her mite and sat down to hear her future. Apollonius warned her she was going to be disappointed.

    “Not if you tell me the truth,” said Mrs. Cassan. “I particularly want to know how soon oil is going to be found on that twenty acres of mine in New Mexico.”

    “Never,” said the seer.

    “Well, then, when shall I be married again?”

    “Never,” said the seer.

    “Very well. What sort of man will next come into my life?”

    “There will be no more men in your life,” said the seer.

    “Well, what in the world is the use of my living then, if I’m not going to be rich, not going to be married again, not going to know any more men?”

    “I don’t know,” confessed the prophet. “I only read futures. I don’t evaluate them.”

    “Well, I paid you. Read my future.”

    “Tomorrow will be like today, and day after tomorrow will be like the day before yesterday,” said Apollonius. “I see your remaining days each as quiet, tedious collections of hours. You will not travel anywhere. You will think no new thoughts. You will experience no new passions. Older you will become but not wiser. Stiffer but not more dignified. Childless you are, and childless you shall remain. Of that suppleness you once commanded in your youth, of that strange simplicity which once attracted a few men to you, neither endures, nor shall you recapture any of them any more. People will talk to you and visit with you out of sentiment or pity, not because you have anything to offer them. Have you ever seen an old cornstalk turning brown, dying, but refusing to fall over, upon which stray birds alight now and then, hardly remarking what it is they perch on? That is you. I cannot fathom your place in life’s economy. A living thing should either create or destroy according to its capacity and caprice, but you, you do neither. You only live on dreaming of the nice things you would like to have happen to you but which never happen; and you wonder vaguely why the young lives about you which you occasionally chide for a fancied impropriety never listen to you and seem to flee at your approach. When you die you will be buried and forgotton, and that is all. The morticians will enclose you in a worm-proof casket, thus sealing even unto eternity the clay of your uselessness. And for all the good or evil, creation or destruction, that your living might have accomplished, you might just as well have never lived at all. I cannot see the purpose in such a life. I can see in it only vulgar, shocking waste.”

    “I thought you said you didn’t evaluate lives,” snapped Mrs. Cassan.

    “I’m not evaluating; I’m only wondering. Now you dream of an oil well to be found on twenty acres of land you own in New Mexico. There is no oil there. You dream of some tall, dark, handsome man to come wooing you. There is no man coming, dark, tall, or otherwise. And yet you will dream on in spite of all I tell you; dream on through your little round of hours, sewing and rocking and gossiping and dreaming; and the world spins and spins and spins. Children are born, grow up, accomplish, sicken, and die; you sit and rock and sew and gossip and live on. And you have a voice in the government, and enough people voting the same way you vote could change the face of the world. There is something terrible in that thought. But your individual opinion on any subject in the world is absolutely worthless. No, I cannot fathom the reason for your existence.”

    “I didn’t pay you to fathom me. Just tell me my future and let it go at that.”

    “I have been telling you your future! Why don’t you listen? Do you want to know how many more times you will eat lettuce or boiled eggs? Shall I enumerate the instances you will yell good-morning to your neighbor across the fence? Must I tell you how many more times you will buy stockings, attend church, go to moving picture shows? Shall I make a list showing how many more gallons of water in the future you will boil making tea, how many more combinations of cards will fall to you at auction bridge, how often the telephone will ring in your remaining years? Do you want to know how many more times you will scold the paper-carrier for not leaving your copy in the spot that irks you the least? Must I tell you how many more times you will become annoyed at the weather because it rains of fails to rain according to your wishes? Shall I compute the pounds of pennies you will save shopping at bargain centers? Do you want to know all that? For that is your future, doing the same small futile things you have done for the last fifty-eight years. You face a repetition of your past, a recapitulation of the digits in the adding machine of your days. Save only one bright numeral, perhaps: there was love of a sort in your past; there is none in your future.”

    “Well, I must say, you are the strangest fortuneteller I ever visited.”

    “It is my misfortune only to be able to tell the truth.”

    “Were you ever in love?”

    “Of course. But why do you ask?”

    “There is a strange fascination about your brutal frankness. I could imagine a girl, or an experienced woman, rather, throwing herself at your feet.”

    “There was a girl, but she never threw herself at my feet. I threw myself at hers.”

    “What did she do?”

    “She laughed.”

    “Did she hurt you?”

    “Yes. But nothing has hurt me very much since.”

    “I knew it! I knew a man of your terrible intenseness had been hurt by some woman sometime. Women can do that to a man, can’t they?”

    “I suppose so.”

    “You poor, poor man! You are not so very much older than I am, are you? I, too, have been hurt. Why couldn’t we be friends, or more than friends, perhaps, and together patch up the torn shreds of our lives? I think I could understand you and comfort and care fir you.”

    “Madam, I am nearly two thousand years old., and all that time I have been a bachelor. It is too late to start over again.”

    “Oh, you are being so delightfully foolish! I love whimsical talk! We would get on splendidly, you and I; I am sure of it!”

    “I’m not. I told you there were no more men in your life. Don’t try to make me eat my own words, please. The consultation is ended. Good afternoon.”

    She started to say more, but there was no longer anyone to talk to. Apollonius had vanished with that suddenness commanded by only the most practiced magicians. Mrs. Cassan went out into the blaze of sunshine. There she encountered Luther and Kate. It was then precisely ten minutes before Kate’s petrification.

    “My dear,” said Mrs. Cassan to Kate, “that fortuneteller is the most magnetic man I ever met in my whole life. I am going to see him again this evening.”

    “What did he say about the oil?” asked Luther.

    “Oh, he was frightfully encouraging,” said Mrs. Cassan.

  8. Noochness said,

    October 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I transcribed this poem from a film
    Because doing so made me happy
    The poem is recited in the film by
    The actress Ms. Cornish (Abbie).

    Writing on the Wall: Candy’s poem in motion

    from Neil Armfield’s film ‘Candy’; screenplay by Luke Davies; recited in the film by Abbie Cornish

    once upon a time there was candy and dan.

    things were very hot that year.
    all the wax was melting in the trees.
    he would climb balconies,
    climb everywhere,
    do anything for her,
    oh Danny boy

    thousands of birds,
    the tiniest birds,
    adorned her hair.
    everything was gold.
    one night the bed
    caught fire.
    he was handsome and a very good
    we lived on sunlight & chocolate bars.

    It was the afternoon of extravagant delight
    danny the daredevil
    candy went missing


    the days’ last rays
    of sunshine cruise
    like sharks
    I want to try it your way this time

    you came into my life
    really fast and i liked it
    we squelched in the mud of our joy.
    I was wet-thighed with surrender.
    then there was a
    in things
    and the whole earth tilted.
    this is the business
    this is what
    we’re after
    with you inside me comes
    the hatch of death
    And perhaps I’ll simply never sleep again.

    the monster in the pool.

    We are a proper family now
    with cats and chickens and
    runner beans.

    everywhere I looked

    and sometimes I hate you


    I didn’t mean that mother of the blueness

    anger or the storm. remember me in my opaqueness.

    you pointed at the sky, that one is
    called Sirius or dog star, but only
    here on earth.

    fly away sun. ha ha
    fucking ha you are so
    funny Dan.

    a vase of flowers by the bed. my bare
    blue knees at dawn. these ruffled
    sheets and you are gone and
    I am going too.

    I broke your head on the back of the bed but the baby he died in the morning

    I gave him a name

    his name was thomas
    poor little god
    his heart pounds like a voodoo drum

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