I Found It at the Movies

Edited by Ruth Roach Pierson

I Found It at the Movies
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Although poetry is one of the oldest art forms and cinema one of the youngest, a symbiosis exists between the two -- an interchange of metaphor, rhythm, point-of-view. No surprise, then, that so many contemporary poets write about film and the magnitude of its effect on modern ... Read more


Overview

Although poetry is one of the oldest art forms and cinema one of the youngest, a symbiosis exists between the two -- an interchange of metaphor, rhythm, point-of-view. No surprise, then, that so many contemporary poets write about film and the magnitude of its effect on modern life. Featuring work by some of the most acclaimed poets writing in Canada today (and three from the USA), I Found It at the Movies includes poems inspired by the full range of cinematic history -- from silent films to blockbusters, from neo-realism to cartoon, from Fred Astaire to vampires, and from all around the world. Entering this collection is an experience as beguiling as a trip to the movies itself. Among the poets included: Margaret Atwood, Don McKay, Michael Ondaatje, Steven Heighton, David W. McFadden, Karen Solie, Marilyn Bowering, Julie Bruck, Stephanie Bolster and Ken Babstock.

Ruth Roach Pierson

Editor and poet Ruth Roach Pierson is the author of Where No Window Was, GG finalist Aide-Mémoire, and CONTRARY. She has attended The Toronto Film Festival since 1980, with 33 films in 10 days her personal best.

Excerpt

Men who imagine themselves covered with fur and sprouting / fangs, why do they do that? Padding among wet / moonstruck treetrunks crouched on all fours, sniffing / the mulch of sodden leaves, or knuckling / their brambly way, arms dangling like outsized / pajamas, hair all over them, noses and lips / sucked back into their faces, nothing left of their kindly / smiles but yellow eyes and a muzzle. -- Margaret Atwood, "Werewolf Movies"

Reviews

If movies are dreams, then these poems about cinema are the dreams dreamt by the dreams – oneiric experience piled high, deliriously drizzled golden, twizzled sweetly and carried into the dark! Reading them I feel I’m peeling back an extra pair of eyelids. This collection takes you closer to films than you ever been before.

Guy Maddin, filmmaker

We go to the movies in search of a certain practical poetry, the kind that enlarges our perspective of the world or simply entertains us. It’s often assumed that we are empty vessels into which the art flows. And yet Ruth Roach Pierson’s fine anthology of film poems, I Found It at the Movies, proves that the process magnificently works in both directions. The writers here emote eloquently about the movies, from Apocalypse Now to The Wizard of Oz, and all aspects of the cinematic form. There is passion in this poetry, projected at 24 frames per second upon the mind’s eye, and I urge you to engage with it.

Peter Howell, Movie Critic, The Toronto Star

Incontestably movies play an important role in the lives of most of us, poets included. Movies, all kinds of movies, are part of our common experience. For some of us, it’s occasionally difficult to draw a sharp line between movie and life. On a car trip through the Canadian Shield some years ago, a friend of mine commented on how paintings by members of the Group of Seven organized her view of the landscape. I think the same could be said of the impact movies can have on our perceptions.

Ruth Roach Pierson

Because the experience of movies is so widely shared and so deeply personal, the poems in this wonderful anthology – hilarious, poignant, thoughtful, shrewd and romantic – speak vitally and openly to all of us. And more than that: read as a collection, these poems confront us with the fact that movies are not merely an escape from reality but a powerfully influential feature of our world, a shared projection of dreams whereby, for better or worse, we shape our collective identity and the direction of our history.

John Steffler, Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2006-2008), Griffin Prize shortlist

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