Sunday, March 17, 2013

We are the music makers...

I love the poem Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy. Love it. So much so, actually, that I included the first stanza in my thesis project (a photography book). My thesis was a collection of photographs I'd made based on my water themed dreams. I've always loved this poem and thought it was particularly fitting for the project. 

 (Mr. Artie O--a seriously awesome gentleman, with a seriously awesome stache.)


Thanks to the movie Willy Wonka, a lot of people are familiar with the opening lines--even if they're not sure where they come from. There's nothing wrong with that, and the first time I heard those lines was probably as a child watching that movie. (I was obsessed with the movies Willy Wonka, The Labyrinth, and Annie as a kid.) The thing that makes me sad is that the lines resonate with so many people, but they don't bother to look them up. 

Today, in someone's signature on a forum, were the first two lines from Ode--attributed to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My heart broke a little. 

Roald Dahl was an amazing author who wrote some of my favorite books from childhood, so nothing against the guy (besides the fact that he was anti-semitic...which makes me super sad...) but I'm pretty sure none of the awesome literary references in the movie were in the book. (I just checked, and yep...others have written on this and confirm that they were added by the screenwriter.) So even if you were unaware of the poem and didn't think to google the line, you'd attribute it to the movie, not the book. 

 (another awesome gentleman who can rock a bow-tie like none other...except maybe the Doctor...)


I LOVE that kids movies and books can be rich and deep and complex, and like with the literary references in Willy Wonka, expose people to things they might never otherwise experience. That's seriously amazing. But it's also really sadifying that people miss out on so much by not using the resources available to them to search for MORE of the awesome.  

I didn't correct the person, because I don't know them and it's really not my place, but I thought I'd share the poem so more people can experience it in its entirety.  So, for your St. Patty's day reading enjoyment, a poem by a British poet of Irish descent. ;)