April 16, 2010

Poetry at the Movies: Groundhog Day

I wrote something on another blog about the Zen of the film Groundhog Day. (Don't laugh. It's there.) If you haven't seen the film, you should. (Though I have said that to several people who really disliked it - "It just keeps repeating!")

It is the story of A cynical TV weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. His predicament drives him to distraction until he sees a way of exploiting the situation. While researching that earlier post, I realized that it's a film with several poems in it too.

First, Andie MacDowell's character Rita quotes a poem in the cafĂ© - "unwept, unhonoured, and unsung" - which are lines from Sir Walter Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel," Canto vi, Stanza 1, which begins with the famous line, "Breathes there a man with soul so dead...”

Bill Murray's character Phil quotes Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Work Without Hope."
"All Nature seems at work; slugs leave their lair,
The bees are stirring; birds are on the wing,
And winter, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring;
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing."
The French poem that Phil recites in the German restaurant was written by the film's co-writer Danny Rubin, based on Jacques Brel's "Bachelor's Dance" lyrics".

Translated into English the poem reads:
The girl I will love
is like a fine wine
that gets a little better
every morning. 

1 comment:

* * All comments must be approved by the site administrator before appearing in order to prevent spam.