Poetry in Motion (Pictures): Part 9

By Liz Mannion of the Ritz Cinema, Thirsk.


Poetry in Motion (Pictures) posts are part of a series.

Memphis Belle (William Wyler, 1990)  – An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, W B Yeats.   When Eric Stoltz and his squadron go off on another bombing raid in World War II they understand they may never return. Who can resist the poignant reciting of Yeats’s famous poem from this hugely popular World War II picture? Yeats’s words perfectly reflect the sense of loss associated with war and raises questions about whether the loss we experience during such times is always necessary.

 I balanced all
Brought all to mind
The years to come
Seemed waste of breath
A waste of breath
The years behind
In balance with this life
This death.

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3 responses to “Poetry in Motion (Pictures): Part 9

  1. Powerful. Poignant, in these troubled times. I re-read Yeats poem and was struck by the two lines.. “Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love” How often we mere mortals wonder how and why our country’s “elite” go to war in our name. In a modern world, we know, love and respect people from other country’s we apparently are at war with, have little time for fellow citizens filled with greed and hate. Thanks again, Liz, for drawing me to some moments of quiet reflection and nurturing a sense of wonder, found in the lines of beautiful poetry…

  2. Short, sweet and to the point!

  3. It is a pity that the most adverse moments often offer up the most challenging and poignant words. How limited our range of emotions seem when we look death in the eye.

    Nice work Liz. Joe

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