Twenty-five years ago, Robin Williams starred in the “The Dead Poets Society.”
Now we have The Resurrected Poets Society
As I noted in my February 2nd post, Tyrrells, an English maker of what Americans call potato chips, has exhumed an old photograph of R. S. Thomas, and is offering a £25,000 reward for the best caption.
I thought this was a one-off resurrection, but Dave Lull, commenting on my January 30th post, called my attention to an online article by Charlotte Runcie titled “Want to sell something? Stick a poet on it.”
Poets and poems, it seems, are being dug up here and there and almost everywhere. It’s like English artist Stanley Spencer’s painting “The Resurrection, Cookham,” in which people are getting awake in the Cookham churchyard, sitting up in their tombs, some clothed in white robes, some in everyday attire, some birth-day naked.
An ad for the iPad Air has Robin Williams of “The Dead Poets Society” reading from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”: Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish.
Waitrose, a chain of British supermarkets, employed poet Roger McGough to read a line from a poem by John Keats – Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! – to promote a special offer on Braeburn apples.
Levi’s called on Shakespeare to introduce its new line of original button-fly jeans. Someone grabs a wearer of the encored jeans and cries: Oh Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
And so to my proposal for a contest. Sorry, I’m not offering a £25,000 reward.
Tease your “little grey cells”: come up with ideas for pairing poets and products. Examples:
A photo of Robert Frost on boxes of frozen lobster pizza. Yes, I found that item online.
In the window of a real estate agency specializing in selling houses that fail the 3-L test: “Let me live in a house by the side of the road / And be a friend to man.” Can you identify the poet?
Hope to see your pairings in the comments below.
Meanwhile, R. S. Thomas writes:
The tins marched to the music
Of the conveyor belt. A billion
Mouths opened. Production
Production, the wheels
Whistled. Among the forests
Of metal the one human
Sound was the lament of
The poets for deciduous language.
Poem quoted in this post:
“Of the endless trains of the faithless” – “O Me! O Life!” Walt Whitman, Complete Poetry and Collected Prose, 410.
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!” – “To Autumn,” John Keats, New Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1950, 611.
“O Bottom, thou art changed!” – “Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” Act 3, scene 1, lines 120-121.
“The tins marched to the music” – “Postscript,” H’m, 22.