Monday, September 20, 2010

The Mind’s Own Place by George Oppen : Poetics Essay : Learning Lab : The Poetry Foundation


Understanding the news that a movie version of John Milton's Paradise Lost will be made into a movie, not to mention a 3D movie, I have to shake my head. The consideration for this tremendous piece of literature in its raw form should not be reinterpreted for the sake of high graphics, a storyline surrounded by action or glossy actors or actresses but should be handled with sincerity for the precept of poetic story telling.

I have yet to read this but heard of it while in high school. In what I understand so far of the artist and the written piece, it is an allegorical look at the temptation of Adam and Eve and the Fall of Man. There are paradigms in perceptions that a true poetry piece can unravel before the reader as the story is often intertwined and in-between the lines. In essence, the depiction of humanity in the earliest of stories about creation, there is turmoil and raging war for the victor and that being ourselves. For God is the forbearer and omnipresent as the internal and external struggles wage and battle in Milton's arena.

Question: How would Hollywood depict that in a two hour session of enlightenment? It could be the king of cinema bringing this to life but it would lack any true form or credential if its audience has not even sampled a piece of Milton's original Paradise Lost. The other question being the revival of the ancients with the new EA game, Dante's Inferno as the storyline has revived the notion of Dante Alighieri's epic poem, Divine Comedy. The success of the video game has inspired a movie in animation format, which gives some respect for the other formal visuals that had been passed on since the poem. Artists like William Blake, Gustave Dore and Salvador Dali drew their visuals from the poets realm to bring it into a form to be seen by the naked eye. If a movie viewer goes to see the movie without reading the poem, then it will be a naked eye yet to be seen. If it draws a larger audience, to the written expressionist interpretation of the Bible, than all the more power to Hollywood. If on the other hand, it is mere fascination for Hollywood's power in technical graphics and action than it should be, as the poem depicts, the Fall of Man.

The director in charge is Alex Proyas, who's made I, Robot, The Crow, Dark City and Knowing. It makes me wonder though as film shooting of The Crow took the life of the would have been (not would be) rising international star, Brandon Lee. The unexpected death of Brandon Lee was during the making of the film, The Crow and the world lost the son of famed martial arts legend, Bruce Lee. The story line of The Crow was less than expected for this viewer. If the movie is anything like Dark City, I would not be viewing it as anything other than some dark story of humans and fate.

Therefore, the utmost respect must be taken into consideration for the adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost. As a consumer, I have realized the importance of reading the tales and lives of the stories that are pushed out of Hollywood. It shall make interesting feed to find material concerning this project. In my own rediscovery of Paradise Lost, it is possible that a simple introduction of the literary work of Milton will to come to light in the not so far future. John Milton was as equally fascinating as a person and a movie should have been done about the man before his intricate literary poem. Actually, we might very well have with another apocalyptic tale, Albert and Allen Hughes' Book of Eli. The storyboard and crafting of it was handled with respect and elegance in the cinematography of the film.  The beautiful and viable ending to the tale was all too similar to Milton's life. 

Question: To read or not to read, that is the question.

Regarding Paradise Lost: review yet to be made or determined as fate holds the key of this poetic piece of man's humanity.

Regarding the article, The Mind's Own Place by George Oppen a quote by musician Bob Marley:
"My home is in my head."  

The Mind’s Own Place by George Oppen : Poetics Essay : Learning Lab : The Poetry Foundation

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