The Soul That Grows in Darkness via The Poetry Foundation

The Soul That Grows in DarknessTo celebrate the Oscars, the editors present classic and contemporary poems about the movies.
by The Editors

In the last 100 years, perhaps no other artistic medium has provided more fodder for poetry than the cinema. Movies have become central to the poetic imagination, whether the poet celebrates the movies or reacts against celluloid saturation. While Sidney and Shelley exhausted a good deal of effort in their defense of poetry, Frank O’Hara would rather spend his time defending the great art of the cinema in poems such as “Ave Maria."

In his poem “A Step Away from Them,” O’Hara builds on Ezra Pound’s Eisensteinian methods (“In a Station of the Metro”) by portraying an otherwise quotidian experience—his lunch hour—using cinematic techniques, rushing headlong through a series of jump cuts that make it an exhilarating scene. It is as if the eye of the poet has become the camera lens, and composition is merely an act of editing.

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