Monday, April 11, 2011

Poetry (Shi 시 - South Korea 2010)

Korean Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry is a magnificent film, a subtle complex rumination on so many things with a sublime performance by veteran actress Yoon Jeong-hee as Mija a grandmother in her 60s facing dementia and having to deal with the consequences of her teenage grandson's terrible complicity in the sexual abuse of a school-girl.

Mija wants to write poetry and finds it extremely difficult, and as well as taking an adult class she also attends a poetry club. In a scene at the club there is a lovely conversation about poetry between Mija and a lady whose poetry Mija admires:

Mija: How could you write such amazing poems?
Lady: Well, in this case, it came easily. As I wrote a line, words I was never aware of… unraveled like a thread of silk. Like I was swimming and floating in poems. I wrote as if I was a flying butterfly.
Mija: If only I could do the same!

I was saying to Mija as I watched “you don’t need to write poetry you are a poem”.

This poem is for Mija:

You are a sweet poem
Of a heart bursting
Of love and sad dreams
A river of tears
You bathe the old man the child

You give of your body tired yet
Glowing with the flower of innocence
In modest blushes

Your sisters call you

The blood of your blood
Taken by blossoms that will never fade

Now a whisper in the wind that ripples
Over the green waters where your bodies
Cleansed
Give up their spirits
To the reflected sky

Through the bountiful leaves of the tree
Of life
The fallen apricots
Have thrown themselves to ground ripe
For the next life