Whether or not you are gearing up to watch the Oscars broadcast this weekend, you should take time this week to read some of A. Van Jordan’s poems on film from The Cineaste.
The Academy of American Poets site has one on Old Boy, a movie I hope I will never have to watch again, and another on Un Chien Andalou, a film some students couldn’t believe I made them watch. (Me neither!)
What I really want to recommend, though, is that in honor of #OscarsSoWhite you head over to the Michigan Quarterly Review and read Jordan’s poem about Do the Right Thing. Spike Lee’s film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 1989, but lost to Dead Poets Society.
I want to say that Jordan captures in words the sweltering feeling Lee creates though images, but that doesn’t do either of them justice. Just read these lines and then go check out the rest for yourself. It’s a scorcher.
The days were a skillet on a red-hot eye of a stove.
The men on the corner, the couple in their apartment,
the kids playing under a fire hydrant’s relief
were all sitting, loving, or playing in a skillet.