Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rhyme for the foot...

For dversepoets.com

In the movie "Out of Africa", a script which I have for all practical purposes, memorized, there is a scene when Denys Finch Hatten (Robert Redford) mentions to Karin Blixon (Meryl Streep)  that there are poems written for almost every body part, but not, to his knowledge, one for the foot.  The following is how is goes:

RR:  There's lips, eyes, hands, face...
 hair, breasts...
legs, arms, even the knees.
But not one verse for the poor foot.
Why do you think that is?
MS:  Priorities, I suppose.
Did you think you would make one?
RR:  Problem is there's nothing to rhyme it with.
MS:  Put.
RR:  It's not a noun.
 MS:  Doesn't matter. Along he came and he did put
                                         upon my farm his clumsy foot.

Well, I have written one using part of her line and what else I venture to say may have been added to the  poem; author Isak Denison wrote beautifully of Africa;  this is an exercise in imagination and my version in the form of an exphrastic poem referencing her work...

He trekked 
and hunted the desert
led bartering for tribal independence
for Kenyan territory 
  He walks the red dirt path to her front door
led by scents of jasmine, coffee 
beans, the sound 
of Mozart, 
  An after safari post of sweet repose
where good food, wine, 
a steam bath can be found 
He longs to hear her enchanting stories
 her mind an almanac and he 
with a fine cigar

He views 
the porch where they 
once napped and drank tea with lemon,
 dusts his hat on his khaki right knee  
The farm not hers 
except to cultivate,
the Kikuyu and Masai belonged there
She had worked the fields
 started a school under the blue gum trees
on the vast plains under hot 
African sun
 humanity's cradle where wild 
beasts still run
in the purple haze

He winces, then 
with one last broad step he does put
upon her farm squarely there 
his left foot
 Days became years 
 soul mates in their world of nature, 
yet he eluded planting roots 
 Now overlooking the antelope grazing 
he lies buried there
The lite foot lad and rose lipped maiden 
would.like that o'er the farm 
now reign blazing sunsets, copper, 
oranges and soot 
 created from stories shared there
where once they stood


  1. smiles...really cool story telling...even though he resisted roots he found his place to rest...i would like to visit africa...there is another movie this makes me think of as wll i just cant think of it...

  2. I loved the entire presentation. Your was/is very sensory. You evoked reactions from all of my senses, especially smell. A very beautifully written piece. You demonstarte great skill.

  3. Thanks, Brian..am wanting to write more in poetry form and less like stories tho ;)

  4. A lovely tale, kkkkaty. I enjoyed the images here.


  5. Great storytelling, lovely images! :)

  6. Your words made me remember, I did watch this movie ~ Like the turn towards the end of finding roots and being buried in the place one loves very much ~

  7. Katy, I do love where your imagination took you!

  8. 2 very cool poems - the joke and the story - well told. k.

  9. What a lovely mood you set, enjoyed how you set the piece up with the poem scene. A story poem to get lost in... I think I might have to re watch the movie.

  10. Such a strong sense of place in this second one, Katy. And the first one is a delight.

  11. soul mates..that comes through so beautifully...love how you describe the scene and also the atmosphere comes across beautifully...i'm not sure if i ever saw the movie but after reading this, i think i def. should watch it

  12. I saw the film when it came out, way back when ... and loved it. You've certainly captured something of the atmoosphere and mood of the film, and told much of the story too.

  13. What a great way to challenge your writing, a story well told.

  14. One of my favourite movies and the essence captured here, thank you!

  15. That is so cool that this movie haunts you. And don't you sometimes think that the magic of the love was partly exactly because he could not put down roots -- that kept it alive. Hmmm, I wonder. (I know, said just like a man, right?)

  16. True, Sabio, but in the last scenes he had intended to return to help her as she was leaving for Denmark; since his plane went down in flames we are left to wonder,if he had made it back, would they have remained close.
    His feelings were in the process of changing (the last dance they had, and he did say "I'll see you Friday" as he left for a day or two), but I don't know whether or not Karin would have married him at that point if he decided he wanted to...we will never know the answer but I like to speculate that, had he lived, they would have found mutual ground??? But another great pair, Spencer and Hepburne never married either ;-)

  17. Oh this was so enjoyable to read. It felt like a little trip to Africa. I love the characters you describe and their story.


All comments, constructive and otherwise, are welcome and appreciated here. Thank you to those who show an interest in my quirky style of writing, photography, painting, and presenting a feeling or thought and for stopping by A Dwelling by the Sea..