Our Poetic Response to “The Raven”

R for dim cobblestone streets, beautiful cursive ransom notes, moments of intense plumage

Release Date: April 27, 2012


[to be read aloud, preferably by Samuel L. Jackson]

Once upon a Monday dreary, as I pondered, bored and weary,
over many a quaint and curious trailer at the Apple store,
while I sat there, double-clicking, hundred films and nothing sticking,
suddenly there came a ticking, ticking from the tab before,
“‘Tis some YouTube clip,” I muttered, “ticking in the tab before–
Keyboard cat, and nothing more.”

Yet the ticking grew absurder – driving soundtrack, screams of murder,
and a gravel voice’s murmur, “Rated R for blood and gore.”
So that now, to quench the terror that I’d made some ghastly error,
I exclaimed, “Why, they would ne’er make a film that’s such a bore.”
“Hollywood,” I cried, “why would you make a film you’d made before?
Rehashed script, and nothing more?”

Still, the clamor left me shaken – and within me, did awaken
Dread that somehow they had taken book or poem from Western lore,
and with avarice converted canon into thing perverted,
all artistic worth deserted – ruthless cash-grab – money whore –
Hollywood, that money-whore.

“But,” said I, “what scribe or poet has been ransacked? Does he know it?
Or is he beneath a tombstone somewhere out in Baltimore?”
Though my will had grown no stronger, I could put it off no longer,
so I clicked the tab from which I’d heard the grisly screams and gore.
I saw John Cusack. Nothing more.

Raven!” said I, “you have wrought a holy mess, a silly plot!
Why would author Poe be brought to catch a killer? Tell! What for?
All this madness, all this hassle, just to crib the plot from Castle,
making Poe a character within a film he would abhor.
Someday, will you deign to script a film that he would not deplore?”
Quoth The Raven: “Nevermore.”

And The Raven‘s noise of slaying still is playing, still is playing,
soundtrack vile and dismaying, ticking in the tab before.
Angrily though I oppose it, powerless am I to close it,
every “Exit Tab” just grows it – demon dance I can’t ignore,
Dance of pointless, ceaseless gore.

And its ever-mounting screaming leads my restless mind to dreaming,
Wondering, “Now, whose demise is playing here forevermore?
Is it Poe’s? Or Cusack’s? Mine? Who the victim of this crime?
Whose unspeakable decline will fill this tab forevermore?
Will that soul be ever lifted from its shadow on the floor?”
Quoth The Raven: “Nevermore.”

7 thoughts on “Our Poetic Response to “The Raven”

  1. This may be the first time that I’ve seen a movie review raised to artistic heights that are so much greater than the movie it reviews. Reading the review out loud was tintinnabulation to my ears (actually it wasn’t, but I wanted to show that I’ve read Poe poems also). Incidentally, I read it in my best Samuel Jackson voice, but it still sounded just like me.

  2. I’m trying to decide which review of The Raven I enjoyed more. Yours or a Twin Cities reviewer who said: “The Raven is vile. It is miscast, horribly written, and it is the worst movie I have seen this year. It is vile.” And that’s pretty much all she said.

    We have yours that spins a wonderful tale that shows just how awful this movie must be with many splendid references (and does it in verse no less!). Or the beautifully simple review of “Vile!”

    I’ll give you the nod in this tough decision because as we’ve always known all ties go to Samuel L.

  3. Pingback: As the Summer Begins, a Blog Ends | PG-13 for Ugly Cast

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