In the caption of this article I’m quoting American actor, director and writer Orson Welles. This quotes can never make more sense if you read it after watching a beautiful, mysterious, simple and yet sumptuous Korean movie called ‘Poetry’. As the name suggest, theme of the movie revolves around poetry and how to be a good poet one must feel, see and connect with world that goes around him.
Immensely popular French writer Marcel Proust said ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes‘. A novice poet with an ambition to write a poetry, which can pierce the skin of the reader should pledge his life on these concepts. The protagonist of the movie, Mija, a sixty-something grandmother who is suffering from the early stage of Alzheimer wants to be a poet and desires to write at least one poem before the disease affects her language facilities due to memory loss. She joins a poetry community class, where on the first day of lecture she is taught about, how ‘To write poetry, one must see well’
Story complicates itself with a death of a teenage girl which is somehow connected to Mija’s grandson who lives with her. As the movie progresses, Mija’s find a alien and vague connection with the dead girl, which in turns grows her poetic inspiration and channels her feeling to write a poem at last, which I felt was extraordinary and raw.
Poem is called Agne’s Song, which is originally written in Korean language by Lee Chang-Dong who is also the director of this movie, I’m pasting the English translated version below
How is it over there?
How lonely is it?
Is it still glowing red at sunset?
Are the birds still singing on the way to the forest?
Can you receive the letter I dared not send?
Can I convey…
the confession I dared not make?
Will time pass and roses fade?
Now it’s time to say goodbye
Like the wind that lingers and then goes,
just like shadows
To promises that never came,
to the love sealed till the end.
To the grass kissing my weary ankles
And to the tiny footsteps following me
It’s time to say goodbye
Now as darkness falls
Will a candle be lit again?
Here I pray…
nobody shall cry…
and for you to know…
how deeply I loved you
The long wait in the middle of a hot summer day
An old path resembling my father’s face
Even the lonesome wild flower shyly turning away
How deeply I loved
How my heart fluttered at hearing faint song
I bless you
Before crossing the black river
With my soul’s last breath
I am beginning to dream…
a bright sunny morning…
again I awake blinded by the light…
and meet you…
standing by me.