Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

CC Recommends

Martin Ritt’s 1972 adaptation of the beloved children’s novel by William H. Armstrong is one of the most powerful family films ever made. It is set in Depression-era Louisiana, where a proud father (Paul Winfield) poaches game to feed his wife (Cicely Tyson) and children and winds up on a chain gang.
Poetry

Caught music

Aloft because chaos dances, elastic,
flowering. Generous, how impulse jumps—

kept lively. Melody nudges open—prospector,
questioning. Remember summer?

Tallying us, vireos, wings x-rayed yellow,
zeroed along bare cliffs. Drawn even from

graceless hollows—imagine—juncos, katydids,
luscious mango noons. Our passions

quickened. Rondos, serpentine: the unsung,
voiced with xylophones. Yodels. Zithers.







Film

Pride and Glory

A movie about a family of Irish cops—that sounds like one you’ve seen before. But Pride and Glory contains a few unfamiliar notes, and it rings truer than most movies about corruption in the police ranks.
Film

Rachel Getting Married

Screenwriters love structure: it gives them something to focus on as they plow ahead in their storytelling or to retreat to if they get off track. Familiar structures include the road movie (looking for answers), the journey film (home to Ithaca) and the sit-by-the-fireplace flashback (“Let me tell you about Heathcliffe”).
Poetry

The exact likeness of grief

Swinging a pitching wedge, my father lofts
Seven golf balls over my mother’s grave.
To spare the grass, he hits from the shoulder,
Picking them clean from the thin lie of dirt.

It’s fifty yards, I’m guessing, to the woods
Where all but one of seven disappear
In yardage he can manage, length to spare,
At eighty-eight, his knees beyond repair.

He limps to her grave site, his love an arc
That ends among trees. The flowers he’s picked
Follow him in my hands; he turns the club
Upside down and uses it as a cane.

“Some day you’ll know,” my father says, meaning
His knees, and then again, “Some day you’ll know,”
Meaning this trip to a grave, this choosing
Of flowers, orange ones I cannot name.

My father, the prophet, bends to the vase
Of wilted stems. My father, who’s warned me,
“You’ll see” a thousand times, lifts the fresh buds
From my hands, steadies himself on my arm.