Sunday, October 11, 2020

Poetry in Jim Jarmusch's "Paterson"

In Jim Jarmusch's Paterson, a teenager (Sterling Jerins) shows Paterson (Adam Driver) her "secret notebook" for her poems, but then asks if he'd like to hear one, so poetry's both secret and public. The poem is "Water Falls", and she shows him the two words, so poetry's playful. Before she reads it, she says it doesn't rhyme, but he says he likes poems that way, and afterwards, he observes that two lines rhyme, and that it has internal rhymes. So poetry's also formal. Finally, she asks if he likes Emily Dickinson and is pleased he does, so poetry has a tradition. It's a secret but public, playful but formal, traditional art. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 11 October)

The scene in question is here.

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