Friday, December 25, 2009

can't buy me decent poetry

the other day i was channel surfing when i stumbled across the classic 80s movie, can't buy me love, starring patrick dempsey and some blond girl who we never heard from again.

now understand, i love this movie. who doesn't, right? farbeit from me to make fun of such a classic, on the whole. however, i do wish to take umbrage with one small, specific element of said movie.

about halfway through, the popular blond cheerleader girl decides to share a deep secret with "fake" boyfriend, ronald (dempsey). turns out, she fancies herself a poet, yet hasn't told anyone. she shows ronnie some poetry while he washes her car and displays his awkwardly concave chest (if you've seen the movie, you know what i mean). look! i kinda sorta found a picture of that scene!

my issue lies with the poetry that the cheerleader girl shares. ronald reads an excerpt and pretends to be all impressed with it. it goes:

someday my wish is for him
to hold me in his arms...
in a sea of deep blue
together at last
together as two

okay, i don't claim to be a scholar of poetry. in fact, i suck at understanding it almost as much as i suck at writing it. but that doesn't mean i don't know shitty poetry when i hear it. and this, my friends, is some shitty-ass poetry.

right off the bat: "someday my wish is for him". isn't that a split modifier or something? bad grammar, right? continuing: "together in a sea of blue". cliche city. finally: "together as two". isn't the whole idea to join together as one? i've never heard of wedding vows where the couple joins together as two. what's more, the poem seems to lack all sense of sense of meter, to boot.

now, i realize this is just a bad 80s movie, and i shouldn't expect too much from the poetry therein. that said, for a film that probably cost tens of millions of dollars to make, is it too much to ask the producers to throw a benjamin or two to some starving freelance poet for four lines of decent verse? it didn't have to be good poetry, but it didn't have to completely suck either. and trust me, those freelance poets - they need the work. one would have probably done it for a few stale rolls from the craft service table.

as i said earlier, i love this crappily entertaining 80s flick. it's hard to flip past when it's on. so in order to clean the palette of whiny complaints, i leave you with a video of the beloved "african anteater ritual". enjoy.

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