Paterson….movie, poem, place.

At the beginning of this week I had never heard of the city, the poem, or the movie called Paterson. Nor had I heard the name William Carlos Williams. A couple of photos on a friends Facebook page changed all that.

The photos were of a building with a bridge behind it and a waterfall beyond that. The resulting river flowing toward the viewer and in the foreground a couple of green painted benches. The second photo was of rubbish bin with the words “City of Paterson” on it. And in the comments under the post it said “It was William Carlos Williams or Carlos Williams Carlos? Well it is Paterson one of the best movies from Jarmusch…”

And so a Google and a visit to the local library later finds me reading the poetry of William Carlos Williams – who was not only a poet of some renown, but also a doctor of pediatrics and general medicine. His epic poem Paterson began life as a 85 line poem but morphed over the years into 5 volumes of books.

The poem was published between 1946 and 1958 and was an account of the history, people, and the place – Paterson, New Jersey. Williams examined the role of the poet in American society and summarized his poetic method in the phrase “No ideas but in things” – originally a line from his poem “A Sort of a Song” but also used as a recurring theme in Paterson.

As I said earlier I had no idea who Williams was until this week, which is surprising as he mentored several other poets including ‘Beat’ poet Allen Ginsberg – who’s work I know well. He even wrote the forward/intro to Ginsberg’s first and probably most famous (or infamous) book “Howl and other poems” (1956).

Anyhow….back to Paterson. Now a movie, inspired by the poem. Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and released at the end of December 2016. Rotten Tomatoes rates it at a staggering 96% – and frankly I must agree.

The blurb on the Rotten Tomatoes website reads ” Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey–they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her newfound ambitions; she champions his gift for poetry. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

There are numerous scenes in the movie shot beside the waterfall shown in my friends photo. It’s the place that Paterson, the bus driving poet, likes to sit and contemplate life. He cares about the city and he cares about the people who live there. It’s a beautiful and a quietly inspirational movie. It moves you in a subtle way…like all good poetry and good movies should.

Paterson – official trailer

A thank you and a question.

A short post at this time to mark the first 2 months of my Blog. 

I love to write and to read and to share my thoughts on books and literature by way of this blog “A Literary Bent”. So, I just wanted to say a heart felt thank you to everyone who has either clicked the button to follow my blog, or clicked the “like” button on any of my posts, or taken the time to make a comment.  Many of us live busy lives so I am grateful to you for taking the time to read my posts and to follow, like, or comment.

I’m only 2 months into my blog and intend to keep writing for a long time….or for as long as I have the passion to write about books and anything remotely connected with books and writers.

In the 24 posts I have written so far, I have covered subjects such as The International Organisation of Book Towns, done book reviews, written travel related articles, poetry, written about specific writers, talked about Zombies, discussed collecting books and the treasure to be found in second hand shops, written about and recommended book shops, written about my favourite photographers, penned a tongue in cheek piece about cats and dogs, and bemoaned the death of the written letter and the postal service.

If there is a subject among these that you’d like me to write more about…..or, for that matter, less about – please let me know. OR if there’s something book/ literature, or anything related to “the Arts” in general, that you’d like me to cover in my blog – I would be delighted to hear from you. Otherwise, I’ll just keep rambling on in my own merry way.

Once again THANK YOU. I do appreciate it.