Have you Seen Poetry Yet?

Wildflower image c/o http://f.hatena.ne.jp/uralic/20120816053135

Poetry is the title of a film about a grandmother, from a small town in Korea, reacting to her current life and a recent local tragedy that has involved her family. Despite her age and the odds against her, she continues to try to better her circumstances by taking a poetry class.

The film itself is very visual and always gives just enough character and plot to keep your imaginations grasping for the rest of her; very much like the fragmented narrative style of modern poetry.

The main character is unable to plainly tell us or anybody how she really feels or what she is doing and why.  And never does.  At the end of the film … well, I’m a natural-born spoiler, so I won’t go any further about the contents of the movie.  Despite feeling quite melancholy after this 2 1/2 hour long film, I think it is worth seeing.  The story and main character are beautifully portrayed and I continued to think about the film for several days after seeing it.

Slide1As part of the poetry campaign for this blog, this week’s poetry video takes a sample from a poem within this film to entice you to either read the full poem or watch this film.

This is, by far, my favourite poetry video that I have done for the lyw channel on Youtube.  This poem so captures the delicate yet enduring quality of the main character of this film.  It was a pleasure to choose the quiet black and white photography to breathe with this meditative text.  I only wish I could have had the freedom to render the whole poem.

I don’t know if it’s a copyright thing but the entire poem is difficult to find on the Internet. The one I did find was not faithful to the English translation provided directly in the film. However, when I went back to the film to read the poem faithfully, I found the placement of periods and commas a little confusing there, as well.  Most likely, something was lost in translation. We just need to learn Korean, I guess, for the real version of the poem.

Please visit the following link to this week’s poetry video, sampling one of Poetry‘s poems:

blog written by lyw

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4 thoughts on “Have you Seen Poetry Yet?

  1. I just saw this film and it left me spent and emotional- I know it will stay with me as well. I recall the main character saying he had quite a past (when speaking with the man she took care of) . I wish he would have made a film of the woman’s past as well. I wonder why (am I missing something obvious) it is named “Agnes’s Song?”

  2. PS. I thought Agnes was the student, I just didn’t understand why they didn’t use Korean name and how her Korean name translated to Agnes!

    • Hi Debra, Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the film. I felt that the film deliberately left out lots of information about her and the other characters, forcing the viewer to piece together the story using our own feelings and experience as much as we can. We were meant to have lots of questions at the end of it.

      As to the name, I know that the name’s history goes back to a saint who was persecuted by the Roman Emperor of her time. The Latin word ‘agnus’ means lamb and the symbol of the lamb has many references attached to it, especially in Christianity. I think the English choice for her name probably is tied to this Christian symbol.


      • I agree he left out information deliberately. I just think she is such an interesting and strong character that I want to know more about her. Interesting interpretation of the name. Thanks for your reply. Debra

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