Unfamiliar Shadows - Poem by gershon hepner
A face with unfamiliar shadows shrouded
when something unfamiliar is amiss
speaks of a life misfortune clouded.
Like frowns responding to a kiss,
all shadows disappear, and tears
that in a hard rain fell will dry.
The shadows in the face are years
that like dark nimbus clouds will fly
away with blowing of the wind.
They tell of times that are adverse,
to be replaced and bring great cheer
when blessings contradict the curse
of clouds low in the atmosphere,
and it will seem to all as though
nothing ever happened, for
when dark clouds are no longer low,
the past is not what we explore.
Inspired by Ben Brantley’s review of a new production of “Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” (NYT, January 25,2010) :
Looking closely, you notice hairline fissures of unease. What has been cozy becomes, by degrees, claustrophobic, and even if you don’t know the play’s outcome, you’re apt to discover a knot in your stomach. A part of you feels that you should stand up and yell, to defuse tension and deflect disaster, though, as one character notes retrospectively, “nothing at all had really happened.” Even more than with “Death of a Salesman, ” Miller used “Bridge” to sell his theory that true tragic heroes may well emerge from the common run of contemporary lives. So eager was he to make the point that he even included a one-man Greek chorus, an Italian-born lawyer named Alfieri (here played by Michael Cristofer) , who speaks loftily about the grandeur of the story’s “bloody course” of incestuous longings and fatal consequences. Perhaps Miller felt that plays, like classical heroes, required tragic flaws, and thus provided one for “Bridge” in the form of the long-winded Alfieri. This drama needs no annotator or apologist if it’s acted with the naturalistic refinement — and accumulation of revelatory detail — found in this interpretation….
Ms [Scarlett]. Johansson melts into her character so thoroughly that her nimbus of celebrity disappears. Her Catherine is a girl on the cusp of womanhood, feeling her way down familiar paths that have suddenly been shrouded in unfamiliar shadows.
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