Friday, November 20, 2009


Have any of you seen "New Moon" yet? It opened here at midnight last night, and I think it made about 4.4 million (Aussie) dollars in its opening day here. I haven't seen it yet, but I definitely will, and in the meantime I'm tracking the international figures here. The story of Bella and Edward is a money tree which just keeps growing and blossoming, a phenomenon which I find both invigorating and perplexing. The critics have, on the whole, absolutely hated the film, but the film's target audience is clearly ignoring the reviews and voting with bums on seats.

I cannot abide the many snide, snobbish reviews which have popped up around this film. These reviews seem to have grown overnight like noxious weeds, obliterating the obvious beauty of this rose of a story. Life is hard enough as it is without having to defend the power a story can have on its audience. I wish the film experts would at least admit, if only briefly, that the Twilight series has captured the heart and imagination of a global audience, and that this is good.

Several months ago I purchased the first book of poems published by young emerging poet Emma Jones. I wasn't in the right frame of mind for reading poetry at that time, but I was intrigued by her story and so I kept the thin volume on my night-table. Last night I couldn't fall asleep, so I picked up the book of poems and started to flip through it, looking for a flash of comfort, or inspiration, or joy. The poems spoke to me in a different way last night, and it felt like many of them had changed completely since I had last attempted to read them. Half the battle with reading poetry is, I think, to wait faithfully and patiently for the proper frame of mind to visit you, even if that might be at one o'clock in the morning.

Isn't it exciting to discover a new young poet who, a mere 8 years after graduation from the University of Sydney, has already made a name for herself? Well, apparently it isn't very exciting because the critics are busy dissecting her words until all that's left is a pile of polished, sterile bones. Emma Jones' target audience could very well be young women, those same young women who rush to see the Twilight films, but it seems she's been hijacked by a group of academics who are far too busy asking each other about Emma Jones' "voice" than Emma Jones' ability to connect with her readers. How much more wonderful is this one review which I found here. This reviewer actually wrote "Thank you Emma Jones." That's exactly what poetry, film, art should be about really. It's all very well to study all of these art forms in universities, but at the end of the day, or in the very middle of the darkest night, it's just you and the artist and a collection of imaginative images which might be useful in the most wonderful, meaningful and non-academic way possible. Or they might not.


Here is a sample of Emma Jones - which I type from page 9 of her book "The Striped World":


The sea's not wide but it is full.
I have my castle and my load of gold.
See how the chest flips up to show
its plastic pennies and its bouldered hearts
with each great current, while in droves
we follow close the circular turret -

The sea's not wide but it is full.

Thank you Emma Jones.


Anonymous said...

OK, first. Not a vampire/True Blood/Twilight/New Moon/etc. etc. fan here.
I'm shallow like that.
But I did enjoy the poem (although I never read any ...!)
I'm shallow like THAT.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading New Moon last night -- does that count? ;^)

Must say, though, that so far the books strike me as a trashy, porn-lite romance novel but without overt sex (since its audience is teenagers, and we all know teenagers do not like sex).