- "..I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
- Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
- Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind..."
- ~Ernest Dowson, Mitchell's source for the final title
Gone with the Wind
I read the book then saw the movie; sad.
I dread the look the author must have had
When she saw her Scarlett on the screen
thin and flat as a paperdoll that screamed.
But still the sets, the dresses, widescreen shots
Shut out the gutted edits of the plot.
In hoops the glittering ladies waltzed like dolls.
In whoops the ballroom laughter, fans and shawls
Made it feel we graced that dance of time
Faded into glitter, forced to rhyme.
Missing sauce, I'm Melanie the meek
Kissing faithless Scarlett on the cheek,
Knowing Ashley couldn’t make his move,
Showing Rhett what women have to prove.
Six hundred twenty thousand soldiers died.
Tricks and love scenes, Scarlett’s stubborn pride
Are what we got wrapped up in 40’s glam;
War and Rhett frankly didn’t give a damn.
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Mary's Mixed Bag
(Couplets in iambic pentameter where both first and last syllables rhyme.)
Process Notes: I read Gone With The Wind three times in my adolescence, and loved every page of it, not only because of Mitchell's well-drawn characters, but because of all the rich historical detail she included--battles, facts, and thousands of lines about the background and mechanics of the Civil War itself, and through which she made them illustrate that historical period in detail (not that I didn't love as well all the soap opera antics of her main characters.) I was terribly disappointed by the movie--Hollywood at its most superficial, despite the lavish trappings and the excellent cast. But perhaps no film can ever have the scope of a thousand page novel. Anyway, both book and film are deservedly classics, and no slur is intended toward Vivien Leigh, though she never was the Scarlett I saw reading the book. To me Olivia de Havilland was THE actress in that one. And wonderful as Leslie Howard was, all one could do was scratch one's head and wonder what on *earth* Scarlett was thinking when she had Clark Gable eating out of her hand.
Image: Film poster for Gone With the Wind, 1939, By Employee(s) of MGM
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons