This is supposed to make me look smart, and will backfire

I just remembered to do a little YouTube fan-video research and found the answer to a question I’ve had for a couple of weeks, which was:

Did Kristen Stewart/Bella really misquote Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice” at the beginning of the movie “Eclipse?”  Did neither the director nor the editors catch the mistake?  Did they leave it that way on purpose because they liked it better that way? (So, actually three questions.)

YouTube had the answer to the first of my questions, which was that yes, yes she did misquote.  The poem goes:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

The word “it” in the 5th line refers to the world, but in the movie Bella says, “But if I had to perish twice.”  This is kind of cute because Bella almost perishes more than just twice, but I can’t help thinking the accidental-or-deliberate slip is also super-narcissistic on the parts of  Kristen/Bella/the director/the editors.

How did I happen to notice the mistake, you ask? Because, of course, I’ve had the poem memorized almost since childhood.  Duh.

And because I know you’re about to ask, yes, I can also recite Louis Untermeyer’s translation of Heinrich Heine’s “The Lorelei.”

I do not know why this imagined
Despair has fallen on me
The ghost of an ancient legend
That will not let me be

The air is cool, and twilight
Flows down the quiet Rhine
A mountain alone in the highlight
Still holds the lingering shine

The last peak, rosily gleaming
Reveals, enthroned in air,
A maiden, lost in dreaming,
Who combs her golden hair.

Combing her hair with a golden
Comb in her rocky bower,
She sings the tune of an olden
Song that has magical power.

The boatman has heard! It has bound him
In the throes of a strange, wild love.
Blind to the rocks that surround him
He sees but the vision above.

And lo, hungry waters are springing.
The boat and the boatman are gone.
Then silence. And this, with her singing,
The Lorelei has done.

Oh, look, I’m finally getting to a point in my blogging life where I can recycle old illustrations!

P.S. No, The Lorelei doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with Eclipse.  I just happen to have it memorized.

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9 Responses to This is supposed to make me look smart, and will backfire

  1. Anneke says:

    I feel a little culturally inferior. The poems I’ve have memorized since childhood are all by Lewis Carroll or Robert Louis Stevenson.

    Also, I actually quoted that Frost poem the other day in an attempt to be witty in a conversation about the weather. Now that I know it’s in Twilight, though, I’m afraid my friend will think that’s where I got it. Like when I mentioned Wuthering Heights to my students and they all knew about it and I was so proud of them until they said “it’s that book that Bella reads!”

    • zstitches says:

      Almost any poem I happen to have memorized was included in a big Golden Book of Poetry edited by, surprise surprise, Louis Untermeyer. He also included LOTS of Lewis Carrol and Robert Louis Stevenson.

      This post notwithstanding, I hope I’m not really much of a snob about many things–but that Wuthering Heights story is SO. SAD.

  2. Rachel says:

    I like the bunnies as romantic, deathly sirens. We had that book, too. I think I’ll have to get hold of a copy of it, now. I tended to favor the long, nonsensical poems about owls and pussycats and dialogues involving Father William, which I recited while doing prolonged headstands. (This is probably its own branch of yoga by now.)

    • zstitches says:

      You had that exact book?! Wow. I always went for the humorous poems first, too (at one point I had the Ogden Nash poem about the cowardly dragon memorized) and then I moved on to the ballads. My very favorites were probably the humorous epitaphs, with the very best one being:

      Here lies John Bunn.
      He was killed by a gun.
      His name was not Bunn, but Wood,
      But Wood would not rhyme with gun, and Bunn would.

      We ran out of bookshelf space a couple of years ago and put Dean’s and my books in boxes in the basement to make more room for the kids’ books, and my Golden Book of Poetry was one of those that got put away (although, really, I should have left it out for my kids). I’ve missed it a lot since it’s been down there.

    • zstitches says:

      Also, can you still recite Father William? I tried to brush up on it a couple of years ago but I’m not sure I could still recite the whole thing. My favorite lines were:

      You are old, Father William
      And your jaw is too weak
      For anything tougher than suet
      Yet you managed the goose with the bones and the beak
      Pray how did you manage to do it?

      In my youth, said the [old man?]
      I took to the law
      And argued each case with my wife
      And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
      Has lasted the rest of my life.

  3. Lili says:

    You know what else is sad? When I told some fellow BYU students that when my niece was four her favorite book was Grays Anatomy, and they all looked at me confused, and I realized that the only Gray’s Anatomy they knew of was the TV show, not the book.

  4. debbie says:

    I really need to step up my game. The only verses I have memorized seem to have the word Nantucket in them.

    • zstitches says:

      It’s so weird you said that since I just wrote a haiku with the word Nantucket in it for a Facebook conversation where someone said you never find the word Nantucket in a poem unless it’s a limerick.

  5. Mary Ann says:

    I so wish we’d had you with us on our Rhine cruise to recite poetry. It would have elevated the whole experience several notches from the old geezers playing cards and the goshawful music they were playing (think “Home on the Range” muzak).

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