Jim Jarmusch


If you go into a bar in most places in America and even say the word poetry, you’ll probably get beaten up. But poetry is a really strong, beautiful form to me, and a lot of innovation in language comes from poetry.

Poets are always ahead of things in a certain way, their sense of language and their vision.

I think of poets as outlaw visionaries in a way.

René Char, Bandeau de Fureur et mystère, 1948

Le poète, on le sait, mêle le manque et l’excès, le but et le passé. D’où l’insolvabilité de son poème. Il est dans la malédiction, c’est-à-dire qu’il assume de perpétuels et renaissants périls, autant qu’il refuse, les yeux ouverts, ce que d’autres acceptent, les yeux fermés: le profit d’être poète. Il ne saurait exister de poème sans appréhension pas plus qu’il n’existe de poèmes sans provocation. Le poète passe par tous les degrés solitaires d’une gloire collective dont il est, de bonne guerre, exclu. C’est la condition pour sentir et dire juste.

Nicholas Ray


Nicholas Ray was a director and he wore an eyepatch. He was one of the most important and artistic directors in Hollywood’s lull of the 50s. A favourite of Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, an idol and mentor of Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch, many of his films had a massive impact on our conception of 50s cool, such as Knock On Any Door and Rebel Without a Cause. His pictures In A Lonely Place and Knock On Any Door were major components of Humphrey Bogart’s cult following in the 50s and 60s. His Rebel Without A Cause is arguably the most important James Dean film. Others, Johnny Guitar in particular, were a really big deal in France. Speaking of Johnny Guitar, it, The Searchers and Rio Bravo are basically the only truly important 50s westerns.

A consistent and open user of illicit drugs, he was shunned by Hollywood in the early 60s. His career went off the rails in many ways, but after a 10 year hiatus, in the early 70s he began the most experimental part of his career. He began the experimental film “We Can’t Go Home Again” with his students (he taught filmmaking at Binghamton Uni, NY) in 1973, and made the documentary Lightning Over Water with Wim Wenders. He continued to edit We Can’t Go Home Again until his death in 1979.

“There was theatre (Griffith), poetry (Murnau), painting (Rossellini), dance (Eisenstein), music (Renoir). Henceforth there is cinema. And the cinema is Nicholas Ray.”

—Jean-Luc Godard, 1958.

The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart

ALL things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart,
The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water, re-made, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

william butler yeats

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand—
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep—while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

— Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within a Dream