Saturday, 8 May 2010

Mel Gibson's opera connections

So, this week's Poetry Bus is driven by Padhraig Nolan (over here) and once you've followed the instructions you end up with a photo prompt. I got this photo from the State Library of New South Wales.

The subject is Eva Mylott (1875-1920) – an Australian opera singer of Irish descent and also the paternal grandmother of one Mel Gibson (ugh, Mel Gibson...bucket please!). Eva moved to the USA to pursue her singing career, married, had two children and then died young (an accident in the shower, so I read online).

I have never been an opera fan but my Mum loves it and only yesterday I was reading her an article from the newspaper about a hot new opera singer from Peru (it's here). Always an avid reader, Mum still hasn't the energy or strength to read for herself right now so I am reading her anything that can hold her interest (ten minutes at a time max.). It's weird all this caring – I feel like my life has slowed right down. It's not a bad feeling.

Anyway, what with the photo, the story and our own lives just now...this is the poem that arrived.


Now it is work to breathe, for sure
And though you don't really want the air
There it is encore

The stage is quiet, almost foreign
Your long gown brushes the boards again
But your voice has flown

RF 2010



Niamh B said...

wow Rachel - this is a powerful one, really strong.
And Mel's lovely in Lethal Weapon, ok, I know his recent films have had more in common with dental visits, but the early stuff was great!

Rachel Fox said...

Funnily enough Mark was watching one of the Lethal Weapons the other day. I didn't like it at all...missed them all first time round...but if I had to choose anyone I'd take Glover over Gibson any time.

Glad you like poem. I wrote it yesterday...rather a low day...things a little brighter yesterday evening and this morning though. It's all very changeable.

Roxana said...

it touches me beyond telling. and the fact that (for me) it also captures the essence of a photograph (even speaks about what photography is, i can read your poem this way as well) makes it even more important to me.

Evalinn said...

I like this, very good!

Gordon Mason said...

Enjoyed the amount of the rhymes, half and hidden, in this short poem.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks folks. What a lovely trio of comments!


Argent said...

Trio becomes a quartet, hopefully. Your poem has a haunting quality to it, almost as if the subject is a ghost already (or maybe that's the idea and I'm being dumb). Anyhoo, I like it very much, so neat and contained. My picture's doing nothing for me so far, hope an inspiration particle arrives soon.

Marion McCready said...

This is very lovely, one of my favourites of yours.

Marion McCready said...

This is very lovely, one of my favourites of yours.

Marion McCready said...


Karen said...

Beautifully sad, Rachel. Strong and sad.

Lua said...

It felt like I was listening to a sad but beautiful song… I could hear each word with it’s melody in my head! Amazing poem, loved it!

Rachel Fox said...

I'm enjoying this chorus, people, so sing on, sing on.

There are a lot of sad feelings around here just now - unavoidable really. My Mum, for example, is absolutely fed up with being completely tired and weak and not able to do... anything really. We are working hard to get through it and we are working hard at staying positive and keeping smiling...still sad though, at times.


Andrea said...

That's a very evocative photo and poem too!

Titus said...

I can't get any higher than octet and anyway I've lost count as Sorlil's confused me!
What a beautiful piece of writing. Utterly in the now, and yet completely the then of the opera singer. And those completely surreal white ribbons that say "Goodbye".
So yes, powerful and sad but also a sense of peace, for me.

Now to the inanities. I still adore the first two Mad Maxs where Mel is possibly the most attractive man in the world and "The Passion of the Christ" and and "Apocalypto" are up there with my favourite movies.
Can a bad man be a good artist?
And how has such a handsome man become such a wreck, losing virtually all evidence of his good looks?
Will character out?

Batteson.Ind said...

ewww.. mel gibson!.. agreed there!

trhe poem is perfect in it's intent though.. very cool!

Rachel Fox said...

Glad y'all like it.

As for Mel Gibson, Titus...he was never handsome to my eyes and I can't say much that he's worked on has interested me either. I don't often find famous male actors attractive... can't think of one I'd even cross the street for. The fact that I know they're actors probably contributes... can't say I've ever fancied or been involved with any kind of actor.


NanU said...

Lovely, Rachel.
I wish I could master Short poems like you.

The Bug said...

Love it Love it! I also like to get to the heart of the matter in as few words as possible (although today's effort was short even for me). The one I did yesterday was excruciating because it felt so LONG.

I'm wishing you & your mom strength to persevere - & the ability to find the loveliness of the moment.

Eryl said...

The poem is gorgeous, moving and sad.

As for Mel Gibson, I've always felt incredibly sorry for his wife.

Dr. Jeanne Iris said...

An encore for sure! This is lovely, Rachel.

Pure Fiction said...

You always manage to say so much in so few lines. This is beautiful and touching, without being maudlin.

As for Mel, he didn't do it for me - although I did like Bird on a Wire, but more for the whole thing between him and Goldie Hawn.

Dominic Rivron said...

Good one. Funnily enough, the more I disassociated it with the photo and the story the more I enjoyed it! It has a richness and a life of its own.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for all these lovely reactions.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Simply beautiful.One of your best.Emotions bring out the best poetry, I love poems of the heart over the boring clever head any day.
More please! Or should I say encore?

Rachel Fox said...

So much heart here at the moment. I feel like mine is in my stomach at times just now...or like it's going to explode. Though I did sleep a little better last night and that always helps!