IMDb Polls

Poll: One Movie, One Poem

A few weeks ago, coincidentally during National Poetry Month (April) in the United States, a film about poet Emily Dickinson, 'A Quiet Passion', was released in the UK. Now it has just been released more widely, in the U.S. and elsewhere. (The famous Emily Dickinson is widely considered to be one of the best, and most influential, poets ever.)

To celebrate this new, acclaimed film: Imagine that you are stranded on an island, literal or, because we're talking about poetry, metaphorical, and you are given only two representatives of arts and entertainment: one poem by Emily Dickinson and one film. Which movie, from the list below, and thematically related Dickinson poem, would you choose?

After voting, discuss here (no iambic pentameter necessary)

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire in Rocky (1976)

    MOVIE: 'Rocky' (1976)

    POEM: "Success is counted sweetest"

    First Stanza: Success is counted sweetest By those who ne'er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need.

  2. Vote!

    Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    MOVIE: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    POEM (title and most relevant line): "After great pain, a formal feeling comes –"

  3. Vote!

    Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

    MOVIE: 'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)' (2014)

    POEM: "Fame is a fickle food"

    Sample Lines: Fame is a fickle food Upon a shifting plate Whose table once a Guest but not The second time is set

  4. Vote!


    MOVIE: 'Citizen Kane' (1941)

    POEM: "Crumbling is not an instant's Act"

    Closing Stanza: Ruin is formal — Devil's work Consecutive and slow — Fail in an instant, no man did Slipping — is Crashe's law —

  5. Vote!

    Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

    MOVIE: 'The Pursuit of Happyness' (2006)

    POEM: "I dwell in Possibility –"

    Closing Lines: The spreading wide my narrow Hands To gather Paradise –

  6. Vote!

    Kevin Spacey in American Beauty (1999)

    MOVIE: 'American Beauty' (1999)

    POEM (entire poem): In this short Life that only lasts an hour How much - how little - is within our power

  7. Vote!

    March of the Penguins (2005)

    MOVIE: 'March of the Penguins' (2005)

    POEM: "'Hope' is the thing with feathers—"

    First Stanza: 'Hope' is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul— And sings the tune without the words— And never stops—at all—

  8. Vote!

    Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

    MOVIE: 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (1975)

    POEM: "Much Madness is divinest Sense - "

    Sample Lines: Much Madness is divinest Sense - To a discerning Eye - ... Assent - and you are sane - Demur - you’re straightway dangerous - And handled with a Chain -

  9. Vote!

    Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

    MOVIE: Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

    POEM: Wild nights - Wild nights!

    Closing Stanza: Rowing in Eden - Ah - the Sea! Might I but moor - tonight - In thee!

  10. Vote!

    Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999)

    MOVIE: 'The Sixth Sense' (1999)

    POEM: "Because I could not stop for Death -"

    Famous Opening Lines: Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me –

    (In the poem, the speaker is dead but we don't know that until after we've read the entire poem. In the movie, well, you know...)

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