Thursday, April 11, 2013

Silent Stanzas From the Silent Era

In lieu of my own work this week, I thought I'd share some of what I've come across on the Media History Digital Library website.  Fan magazines, especially the early ones, contain some well-written and downright  lovely poetry!  Here are two of my favorite pieces.  The first one is a terrific example of the complete infatuation and amazement that early film audiences felt, seeing such larger-than-life beauty for the first time:

"My Shadow Girl" by George Wildey, Motion Picture Story, December 1913

Whate'er of dreams from mem'ry's store
May come unbid to thee
I only dream of crimson lips
That were not meant for me.
More blest than I, the heedless cup
May drink its fill of wine,
While I must ever thirst in vain
For lips not meant for mine.

The ruse whose perfume greets the day
At night may quaff the dew;
For thee the kindly God of Love
A draught of bliss may brew;
The sparkling wine may freely flow
To cheer the cup supine,
While I must ever thirst in vain
For lips not meant for mine.

The kine may seek the limpid stream
That threads the meadow green;
The fount of youth may purl for thee
Whose smile illumes the screen;
The hero in the Photoplay
May cull the bloom from thine,
While I must gaze thereon athirst
For lips not meant for mine.

The second just plain cracks me up.  Motion Picture Story had a section (with the long-winded title of "Appreciation and Criticisms of Popular Plays and Players by Our Readers") where one could submit their attempts, and Louise Vaughn did just that in the February 1914 issue:

I've always been a bachelor-maid,
Quite heart-whole and quite free,
For never have I met a man
Who really pleased me.

I could not love a man who's fat
(Apologies, Mr Bunny),
And yet--alas! the old men
Are the only men with money.

But I have seen a face and form--
They've made of me a slave;
Sometimes he is a lover bold.
Sometimes a hero brave.

I think that I am destined
To fall in love, it seems,
With handsome Carlyle Blackwell,
The ideal of my dreams.

Mr Blackwell, for the uninitiated.  (We've met him here before.) 
One wonders if she spent her remaining years mooning over this picture:

Believe me, there'll be more of these in the future -- they are too fun to pass up!

No comments: