Shin Godzilla Review: Humans Are More Frightening Than Godzilla – But He’s Pretty Terrifying, Too

October 13, 2016

Even though I am legally blind and have difficulty reading subtitles—it’s virtually impossible at the theater—I had to see the new Godzilla.While I heard this new film was very “talky” rather than action-oriented, I didn’t care. I am a huge fan of the Godzilla franchise. I’ve seen all the previous 30 Godzilla films, even the American 1998 movie, multiple times. They are a special kind of fun for me, and for all their flaws, I feel that they offer a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. And beneath all the silly and/or spectacular monster battles, there is always a deeper social and political message, which makes them even more compelling. That is especially important in the latest, Shin Godzilla (roughly, “Godzilla: Resurgence”), directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. It was released in Japan in July 2016, but only came to the U.S. this month (October 2016).

One thing I should stress: if you want to see it in theaters, see it now. In most cities, its U.S. run will last only a week. I saw it at the Gateway in Columbus, OH, and I believe it will only play until Tuesday, October 18th.

Caption: On the left, the American poster for Shin Godzilla. On the right, the Japanese poster. Courtesy of

Aside from the pleasure of seeing the Big G on the screen, the movie plays upon many provocative tensions: the way authorities can both fail and band together for survival in response to crisis; the terror of being caught up in international affairs; the reality of cynical self-interest in the face of disaster; the hubris of Americans and the U.N.; the exploitation of other animals and the environment as a basis for our pleasure—and perhaps our demise.

These “daijaiju” (giant monster) movies obviously require a suspension of disbelief and a certain level of patience—or, perhaps more aptly, an appreciation for something different—to enjoy them. That’s actually a plus for me, because I am not a fan of realism or mainstream dramas, comedies, or action films. Realism is too dull. It offers me little entertainment even if it has depth, and realist-oriented films typically don’t allude to other similar films (something I enjoy in “genre” works), which make them shallow to me, or arrogant, or at least disconnected from those who came before. It’s hard to watch a horror or sci-fi movie without a direct or indirect reference to other horror or sci-fi films. Shin Godzilla may be very different from all previous Godzilla films, except perhaps the very first one, but there are several markers that, unlike the American remakes, plant it squarely within the Godzilla tradition: the iconic roar; the atomic breath; a fascination with trains; the futility of military attacks; the music (very sparse for a Godzilla film) includes some of Akira Ifukube’s classic symphonic pieces from the Showa films; and close-ups of Godzilla’s blank, reptilian glare, juxtaposed with shots of citywide destruction. These are the things we have come to know and love about the G-film.


Caption: Tokyo in flames. Buildings are silhouetted against a backdrop of smoke and fire. Courtesy of

My experience of Shin Godzilla is somewhat limited due to the fact since I could barely follow the subtitles, even sitting in the front row. I probably caught 15-20% of the dialogue. And this Godzilla movie is quite dialogue-heavy. Perhaps more so than any other Toho Godzilla offering. But I could generally follow the storyline and character roles based on what snippets I could read, and the visual interactions between characters. Even if the characters don’t have much depth—mostly government officials who struggle with how best to respond to Godzilla’s appearance—the actors put a great deal of emotion into their performances. In fact, I’d hazard to say that, aside from the original, this may be the best-acted film of the franchise. (It’s hard to believe Godzilla has been around for over 60 years, since the original 1954 film. It’s then been over 70 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945—and yet somehow we haven’t gotten rid of nuclear weapons, a context that should never be forgotten when watching these movies. It’s too easy to forget the danger to humans and all life on Earth that nuclear technology poses.)

But of course, we watch a daikaiju movie for the monster, right? This film doesn’t disappoint. Godzilla has a very different, very sinister look, and he mutates throughout the film. His iconic atomic breath is even more destructive than usual (they add some twists to it I don’t want to spoil). His skin is also cracked by glowing radiation, a constant reminder of the creature’s nuclear origins. This plays upon Japanese fears over nuclear contamination in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Godzilla movies are always political in that even the silliest of the Godzilla films reference the destructive nature of nuclear technology, the hubris if not futility of military might, and the unacknowledged widespread human and ecological damage wreaked by greed and cruelty. Godzilla is a force of nature as much as he is a product of science and militarism gone amok. He is an unnatural force of nature, or a technobeast of mass destruction. He is a deadlier cyborg than Arnold could ever be.

Shin Godzilla does have some of the most realistic scenes of buildings and trains blowing up I’ve ever seen. The shots cut between vast panoramas of carnage—impressive aerial shots of Tokyo being obliterated, street by street—to closer shots of buildings falling that still emphasize the sheer scale of Godzilla’s havoc, and occasionally to close-ups that zoom in on smaller, more human-level impact. There are definitely some “iconic” shots here, one thing I look for in a good Godzilla film. For example, in one scene, we watch section after section of Tokyo go dark as Godzilla knocks the electricity out, then cut to a close-up of Godzilla’s head, his eyes leering menacingly in front of him while reddish-orange cracks spiderweb their way up his neck. He doesn’t roar, he barely moves, and there is no music. But the juxtaposition of the dark city and the fiery monster is quite striking. Godzilla looks freaking evil here.


Caption: Head and upper torso of Godzilla glowing with radiation. Courtesy of

I’m not sure how much they are able to explain Godzilla’s existence since I missed much of the dialogue, but the failings of Japan’s political bureaucrats and the domineering international pressures of the U.S., France, and the United Nations are all implicated in the disastrous response to Godzilla. Although critics have pointed to public attitudes that the Japanese administration handled its response to the triple disaster of tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear meltdown in 2011 poorly, there’s also clear indictment of America’s bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as nuclear testing in the Pacific area. In the film, a Japanese scientist predicts the appearance of a creature born of radioactive mutation, and the U.S. covers it up. When Godzilla does appear, the U.S. President sends Special Envoy Kayoko Ann Patterson (an American of Japanese ancestry) to get Japan to share information. When she learns that the U.N. decides to use a thermonuclear bomb on Godzilla (without consulting the Japanese government or people), she vows to stop them, as she does not want another nuclear bomb dropped on the country. (A similar U.N. vs. Japan situation occurs in Godzilla 1985, with Russia releasing a nuclear missile that ends up reenergizing, rather than destroying, Godzilla. The American version notoriously edited the film to make it seem as though the Russians intentionally launch the missile, while the original Japanese version makes it an accident, with a dying Russian trying to stop the launch.)


Caption: A dying Russian fights to launch a nuclear missile in Godzilla 1985. The subtitle reads: “I’m the only one who can do it.” Courtesy of HK Film News.

Satomi Ishihara does a wonderful job as Patterson, joining a small but memorable number of female leads in Godzilla films. Ishihara took the role without knowing that she would have to speak a number of lines in English (since she is an employee of the American government). She found this difficult, but she does a great job, and it adds that extra touch to the international aspect. Her character also embodies the tensions between loyalties toward Japanese and foreign interests. On the one hand, she vows to protect her country to the possible political fallout of her decision. On the other hand, she voices her hope that she will one day be President of the United States. Whether the U.S. can accept a President who is both female and Asian remains to be seen. But she has some of the best lines in the film (and not necessarily the ones in English).*


Caption: Satomi Ishihara as Kayoko Patterson. Courtesy of

While many women in Godzilla films fit within stereotypically gendered roles, a few, like Patterson, play crucial and fearless characters. There is Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa, a psychic able to detect Godzilla’s presence, who appears as one of the few recurring characters in several films; Anna Nakagawa in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) as Emmy Kanno, a woman from the future torn between loyalty to her own world and her ancestral home; Misato Tanaka in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) as Kiriko Tsujimori, a hard-as-nails military commander with a personal vendetta against the Big G; and Chiharu Niiyama in Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) as reporter Yuri Tachibana, who confronts sexism, an overprotective father, and her superiors’ skepticism as she seeks the truth behind the appearances of several giant monsters. Gender plays a strange role in these movies, especially when we consider the monsters. Godzilla was always a “he” even though “he” laid an egg that hatched into a young Godzilla in several movies (although I think some films implied the egg simply appeared, and was not necessarily the direct offspring of the big Godzilla), and Mothra (who also reproduced by laying eggs) has been alternately referred to as “he” and “she.” Sometimes the dialogue even uses “it” in reference to both of them, especially in subtitles. In Shin Godzilla, the scientists discover that Godzilla can reproduce asexually—which, of course, is a terrifying prospect.

The other actors do a fabulous job as well, especially Hiroki Hasegawa’s as the bold Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Rando Yaguchi, who, after a distinguished and versatile career in Japanese cinema and television, said he was excited to be part of a Godzilla film. Ren Ôsugi as Prime Minister Seiji Okochi also ably plays an indecisive leader who makes several missteps, but in a way that we sympathize with his decisions and struggle. As I believe he says, there is no precedent for Godzilla (in this storyline, this is his first appearance). There is no “how to deal with giant monsters” handbook. What is great about the film’s portrayal of Patterson, Yaguchi, and Okochi is that it allows them to err, or show their more opportunistic side, while still being sympathetic and also doing good. In other words, the film can be critical of politicians without dismissing them as human beings. Too many movies make them out as either villains or heroes (including other G movies), but in this one, there are neither, other than Godzilla himself. But even when he is a villain, Godzilla is also an anti-hero, a reminder of human hubris or warning of even greater catastrophe rather than a being of malice.


Caption: Hiroki Hasegawa as Rando Yaguchi. Courtesy of


Caption: A man (his back to the camera) stares at a scene of wreckage in the aftermath of Godzilla. (I believe it is Yaguchi.) This was one of the most touching moments of the film, as he bows before he departs, as if saying a prayer for all the dead.

In any case, Shin Godzilla is more of a politically-charged disaster film than an action-packed monster rampage, much like the 1954 Godzilla. And that’s OK with me. As much as Final Wars was a fun non-stop monster battle and Matrix-style fighting between humans and aliens that payed homage to earlier entries like Godzilla vs. Monster Zero and Destroy all Monsters, there need to be some different approaches to sustain interest in this genre, while still maintaining enough of the old formula to comfort long-time fans. Toho is working on an animated Godzilla slated release for next year. I hope the success of Shin Godzilla brings that movie to the U.S. as well. And drives the continuation of the daikaiju tradition.

*Edit and update, 10/24/16

In my original review, I stated that Patterson said the line, “Men are more frightening than Godzilla.” Well, since the film has been given an extended run in some theaters, including the Gateway here in Columbus, I saw the film again today, sitting back several rows, which actually helped me to read the subtitles more fully (since I didn’t have to scroll across the screen as much with my monocular). It actually appears that Hiromi Ogashira, Deputy Director of Nature Conservation Bureau (portrayed by Mikako Ichikawa), says the line. She’s another strong female character in the film, although not given as much screen time or development as Patterson.

I enjoyed the movie even more the second time around. Despite the heavy dialogue, the action scenes are done very well, and the cinematography is beautiful. It looks like the director and cinematographer put a lot of thought into how the shots would be framed, whether the camera’s on a human, Godzilla, or a cityscape.

I realized though that I hadn’t said anything negative about the film, I also said that it wouldn’t count among my favorites, without explaining why. Well, if I were to criticize it, here would be my points:

  • Another reboot: I prefer when there’s continuity among films in a series. I know that at some point, there needs to be a completely new origin story to breathe new life into an old character, but we’ve seen this so many times it’s a bit wearying. Honestly, this wasn’t a huge gripe for me, especially since there hasn’t been a new film in 12 years since 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, but I do hope that future films build on this one.
  • Dialogue interrupts action: I am OK with the film being heavy on dialogue and human interaction, but it did annoy me when Godzilla was rampaging and they cut to humans talking about it. Since there was such little action, it should have been allowed to play mostly without unnecessary commentary by the humans.
  • Human drama: Again, though I was fine with much of the focus being on the humans’ handling of Godzilla, it would have been nice to have a bit more actual drama among them. Some minor subplots like in The Return of Godzilla (Godzilla 1984). There were tensions but these could have gone further, whereas they seemed to have fizzled out after they develop their alternative to nuking Godzilla.
  • *SPOILER ALTERT* The ending: The way the government neutralizes Godzilla felt a bit anti-climactic. It seemed way too easy. Even though it seemed to be a bit muted on purpose–careful of taking on the triumphal tone you see in other Godzilla movies–it’s always a bit of let-down anyway when the military is able to defeat Godzilla, even though in this case it’s explicitly temporary, and the ending shot of creatures frozen in mid-spawn from Godzilla’s tail leaves open the idea that there’s more threats to come. The ending of GMK was spectacular and felt right, despite Godzilla falling to military might (with some help from the Guardian Monsters, of course).

Blog Tour: My Writing Process

May 6, 2014

My magical colleague and friend, Sara Cleto, tagged me to be part of the Writing Process Tour, which asks writers to answer four questions about their writing process. Sara’s work is informed by her various loves: fairy tales, speculative fiction, and apparently, steampunk (though the last one’s influence has only recently sneaked up on her). Her poetry and fiction does sensual things with language–and I mean sensual in both the meaning of exploring the 5 senses, as well as indulging an erotic attitude toward words–as she says, her work is “dripping with unlikely adjectives.” She’s also become interested in disability, and is working on a story about a disabled beekeeper in space. That’s right, a DISABLED BEEKEEPER IN SPACE. I’m as excited to read that story as I am to see the new Godzilla movie (and those of you who know me, know that means pretty damn excited). She’s been/will be published in the Rose Red Review, Ideomancer, and the forthcoming anthology A Is for Apocalypse, among others. She co-wrote a poem with the equally magical Brittany Warman, “The Second Law of Thermodynamics,” based on the Snow Queen fairy tale, that was nominated for a Pushcart. You can access all her lovely published pieces here.

Go read up on her at her blog,

Thank you for tagging me for this, and sorry for the late response!

Here are my answers to the Writing Process questions.

1) What am I working on?

I’ve always got a few poems to develop and/or revise. Right now, I’ve got a poem based on the idea that the dead return as insects that like to bite and feed on us, a poem that imagines emotions as different kinds of animals, and a poem that uses new words I picked up either through my reading or via’s “Word of the Day” feature.

It’s been harder to work on fiction while in grad school, but I recently published a Lovecraftian short story at the Were-Traveler (“Summoner from the Depths“), in which I invented my own Lovecraftian deity/monster, forbidden book, characters, and town, and I have plans to use these elements for a whole “cycle” of stories, as Lovecraft and his followers have done. I was particularly interested in creating a strong female character to face off against the Old Ones, because even though human efforts are largely futile against such forces, Lovecraftian protagonists have traditionally been male (and any female characters at all are few and far between).

Although part of that cycle will also take place in Lovecraft’s haunted Arkham, Massachusetts, I also created a fictionalized version of my home town in southwestern PA, Natrona, that draws heavily on its downtrodden working-class and Polish/Slovak elements (the entity and forbidden book’s names are even made from Polish words, which look weird enough to be similar to mythos creations like Cthulhu, Ithaqua, Necronomicon, and Unaussprechlichen Kulten).

I use the same fictional town–though with different characters–for a novel I’ve been working on for years, but which has fallen by the wayside due to school. It’s about a female teenage werewolf, and since I love both wolves and werewolves, she is the heroine or anti-heroine. She faces off against a sorcerer, a man who uses black magic to accumulate wealth, eliminate his enemies, and control the local business and political goings-on in the area. It’s set in the 90s, so while that means I get to draw a lot on my own adolescence, it also means a lot of research to determine exactly when certain albums/movies/TV shows/etc were released, news stories happened, etc. Guess I didn’t know what I was getting into when I set out to write a “historical novel”!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure that I think a lot about this. OK, well as I say above, I purposefully wanted to introduce a strong female protagonist into Lovecraft mythos stories, which predominately feature male characters. I can’t say my idea of using a werewolf as a hero is terribly original–Robert McCammon did this with his secret agent werewolf fighting Nazis in The Wolf’s Hour, Poul Anderson wrote his Operation Chaos and Operation Luna novels about a werewolf and witch who team up to fight a number of evils (and who similarly work for the government), and I know there are other examples. Perhaps my novel idea is a bit different in that it is much more focused on characters than action, and rather than having the protagonists be some extraordinary government agents and romantic heartthrobs as in so much of this kind fiction, my characters are gritty and unglamorous, strong and loyal yet flawed, and firmly entrenched in a working class culture. (Does anyone find it odd/annoying that these characters always live on mansions/estates and have little connection with ordinary people? Because they’re supernatural they must also be aristocratic?)

As for my poetry, I’m not sure how it’s “different.” Maybe it’s not terribly original–I’m not experimental in a formal sense, and I like most of my work to be somewhat accessible. While not straightforwardly so, much of my poetry might even be considered–*gasp*–confessional. Perhaps talking about the personal through disability (see my poems “To My Cane” and “Dreams of Driving Blind” in Wordgathering), dinosaurs and prehistoric animals (my poem about the second rediscovery of the coelacanth, “King of the Sea,” in Grey Sparrow), and my exploration of the complexities of masculinity in poems like “Whalers,” in some way adds some uniqueness to my work.

3) Why do I write what I do?

This is partially answered by the response above. I think I like tapping into my past, my conflicted feelings about where I grew up and about who I am (a disabled working-class intellectual white heterosexual cis-gendered male), to combine with some of my quirker interests in animal-human relationships, prehistoric creatures, horror, and questions of knowing (knowing others, oneself, nature, God and the universe–you know, the basics). This is probably going to sound cliche as hell, but I think the fundamental issue and tension at play in much of my work is the feeling that we are all alone and selfish in some basic way. Are religion, art, and interpersonal relationships genuine reaching toward the Other, or are they only illusions to make us feel less lonely? Do animals and the supernatural tell us truths that we don’t tell each other as humans?

4) How does my writing process work?

Very haphazardly, unfortunately. Usually at night–the later, the better, after all my “normal” work is done. I used to set aside time to write creatively, but it’s been hard to make that a priority lately. Usually, if I’m sparked by an idea, image, or words I scribbled down earlier, I’ll write out a draft by hand. (Something about writing in hand first feels more natural to me.) If it’s fiction, I will try to spend at least 30 minutes each day working on it until the first draft is at least finished. Then I type up and revise several times, usually with some time in-between drafts to let my mind process and unconsciously work out problems. When I’m lucky, I get other writers to read and comment on my drafts, which is a huge help.

I’d really like to make my creative work a more regular thing, because I know the more often I work on things, the better my writing becomes. I’d definitely like to focus more on my fiction, and get a working draft of that novel ready.


I was supposed to recruit 3 more writers/artists to participate and be the next on the “tour,” and include their bios and photos below with links to their blogs, but I was lackadaisical about advertising this on Facebook, and haven’t heard from anyone yet, so if you happen to see this and want to participate, I’ll be glad to add your info to this post.

Twain, Shakespeare, and Nonsense

April 16, 2014

Tonight, Andrew presented his proposal for a final paper on Mark Twain’s allusions to Shakespeare as nonsense in Huckleberry Finn. This will be the final paper for his Folklore of Play class. In the novel, Huck meets two con men who claim to be the Duke of Bridgewater and King Louis XVII. One of the Duke’s scams is performing scenes from Shakespeare, so he teaches the King to do Hamlet’s “to be, or not to be” soliloquy, but the speech turns out to be a hodgepodge of disordered lines from Hamlet, Macbeth, and Richard III. In nineteenth-century America, parodies and burlesques of Shakespeare were common in performance and writing, often vulgarizing or combining the original text with American slang or folk songs for humorous effect. Twain’s allusions, however, maintain the original wording; it is the sequence of lines that is changed. The lines are recognizable but disarranged;  the mismatch of references spiral into nonsense. Drawing on Susan Stewart’s theories of nonsense as breaking common sense frames with overabundance of signification, and allusion’s connections with nostalgia, the soliloquy as nonsense suggests an intrusion upon the American realist project and a unified American identity. The constant invention of origins by Huck, the Duke, and the King, alongside the allusive nature of the text, point to a problem of American origins–America’s culture and literature lacking the deep history of European societies. The speech not only destabilizes American identity by reliance on a British past, but also destabilizes that British past itself by cobbling it together from various texts in an incoherent way, rather than pointing to a single, cohesive source.

Consult this color-coded transcription of the Duke’s recitation. The different colors show which play the lines come from, and the original Shakespeare passages are given as well.

Allusions to Shakespeare in Huckleberry Finn

Fun facts: as Twain worked on Huck Finn, he also wrote a few acts for a full-length burlesque of Hamlet, in which a nineteenth-century slickster book agent visits Denmark and tries to push his wares on Hamlet and his father’s ghost, but tries to help out the prince when he learns of the plot against him. Also, Twain published a book-length essay in 1909, a year before he died, called Is Shakespeare Dead?, in which he claims to side with those who believe Sir Francis Bacon to have written the works of Shakespeare, apparently a hot controversy at the time. Some scholars believe the work’s exaggerated vehemence of argumentation to be satirical.

William Shakespeare and Mark Twain

Mark Twain may have believed that Sir Francis Bacon, not William Shakespeare, wrote Hamlet. Or he might have been telling a stretcher.

O steel! O stone! Poems of the Brooklyn Bridge

April 10, 2014

Yesterday (4/9), Ayendy Bonifacio led the Kerouac Krew to discuss several poems that “contemplate, illustrate and even eroticize the Brooklyn Bridge”: selections from Jack Kerouac’s “Brooklyn Bridge Blues,” Marianne Moore’s “Granite and Steel,” Vladimir Mayakovsky’s “Brooklyn Bridge,” Hart Crane’s “To Brooklyn Bridge,” and Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” Each of these poems engages with a radically different relationship to the bridge, and to its readers. We discussed how Kerouac’s take is more personal and ironic, while Moore broods over the exploitation of immigrant workers who made the bridge. They have not quite partaken of the liberty promised by the “Caged Circe of steel and stone,” represented by the Statue of Liberty as seen through the bridge (see photo below). Mayakovsky, a Russian futurist, challenges the iconic status of the bridge (and of America itself?), with the very form of the poem–its irregular line breaks and intrusions of white space create a sense of instability. Crane’s vision is of an ethereal, almost spiritual bridge, whose “curveship lend[s] a myth to God.” Finally, how can you talk about Brooklyn and poetry without Whitman? We only touched on “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” briefly, which does not reference the bridge directly, but uses setting to transcend the individual–reaching out to us in the 21st century, declaring that those who “shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.”

"Caged Circe of steel and stone."

“Caged Circe of steel and stone.”

National Poetry Month Day 5: Acquainted with the Night

April 5, 2014

Missed Day 4, but here’s one for Day 5: Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night” has always resonated with me for several reasons. Like many poets, I walk frequently, often at night, trying to burn out, push through, or just dwell with an unsettling aura of melancholia. And if you pass by, I’m not going to explain. I didn’t have a luminary clock against the sky to deepen that gray not wrong/not rightness, but when I was young, there was a red cross that glowed on the hill across the river. Now that the weather’s getting warmer, I hope the long walks will be less broody.

acquainted with the night


“Acquainted with the Night”

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


National Poetry Month Day 3 – Body of a Woman

April 3, 2014

I don’t have to say much to explain this poem or my response–it’s Pablo Frickin’ Neruda, “Body of a Woman.” You can find another translation here, though I personally like Merwin’s the best (reproduced below). I’ll just say that, as erotic as his poems are, there’s also a profound longing embedded in them, and that’s what I tried to capture–“alone like a tunnel.”

body of a woman

“Body of a Woman”

Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
you look like a world, lying in surrender.
My rough peasant’s body digs in you
and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me,
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.

But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence!
Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad!

Body of a woman, I will persist in your grace.
My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road!
Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows
and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.

National Poetry Month Day 2 – There Will Come Soft Rains

April 2, 2014

Here’s my visual response to Sara Teasdale’s haunting “There Will Come Soft Rains.” In case it’s not entirely clear what’s going on in the background, it’s supposed to be a broken skyscraper overtaken by plant life. I was thinking of trying to draw more ruins, but I was honing in on the line “would scarcely know that we were gone,” suggesting less and less traces of humanity.

Yes, I know Ray Bradbury wrote a short story of the same name (which features the poem itself). It’s one of my favorites.

there will come soft rains

“There Will Come Soft Rains”

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.