There’s a succinct phrase for you. I’ve been considering people’s words lately.
I watched the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday. I didn’t have any favorites and wasn’t qualified to judge, as the only movie in contention that I saw was 20 Feet from Stardom. This is an entertaining documentary about backup singers, which I recommend (and it won the Oscar).
I found it to be a testament to the written word that the memoir of Solomon Northup survived and is now known to millions of people as the Oscar winning film 12 Years A Slave. In accepting his award for Best Picture British filmmaker Steve McQueen said, “Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live . . .”
Though Twitter was jammed with the retweet of the celebrity selfie, I think the next most tweeted line was taken from the acceptance speech of the supporting actress Lupita Nyong who said, “No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”
As for the songs, I liked the danceability of Pharrell’s Happy song. I looked up the lyrics and they may be catchy but not too deep:
“Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do”
Like many viewers, I cringed at John Travolta’s garbling of singer Idina Menzel’s name when he introduced her to sing the Oscar-winning song Let Her Go. Written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Let Her Go’s lyrics (from the movie Frozen) are appropriate as we are all hoping winter will let us go from its grips.
“Well, you only need the light when it’s burning low,
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow,
Only know you love her when you let her go.”
Goodnight Moon was a book I enjoyed reading to my kids (I don’t know whether they enjoyed it as much as I did) so I was happy to hear a new Margaret Wise Brown book (Goodnight Songs by Sterling Children’s Books) will be coming out this month. This article in The Guardian has the full account and quotes some of the new lullaby poems:
“Baby sail the seven seas
Safely in my arms
When the waves go up and down
You are safe from harm”
“When I close my eyes at night
In the darkness I see light
Blue clouds in a big white sky.”
If you are a poet who has written a lullaby, you may be interested to know that Wilda Morris, who regularly hosts a poetry challenge on her blogsite, has focused the March contest on lullabies. There is no fee to enter; the winners get their poems published on her site.
I have been making a literary escape to Quebec by reading Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny. It is an Inspector Gamache mystery and I don’t think I am giving too much away when I tell you that he tries to follow four sentences that lead to wisdom, and they are: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I need help. I don’t know.”
Lastly, my sister mentioned to me she learned a new way to pray using her fingers to remind her who she should keep in her thoughts. I Googled it so you don’t have to; it’s the Five Finger Prayer Guide. Some attribute it to Pope Francis while others say it has been around for a long time. Whatever the origin, it seems to be experiencing a revival.
Peace, love, and solace
BTW, the picture above is a detail from an illustration by Clement Hurd in Goodnight Moon. The picture below is also by Clement Hurd but slightly doctored–sorry.
P.S. In my original post, I made a mistake, which I have corrected. My apologies to Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for not getting it right the first time. And my thanks to Susan Mahan for mentioning this mistake to me.