Posted on July 29, 2008 at 07:26 AM
Bill Murray fans like me will cotton to this feisty drop-in. Who would've thunk that the original "Saturday Night Live" celeb, the star of such flicks as "Ghostbusters" and "Lost in Translation," is a poet?
Producer Eric Molinsky takes us on an annual summer walk over Brooklyn Bridge overloaded with poetry buffs. Rather than dissing it as Marianne Moore appeared to do in the first line of her chestnut, "Poetry" -- with "I, too, dislike it" -- the crowds on Brooklyn Bridge care enough about it to write it, to read magazines that feature it, plus buy pamphlets and books of it.
Molinsky starts by interviewing Tom and Kate Chapell, the CEOs of Tom's of Maine. When Molinsky says he uses Tom's Toothpaste, Kate fires back, "We use poetry a lot in our company. We start every meeting with a poem."
The main attraction, Bill Murray, admits that he's been cajoled by his long-time neighbor, Frank Platt, on the board of directors at the event's sponsoring organization, Poets House, to attend the Brooklyn Bridge festival. In fact, Murray has loved poetry ever since grade school, when "you could get out of homework" if you wrote it. When asked whether he'd be interested in publishing some of his own verses, Murray demurs, confessing that he needs "an injection of ambition."
Still, he pays homage to Billy Collins's poem, "Divorce" (a tough thing for Murray to do during the very week when his own divorce was being covered by the tabloids). Then he goes on to do a splendid job of reciting the closing lines of Galway Kinnell's "Oatmeal."
Overall, this curiosity piece would be a doozy for National Poetry Month or "Weekend America."