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Mapping Fiction on Web 2.0

March 22, 2020


 

Paterson the film

After watching the film Paterson (2016), I learned that the the the esteemed poet Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and author of the volumes of poems entitled Paterson, William Carlos Williams, was born in 1883 in Rutherford, New Jersey and died there in 1963.

Paterson, the film, documents a week in the life of the main character, a bus driver in the town of Paterson, New Jersey, who is played by Adam Driver, Paterson’s wife, Laura, played by Golshifteh Farahani, and their English bulldog, Marvin. Paterson, is a poet who carries his notebook with him on his bus routes, and on his walks on his way to work, in his neighbourhood, and in the park near the Passiac Falls.  The film brings to life a 2020 version of the embodied Paterson as described by Williams in 1946, a man who is “in himself is a city, beginning, seeking , achieving and concluding his life in ways which the various aspects of a city may embody— if imaginatively conceived — any city, all the details of which may be made to voice his most intimate convictions.”

Paterson the book of poetry

Williams published Paterson in the post-WWII period, between 1946 and 1958. It was described as a “modernist epic collage of place” which recounts the “history, people, and essence of Paterson, New Jersey.” He “wrote his own modern epic poem, focusing on “the local” on a wider scale than he had previously attempted.

In the author’s note to Paterson, Williams wrote, ”

“Paterson is a long poem in four parts — that a man in himself is a city, beginning, seeking , achieving and concluding his life in ways which the various aspects of a city may embody— if imaginatively conceived — any city, all the details of which may be made to voice his most intimate convictions. Part One introduces the elemental character of the place. The Second Part comprises the modern replicas. Three will seek a language to make them vocal, and Four, the river below the falls, will be reminiscent of episodes — all that any one man may achieve in a lifetime.”

Williams also examined the role of the poet in American society and famously summarized his poetic method in the phrase “No ideas but in things” (found in his poem “A Sort of a Song” and repeated again and again in Paterson).”

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
sleepless.
— through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.

James Joyce’s Ulysses

Williams was inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses. Joyce’s fictional character is Leopold Bloom, who lived at 52 Clanbrassil Street in Portobello, Dublin, Ireland, where there is now a memorial plaque commemorating Bloom.

The James Joyce Museum website describes how Joyce “forensically” documented June 16th, 1904, a day in Bloom’s life. On that exact date, Joyce went on his first date with “the love of his life, Nora Barnacle from Galway”.

The first lines in Ulysses describe the fictional “stately, plump Buck Mulligan” at the top of the Martello tower in  Sandy Cove, Dublin, which is now the Joyce Tower museum. The significance of these lines is explained by the Joyce Project.

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”

Play list of music for the film Paterson

The play list for the music in the 2016 includes Soltane Ghalbha, which was composed by Anooshirvan Rohani (b. 1939) for a 1968 Iranian film by the same name, which was directed by Mohammad Ali Fardin. Soltane Ghalbha means King of Hearts. It was played by the Iranian pianist, Mohsen Karbassi. Rohani composed all the music for the 1968 film. and Aref Arefkia and Ahdieh sang the songs that were then dubbed by the lead performers. This is a YouTube video of Arefkia singing Soltane Ghalbha.

Other music is listed on Spotify:

  • Walk through this world with me by Tammy Wynette
  • Trespasser by Bad Medicine
  • I’m still a man (Lord have mercy) by Willie West
  • Blue Lester by Lester Young
  • The Whole Town’s Laughing at me by Teddy Pendergrass
  • Untitled (feat. Scar) (Explicit) by Killer Mike, Scar R.A.P. Music
  • Kieh Kieh Dar Mizanheh by Pouran on Best of Pouran
  • Blue Mode by Reuben Wilson
  • I’m still a man (Lord have mercy) instrumental by Willie West
  • Lonely Town, Lonely Street by Bill Withers

The poet who wrote the poems in Paterson the film

I am enchanted by the film Paterson on Netflix. It is a film about a fictional poet Paterson who lives in Paterson and who is inspired by William Carlos Williams, a poet who wrote a book of poetry called Paterson. Ron Padgett, a poet, wrote 4 poems for the film Paterson. This one is from an exquisite scene between a 11-year old girl who is a poet reading her poem to Paterson when they meet on his way home from his day job as bus driver.

A poem by  Ron Padgett

Water falls from the bright air
It falls like hair
Falling across a young girl’s shoulders
Water falls
Making pools in the asphalt
Dirty mirrors with clouds and buildings inside
It falls on the roof of my house
Falls on my mother and on my hair
Most people call it rain

Notes

  1. Day 1, Hour 1. This post, which has just begun on March 21, will include Creative Commons and open source content including poetry, Wikipedia links, Gutenberg Press content, a Google map called Mapping Fiction on Web 2.0. I am also making a Google Earth map to help for accuracy that will not be publicly available.
  2. This is day 2, Hour 2 of the mapping fiction project. Concurrent to the Google Maps I made for this, I was also working on a Google Earth folder as well. After realizing that Google Maps description fields are not responsive to either Wikipedia code [ https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4300/4300-h/4300-h.htm Ulysses] or html code <a ref=”https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4300/4300-h/4300-h.htm”>Ulysses,</a&gt; I hope to share the Google Earth version. For example, The setting for the first lines in Ulysses is the Martello tower in  Sandy Cove, Dublin, which is now the Joyce Tower museum.
  3. According to Wikipedia, Williams, in “addition to his writing, had a long career as a physician practicing both pediatrics and general medicine. He was affiliated with Passaic General Hospital, where he served as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death. The hospital, which is now known as St. Mary’s General Hospital, paid tribute to Williams with a memorial plaque that states, “We walk the wards that Williams walked.”
  4. The Joyce Project was undertaken by John Hunt, who was a then a professor of literature at the University of Montana, who was aided with over a dozen contributors, from the US, Ireland, Canada, and Iran.  I have created an Internet Archives url here.
  5. In 1827, Timothy Botchford Crane (1773 – 1845) ” built the first chasm bridge” across the Passaic River. They were then known as the Passaic River and are now called  the Great Falls.

“So far everything had gone smoothly. The pulley and ropes were securely fastened on each side of the chasm, and everything made in readiness to pull the clumsy bridge into position. It was a wooden structure boarded up on both sides, and a roof. It was about two o’clock in the afternoon and a large crowd had gathered — a large crowd for that time, as the town only numbered about four thou- sand—to watch the bridge placed in position. But the happiest man in the town that day was Timothy B. Crane, who had charge of the bridge. Tim Crane was a hotel keeper and kept a tavern on the Manchester side of the Falls. His place was a great resort for circus men. Such famous circus men of the long ago as Dan Rice and James Cooke, the great bareback rider, visited him. Tim Crane built the bridge because his rival, Fyfield, who kept the tavern on the other side of the falls, was getting the benefit of the “Jacob’s Ladder,” as it was sometimes called — the “hundred steps,” a long, rustic, winding stairs in the gorge leading to the opposite side of the river — it making his, place more easy to get to. . . . Crane was a very robust man over six feet tall. He wore side whiskers. He was well known to the other citizens as a man of much energy and no little ability.”

6. Lyrics to Soltane Ghalbha

The Sultan (King) of the Hearts
A part of my heart tells me to go, to go,
The other part of my heart tells me not to go, not to go,
My heart is not patient, not patient,
What should I do without you,

For the love, o my pretty one, my pretty one,
The world is so small, so small,
Everywhere I go, your memory is with me, your memory is with me,
I won’t leave you alone,

You’re the sultan (king) of my heart, my heart,
You broke through my heart’s gates,
You gave a love promise to my heart,
You joined me,
Now if I’m anywhere but far from you,
I won’t give my heart to anyone as a beloved but you,
I’m filled with wishing and demand,
O my beautiful beloved,

A part of my heart tells me to, go, to go,
The other part of my heart tells me not to go, not to go,
My heart is not patient, not patient,
What should I do without you,

For the love, o my pretty one, my pretty one,
The world is so small, so small,
Everywhere I go, your memory is with me, your memory is with me,
I won’t leave you alone,

You’re the sultan (king) of my heart, my heart,
You broke through my heart’s gates,
You gave a love promise to my heart,
You joined me,

Now if I’m anywhere but far from you,
I won’t give my heart to anyone as a beloved but you,
I’m filled with wishing and demand,
O my beautiful beloved.
https://lyricstranslate.com

References

Joyce, James (1922). Ulysses. London: Egoist Press. 732 pages.

Joyce, James. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ulysses.
Wikipedia contributors. Paterson (film) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 21, 2020.

Wikipedia contributors. “William Carlos Williams.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved  March 20, 2020.

Wikipedia contributors. “Rutherford, New Jersey.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 Mar. 2020. Web. 22 Mar. 2020. March 21, 2020

Williams, William Carlos  (1946-58). Paterson. New York: New Direction. oclc: 1001922820. 248 pages. The first collected edition of all 5 books was published in 1963, preceded by cumulative collected editions of 1949, 1950, and 1951.

Williams, William Carlos  (1946-58). Internet Archives full-text of Paterson.

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