general biography, Poetry, Uncategorized
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Rathbone the Poet

ttc305When I was in Boston a few years ago, I visited the Howard Gottlieb Archive Center at Boston University. It houses a collection of Basil Rathbone papers. To my great delight, I discovered some poetry written by Basil Rathbone. Did you know he was a poet? Here is one of Rathbone’s poems:

I looked at myself in the mirror,
and my life passed by like a sliver
of light through a closing door,
that would open again, once more … once more
and then … no more!
I had known the face for many a year,
the face of the man who was standing there,
and he looked at me with eyes that said,
“You will soon be dead … you will soon be dead”!
“The sooner the better,” I grimly replied,
“If I look like you with your egg-shaped head
I would sooner be dead”!
Then he smiled at me from the mirror’s surface
and I seemed to sense his evil purpose.
So I smashed the mirror in many pieces
Hoping thereby to prolongue my species!

ttc304I find it sad that he looks in the mirror and starts thinking of death. I don’t know when the poem was written, but the content suggests that Rathbone was old. Perhaps he was having difficulty dealing with getting older. What do you think?

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3 Comments

  1. Judy D. says

    Sounds like it was inspired by “the Raven,” which he recorded, didn’t he, for Caedmon in those wonderful spoken-word albums. I guess who over a certain age doesn’t look into a mirror, especially an actor, and feel distaste or even fright!! Good job, though, Baz. Thanks for printing this poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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