general biography, Poetry, Uncategorized
Comments 3

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?



  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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