When 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!
I 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?