Jun 24, 2012

William Wyler Blogathon: A poem about "Roman Holiday"

If I tell you that Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies ever, that would be no news, right?

The name of my blog is Joe Bradley's address in Rome, Via Margutta 51; I made a video tribute; I included it in my list of 8 Classic Movies I can wath over and over; once I "designed" a videogame based on the film; I've made polls about it and asked you what would you do if you were Ann; the other day a friend returned from Europe and brought me this postcard:

Postcard of "Roman Holiday" showing Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck

Yesterday I watched Roman Holiday for the umpteenth time, trying to find a new angle for this post. I concluded that only a personal approach to this famous movie would be a contribution. So I had the Titanic-sized nerve to write a poem; you know my first language is Spanish, so I hope you can forgive its basic form :)

Ready? Here we go:


A master craftsman of cinema they called him,
perfect visual stories Wyler would trim;
he went to Italy and shot in black and white,
even when he had Technicolor on his side.

It was about the day in Rome a princess spent,
(no duties, no speeches, no political events)
with a reporter trying to go back to the States
by getting a juicy scoop (he even made a bet!).

Blacklisted and arrested was the talented man,
who wrote the script about the princess Ann;
an Academy Award was announced,
but his name, Dalton Trumbo, was never pronounced.

Finding the main actors was hard:
Cary Grant didn't want the part,
Jean Simmons was unavailable,
Wyler thought she wasn't replaceable!

But a young actress did a screen test;
it shows a smiling girl stylishly dressed,
talking about her background and the war,
this was a presence no one could ignore.

Her name above the title requested Gregory Peck:
and "introducing Audrey Hepburn" it finally said,
her charming interpretation was a success,
it got the golden award and many articles on the press.

And Rome ("by all means, Rome") was beautifully shown,
the Trevi Fountain, the Mouth of Truth, the Pantheon,
the Colosseum, Ponte Sant'Angelo and much more
were captured forever for the public to adore.

The love of the young couple was impossible,
so the way Trumbo and Wyler ended it was responsible:
Joe voluntarily loses his bet and Ann is irremediably gone,
only memories can make them go on.

(Oh, and Ann, Joe was right:
 it was Shelley who wrote the quote you cited that night,
the first time you spent alone with a man,
when you were at Via Margutta 51)

Written for the William Wyler Blogathon, hosted by Richard Finch of The Movie Projector. Please, do yourself a favor and check the other participant's entries.


  1. Clara, I have to admit that your creative approach wouldn't have occurred to me, but I must say it worked awfully well. Maybe it's because the film is so well known that this approach is especially well-suited to summoning up fondly remembered images. And the film is poetic in its own way--the beautiful views of Rome, the fairy tale story, and especially the way Wyler uses Audrey Hepburn's gentleness and beauty to charm the viewer into falling in love with her the way Gregory Peck does! You did also manage to sneak in a lot of factual allusions too. Your style in this post was a good match for this lovely movie, one of my own very favorites of Wyler's.

  2. Great idea that you executed with high skill. I love how you worked in Trumbo along with so much other information about the name. Excellent!

  3. Clara, I wondered what you would write about this film you love so much and, as usual, you found a way to be creative, charming and unique. A lovely tribute.

  4. Clara, I loved your poem! What an innovative way to review, and pay homage to, a film. Very clever.

  5. Clara, your poem saluting ROMAN HOLIDAY won my heart with your heartfelt and playful poem! It was beautifully rendered; I could feel ROMAN HOLIDAY's memorable scenes and feelings as I read your lovely words! Beautiful job, my friend -- a lovely Valentine for the William Wyler Blogathon!!

  6. Love it! And I agree with you ... I've seen this film so many times, it ranks on my all-time list, and your poem was an original and lovely way to praise this movie.

  7. Clara,
    I love Roman Holiday to but no way was I going to ask for it given your adoration. Ha Ha (I cherish my limbs to much!)
    I knew you would do something creative for the Blogathon with Roman Holiday though and your poem is beyond adorable. A wonderful film and a very sweet tribute.

  8. This is a novel approach, written with insight and appreciation for a film so many hold among their favorite Wylers. I do myself like the film well enough, especially Wyler's stylish direction, Hepburn's enchanting, Oscar-winning turn, Eddie Albert's wonderful support and an evocative score by George Auric. And then of course there is Trumbo, whom you honor here with creative verse. You have me wanting to watch the film again right now!

  9. Great poem! And what a fantastic postcard from your friend! (Although she would be a better friend if she took you with her - ha ha.)

  10. Clara, it never once occurred to me that you have a such a healthy obsession with this movie! ;) Kidding! I loved reading this--it's so different from the typical entries you expect during a blogathon, and it's a welcome change of pace.

  11. That was WONDERFUL! If I taught a film course I would steal your idea and have the students each write a small poem about their favorite film. I love reading about an individual's personal response to a favorite film. When done well, (as it is here) it's like reading about a relationship: you learn a lot about both parties!

  12. Well done, Clara! Lovely, whimsical poem capturing the movie's charm!

  13. Clara - a beautiful poem that says it all about Roman Holiday. I will have to settle for mere prose in giving my take on this classic.
    Your entry was perfect.

  14. "What will Clara write" I wondered. A surprising idea, successfully executed. Well done!

  15. I never would thought of a poem--and yet it fits perfectly! And working in Dalton Trumbo's name earns extra points of course. As well as ending on the Shelley/Keats debate. Great work!

  16. What an inspired way to blog about Roman Holiday. Good work.

  17. On my best day, I couldn't be one hundreth this creative. What a delightful way to celebrate William Wyler and "Roman Holiday." A million thanks, Clara. I've had a smile on my face all day thinking of this.

  18. What a lovely way to express your love for this film - thanks for sharing!

  19. What a splendid idea for a William Wyler blogathon! LOVE your poem, wow that's so creative!

    You know I adore this movie and I LOVE that you use Joe Bradley's apartment address as your blog name, it's just so iconic, as is the performances of the leads. I think both Greg and Audrey are equally fantastic in this film, and he should've at least garnered a nomination as Bradley.

    In any case, thanks for this post!

  20. Great idea, very original - well done!

  21. What a lovely and creative tribute, Clara!

  22. Amazing! Thanks for the really creative entry!

  23. This is really good, and I actually learned a few trivia details from the poem! Roman Holiday is perfect, I loved the ending.

  24. Thank you people for all your comments, glad you enjoyed this poem, you're the best!

  25. Lovely! I'm a huge Audrey fan but I haven't seen this film. I really should since it was her first starring role! Sweet poem :)

  26. Great post - and postcard! I just saw Roman Holiday again and what a movie : one that can be viewed over and over. It just gets better each time.



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