A film & a poem: Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Ordet and “This is not my testament:” …

Carl Theodor Dreyer is an amazing filmmaker – Ordet, one of his best. Its place on my favorite film list is a solid #9. The atmosphere that Dreyer creates – in this film as well as his entire oeuvre – is deliberate, controlled, and impacting. Only a handful of directors – Bresson, Bergman, Kieślowski, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Kar-Wai, to name a few – place a deeply personal yet universally recognizable stamp on all their works. Dreyer is a perfect fit for this group.

Ordet (The Word), a haunting tale, explores the conflicts of faith, sanity, and expectations. I connect with this film in a very internal but unexplainable way. Here’s a poem of mine – This is not my testament: – included in BOXCAR Poetry Anthology 2, very influenced by the performance of Preben Leerdorff-Rye as Johannes Borgen, a devotee of the Danish philosopher Søren Kirkegaard. No doubt, Johannes’ obsession with philosophy and Kirkegaard spike my interest.

“This is not my testament:”

cough, moo, the ticking clock – wrenched
inventions of the real – a rolling pin’s rub,
drifts of pipe smoke, doors open then close.

Neutrality is blind. Either I am Jesus,
or I am not. And the dead woman will,
in fact, have a successful birthing –

the child will nurse her breast, will have
fat hands and shoulders, his feet will be soft,
always, even though the land is hard

and the field’s in need of a certain bruising.
Wind over this field has a simple theology:
grasses move this way or they do not move.

I watch from my window, but I prefer standing
in the middle of the field so the world becomes
a great bird, flying into its perfect bird-life.

~ by samofthetenthousandthings on July 23, 2011.

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