A poem From Shape of Water - Guillermo Del Toro (the film maker)
Soooooo as promised, today I’m starting a series on poetry referenced in films. I’ve shared poems in the past that are in some way associated with particularly inspiring pieces of cinema - Lucia, Before Night Falls, Gulaal, In Custody, Night of Prophecy. But I think I could spend a lifetime studying and sharing gems within this cross section.
The first poem in this series is from a film called “Shape of Water” directed by Guillermo Del Toro.
One of my favourite auteurs (the trio of Cuaron, Inarritu and Del Toro are popularly referred to as the 3 Amigos and all three of them bring to cinema fresh perspectives and new paradigms - do watch ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, ‘Birdman’, ‘Children of men’ if you haven’t!), Del Toro is particularly interested in what society deems as ‘monsters’. But his gaze is loving and empathetic, often finding in his fantastical creations the humanity that humans around them lack. He refers to the creature in the film as a “river god” and the story as a romance between a human and this creation.
Asking questions about the nature of relationship, cultural associations of beauty, and the beastly impulses of human beings, Del Toro’s visuals are often poetic, lending them easily to the seamless music of this simple verse. He claims to have read this poem in a book of Islamic poetry, but the name of the poet has been difficult to ascertain.
Image: Nipuni from deviant art