Wednesday, July 9, 2008

54. Legs' Labours Lost!

Whenever I watch an old black-and-white film from the Astair years ( and I watch them frequently because my husband is addicted!) I am mesmerised by the Chorus Line. I scarcely look at Ginger Rogers. I gaze intently into the faces of the Bright Young Things, who are bright and young no more and I empathise. Their ambition was as great as Ginger's; their disappointment doubled by it being unimportant.There must be few of them left alive, but I'd love to be able to tell even one remaining that she still has an audience ......of one.

(See the subjects of my poem on my Clickpicks Blog.)


Long lissom legs;
Luscious lips, half parted.
Corrugated hair, blonde, bottle blonde.

The Beauty Spot.
The Widow's Peak.
The Kiss Curl.
The Cupid's Bow.
All gone.

Eyes wide! But not with innocence.
Fixed smiles,
With nerves chattering at the corners of the mouths.
Bountiful thighs, no longer fashionable.
Eager faces.
Oh so eager....

For Fame.

'Please let him notice me!'
'I kick higher than she does!'
'Is my lipstick smudged?'
'This is my last chance.'

We see them, time and time again, in the background of old movies.
Fred and Ginger take centre-stage.
And, behind them the girls line-up.
This could be IT!

Kick! Kick! Kick!
Higher! Higher! Higher!
Arms around another's waist,
But not out of affection.
More like hatred.

'Surely Busby Berkely looked my way!'

The Tin Pan Alley music is full of hope.
And so are they.

But we know something they don't know:
That they will never make it.

Time will defeat them.
They will join us at the kitchen sink.

And a new crop of dewy-eyed babes will come along.

These are not great tragedies, as tragedies go.
At least, one day, they will be able to say to their grandchildren
'I was in a film once'

That will be their only reward.

Maybe now they're high-kicking on a cloud!

Maybe now they're looking down at us thinking

'I bet you never danced with Fred Astair.'


Pauline said...

New to blogging or not, you have the knack already and your rhymes are delightful. Thanks for stopping by to comment on my blog and giving me another great place to come read!

Julie Oakley said...

Ooh that gave me tingle! And I really enjoyed 'grandmother's diary'. Lovely stuff.

Anonymous said...

So it's not just me that likes to see what's going on in the background! What a lovely piece. I spotted you on Paulines site and I'm so glad I did!

I see you trained in Brighton. I live nearby and a few days ago I did a piece and took loads of photos there You might like to look. I've linked it to my name - in theory!

Bear Naked said...

You have again painted a perfect picture with your poem.
Thanks for the memories of movie films from long ago.
Don't you wish the pictures that are being made now could be as inspiring as those of the past?


Kat said...

I was stunned by this poem Brenda.......

I too have this habit of watching people who dance around or behind the heroes and heroines.... watching their expressions... and trying to think what they'd be thinking...!!!!

The poem was so much like a mirror of my thoughts :)

Written as usual, with a twist in the end. Enjoyed it.

California Girl said...

You will appreciate this, I think. My best friend's mother was a dancer with MGM during the late Forties. She stopped in 1951 when she became pregnant with Robin.

She is in some of the great color musicals. She danced with both Astaire and Gene Kelly. She loved them both. Said Astaire was a total gentleman and Kelly was an athletic artist. Both were perfectioninsts.