When Birds Were Fish
by Steven McCabe
One could write poetically concerning When Birds Were Fish.
Or When Birds Were Suns. When Birds Were Moons.
Soaring and skimming from here to there, across times, flying into the rivers of the underworld.
Emerging silently into the forbidding underworld of Jean Cocteau’s 1949 film Orphee, situated within the relic of postwar France: A modern world as silently old order as mythology itself.
Orphee, played by Jean Marais, interrogated by an underworld tribunal.
Stating his occupation as poet.
To write without being a writer.
The Princess of Death, played by Maria Casares, asking him for a pen (to sign her confession).
Her confession of love. He has no pen.
She laughs. She forgot he is not a writer.
The scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_o9l3OqPMk
Film images courtesy The Criterion Collection.
A poet who writes without being a writer…what is the sound of one dream transforming – birds into Greek tragedy through the head of Cocteau standing and smoking outside the bombed skeleton of his old studio in Paris. the shaman becomes film…
…some thoughts as I scroll through your amazing mind
Thank you John. Very intriguing how you ‘ran’ with this and build an entire poetic rationale/dream image. Quite amazingly structured.
Enjoyed every bit of this…especially you and John riffing off each other. I also wonder sometimes, Steven, if 1949 was a worm hole to the underworld.
Thank you Jana. In consideration of your suggestion I think it’s entirely possible 1949 was a wormhole to the underworld. Maybe to the overworld as well.
I wish I was a bird fish…how cool would that shape shifting be ☺️
Wouldn’t that be cool! 🙂 Just shape-shifting along!
enjoyed the movement of image and text, how they work with and against each other.
Thank you sanberdooboy.