14 times poetry was used in awesome movies.

If you know me, you know I love poetry and films. One predates the other by thousands of years but in this day and age they are becoming increasingly similar. Here is a list of 14 times films used poetry to awesome effect.

14. 22 Jump Street

Oscar Wilde said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” so I am gonna apply that here. I am sure everybody is aware of this, and honestly only 60% of open mics are actually like this. Jonah Hill does a wonderful job here, my second favourite part of the movie, beaten only by “My name is Jeff”

13. So I married an Axe Murderer

So I Married an Axe Murder features a brilliant original poem performed by  Mike Myers (Shrek, Austin Powers). In this spoken word piece Myers character throws shade on all the  women in his life that left him feeling blue.

12. Blade Runner

You may have been expecting “Tears in Rain.” That final monologue has become one of films greatest soliloquies. However, Blade Runner actually borrows a few lines from famous poems, when the Replicant’s use these quotes with their sinister tone it adds an eerie intelligence to their characters. I have chosen to use a purposely misquoted William Blake’s America: A Prophecy. 

11. Ill Manors

Awesome movie? Maybe not. Awesome Poetry? Definitely. I am not a huge fan of Plan B’s directorial debut, it’s essentially an urban Lord of the Rings where Francis (Yeah from Deadpool) walks around to find his phone. I respect this film massively for the inclusion of John Cooper Clarke, reading his poems at a pub open mic. That is the experience of a spoken word artist right there, maybe not those as famous as the big JCC though.

10. Four Weddings and a Funeral

I love John Hannah. I think it was his wonderfully Scottish portrayal of ruthless roman Batiatus in Spartacus, which you loved when you were 18 but now is just an over-sexed, super violent, less intelligent Game of Thrones.  Anyway, here is John Hannah reading Auden in its entirety. What more do you need?

9. Dangerous Minds

I was really tempted just to post the music video to Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, now that’s poetry. In Dangerous Minds, Michelle Pfieffer (Good) has to teach some poor kids (Bad) about words and stuff, she used poetry, music and…karate?? It all works out in the end and if it doesn’t feel satisfactory just bump that Coolio track again.

8. Skyfall

Skyfall is a great film. It’s even a great James Bond film when you judge it against the Daniel Craig embodiment of Bond. Here, M quotes Alfred Tennyson’s Ulysses , a harrowing reminder of the constant clash of the old versus the new, a key theme throughout the entire film.

7. Death Proof

Tarantino says it’s his worst film. If you’re somebody (like me) who spent their teenage years trying to watch every horror film ever starting at Numero Uno (The Devil’s Castle, 1896) then Death Proof may have a place in your heart for the way it pays homage to it’s wonderful grind house predecessors. What makes it extra sweet for me is Stuntman Mike quoting Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening in a super creepy but somewhat manner.

6. Apocalypse Now

T.S Eliot’s The Hollow Men appears in Apocalypse Now. Read by a still wonderful Marlon Brando, I don’t really want to say much more. If you haven’t seen the film, do not watch the above clip instead get yourself down the blockbuster and rent the video immediately Granddad.

5. Holes

Holes was genius. You read it for GCSE English, it starred a not yet viral Shia Labeouf and the main character’s surname was his first name spelled backwards. Admit it, when you were a kid you loved it, and they even snuck in some Edgar Allen Poe. You know before you knew who he was in your goth stage.

4. 10 things I hate about you 

Remember Kat? Remember Kat’s Sonnet? Yeah that’s a love poem and you know it, you can tell from how many times she uses the word “hate”. On reflection I feel like my entire literary career may have been inspired by this piece.

3. Kindergarten Cop

The ultimate action film for 90’s Kids. For years film makers had been posing the question “Can Arnold Schwarzenegger act?” but only Kindergaten Cop had the gall to ask “Can Arnold Scwarzenegger read?” Here he is reading some poetry from A A Milne.

Side Note: 

2. AI

The second sentient robot film on the list, but this one is a Spielberg masterclass. Its a half crafted fairy tale mixed with a sci-fi fable.  Here Yeat’s poem The Stolen Child is shown to David by Dr Know.

1. Citizen Kane

Considered one of the best films of all time, usually by people who haven’t seen it, Orson Welle’s 1941 drama. I mean it is great for the the time, it is kind of complex and will hold your interest but does it have giant robots fighting monsters, or any of the current Marvel/DC roster? It does not. It does have some poetry though, which is a strong second.

Disclaimer; I couldn’t find the clip that uses Coleridge’s Kubla Khan but I found a Minecraft remake. I think it’s what Welles would have wanted.

What does depression feel like? My experience in overcoming mental health issues


Today is World Health Day and this year the focus is Depression.

Worldwide, over 350 million people suffer with some form of depression. 350 Million. That’s almost six times the population of the UK.

And I’ve been one of that 350 Million. I talk about it a lot in my poems because writing them helped me through the two years I suffered. I’ve rarely spoken to people about this, but I’ve learned that talking can be the best relief for someone when they feel the pressures of depression, so I’m going to share my experiences.

I don’t know why my depression started. I could give you a list of factors that probably fed into it, but they’re things that people go through every day while keeping their minds healthy. Maybe inside they’re miserable. I was.

I was suffering a bereavement, a break up, I was homesick and abusing alcohol. That was when my depression was at its worst.

Looking back, I think I had some mental health issues throughout my teenage years. I would often have these dark thoughts followed by episodes of intense hyperactivity. But it wasn’t until my 20’s that everything turned black.

When it happened I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. And when I finally would I’d wake up in dangerous predicaments or places I hadn’t been before. I was breaking down in supermarkets, refusing to leave my room while swallowing mouthful after mouthful of whiskey. What was probably worse was that I thought this was normal and rational behaviour.

Then, the darkness became infinite. I could no longer see hope in anything or anyone. It was then that I decided to seek help. It was a doctor that sent me to the therapist.

I sat in the therapist’s office, I was there to change but was unwilling. He was kind, patient and he did not judge me. I told him I didn’t know why I felt like I did, but I knew it wasn’t normal.

I told him my only escape was writing words on paper and performing them into my bedroom mirror. He said this was a good practice.

Then he prescribed me anti-depressants. And they helped. At first.

But after a while the dosage just wasn’t enough. I was eating them like sweets, three times my recommend dosage and getting refilled just as quick. I was completely dependent on them.

Partly because they showed me glimpses of what a “normal” life could be, and that’s what I craved. Looking back now, it wasn’t really the drugs that gave me those glimpses, it was the close friends I had looking out for me, hanging with me. Letting me be hyper one moment and moody the next without abandoning me.

I took the pills day after day for well over a year…but then suddenly I wanted to stop.

So I washed them all down the sink. Tried to live like I had while I was using them.

I don’t know what happened but it was as if something in my brain just clicked. I felt happiness, and sadness and boredom and love, and hate. It felt good to feel.

So from that day on, I never looked back. I have still had repeat episodes of extreme sadness, but my emotions have been more balanced, and the dark thoughts no longer haunt me.

This was just my experience, and everybody deals with depression differently, but even just typing this I feel a huge weight off my shoulders.

If anybody out there needs to talk you can contact me through this site and we can work out your problems together.

For more professional help please contact your GP or call 0800 58 58 58 to speak to a member of CALM or visit their website.

You will always be beautiful even when the world is not, and the best way to get over the bump is with somebody helping you along.

Thank you for reading.