Posted tagged ‘Pattinson’s Hair’

Pattinson and Poetry

May 2, 2010

Comparative Hair - Billy Collins/Robert Pattinson

After a month of posting draft poems in honor of National Poetry Month, I have to say that there’s a certain payback to blogging about Robert Pattinson (the 23-or-4 year old star of the Twilight Saga movies).

The fact is that not that many people are interested in poetry, particularly the draft poems of an unknown blogger, while many many people are interested in Pattinson (as in gaga over, or contemptuous of). Sure, there are also a lot of people who are disinterested in Pattinson, but often disinterested in a way that borders on the self-righteously dismissive (e.g., a teeny teeny bit interested).

Lately, an important percentage of the fascination does not seem to be with Pattinson himself, as with the very interest he elicits (all those screaming girls.) He was recently named, for instance, one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Curiously, the commentator justifying this designation did not cite any particular example Rob sets, or influence he levers, so much as the fact that any information about Pattinson–public sighting or comment–is the immediate subject of a zillion tweets and retweets.

And why are people so interested in Rob? Okay, the looks—Nureyev cheekbones, tortured eyes, hair—this blog has already discussed those at length. More importantly, however, Pattinson is identified with a character (Twilight’s Edward Cullen) who is an escapist ideal—the perfect…oops! nearly perfect…oops! not quite man. Here Pattinson plays into a double fantasy of male perfection and vampirism, with each element vying for the most incredible. (Sorry, guys!)

Poetry is tremendously down to earth in comparison. A good poem tends to bring the reader more fully into the moment, or, at least, some moment, rather than out of it.   Even fantastical poems, such as those by Yeats or Keats or Robert Bly, deal in the real and human and very imperfect.

But people like perfect escapes. Which may be why poets, even those super popular poets, like Billy Collins, tend to earn much less than movie stars. That and the hair.