Ekphrastic Blog # 16

From del Toro’s “El Labertino del Fauno”

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Linda K. Strahl, an editor at the Jet Fuel Review. Her full bio can be found at the end of this post.

As my dramaturg research starts to influence my work, there is a movie that I have been thinking about for the past few days. It has been inspiring and haunting and I needed to find all of those qualities to get a poem from it. This poem has been very stubborn, as if it wasn’t in the mood to be written. I eventually had to rent the movie, “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “El Laberinto Del Fauno” directed by Guillermo del Toro. I listened to del Toro’s narration of directing the movie, while I watched the cinematography wiz by, and I eventually found the story that had been nagging at my memory. I cut an image from the film, added the Spanish story and the English translation. The story and picture together I put on our Facebook page (search Jet Fuel Review) under the Ekphrasitc Photo Album , because you can see them better there. While I left the picture of the rose for this site.

The dilemma now, is the poem. Where could I start without recreating the story completely? It was an interesting flip I used del Toro’s comments and the myth of the rose to inspire the story. This wasn’t enough. There was a mood quality that I felt was lacking with just an altered photograph so I went in search of the lullaby. I found a song far more poignant than just the film’s version. A girl, Iris, composed an accapella version and it has everything plus the discord that the movie manifests.

I suggest to readers that you go look into the 2-Disc-Platinum Series to get every detail. But things that del Toro said in his comments are something I will share with you now. Del Toro says, “We put away our fairytales, we’ll put away our souls,” just to grow up in a world where magic does not, cannot exist. “Only those that know where to look, only those that have the right gaze, will see that world,” which is what del Toro wants the audience to believe when he hides the faun and fairies from adults within Ophelia’s story.

Three doors to fairytales
to childhood wishes and dreams.
Where we hideaway our souls
from the faithless monsters of modernity
A rose with a blue tinted face,
it’s shade brightens the darkest mountain
blooming, awaiting the mortal touch,
to bestow immortality at a perilous cost.
As man’s world forgets magic
accepting their prescribed fate
the flower full of magic and promises
withers and dies,
to be reborn through moonlight and
faded memories.
       – By: Linda K. Strahl
Editor’s Note: Linda K Strahl is a transfer student from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, where she was studying Archaeology and minoring in Creative Writing. She came to Lewis University in Fall of 2010 to major in Creative Writing. After participating in the production of two plays at Phillip Lynch Theater she has become an enthusiastic dramaturg, and is contemplating a career as a researcher and playwriter.

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