A Tribute to SYDNEY POLLACK 1934 – 2008
People who dream know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom… the freedom of the artist.
—Karen Blixen, Out of Africa
Karen Blixen published her first stories in 1934 under the name of Isak Dinesen, the same year Orson Welles made his first amateur movie, HEARTS OF AGE.
If I know a song of Africa…
Of the giraffe
and the African new moon lying on her back
Of the plows in the fields
and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers
Does Africa know a song of me?
Will the air over the plain quiver
with a colour that I have had on?
Or will the children invent a game
in which my name was…
Or the full moon throw a shadow over
the gravel of the drive that was like me?
Or will the eagles of the
Ngong hills look out for me?
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
—A. E. Housman
(Read by Meryl Streep over Denys Fitch-Hatton's grave in the Ngong Hills of Kenya, in Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa )