Cross-Cut


In film editing terminology, a cross-cut sequence is one where the movie jumps between two different scenes, often to build suspense or create a deeper understanding of all the characters involved by subtly relating the actions of one character to the activity in the other scene. A classic example would be the cross-cut sequence that cuts between the mafia murders in various parts of town with newly minted criminal mastermind Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) attending a baptism in “The Godfather.”

In Guys Reading Poems, we employ poetry as a prime vehicle to understand the life of a creative but troubled family of artists living in downtown Los Angeles. To add meaning to this experiment in film narrative, we are curating a series of essays titled “Cross-Cut.” The collection of short pieces will delve into the oeuvre, psychology and impact of each of the poets we’ve selected for inclusion in the film. Our hope is that an additional layer of insight into each poet will enrich your experience of how their work is applied cinematically in our film.

Here is a listing of the poets included in Guys Reading Poems along with links to the essays about them from our contributors:

William BlakeBertolt Brecht, Richard Corbet, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Gray, Thomas Hardy, Ben Jonson, Edna St. Vincent MillayHarold Monro, Sir Walter Scott, Sara TeasdaleChidiock TichborneWalt Whitman, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats

Most of the poetry is public domain work from deceased authors, but the film includes poems from two writers living and working in Los Angeles. They are:

Steven ReignsHunter Lee Hughes

The film also includes five passages of poetry from The Bible.

Cross-Cut: Harold Monro

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Cross-Cut: Harold Monro

By Allyson Mackender Harold Monro (1879-1932) was born in Brussels and did not settle down for most of his life. As he moved around the European continent, through Ireland and England, Monro was characterized as a “moody young man who brooded over himself, and not liking what he found, imagined that he would discover something better under another sky” (Monro vii). Insecurities inherent to human nature and anxieties regarding monotony were all too familiar to Monro. His sense of impatience is perfectly captured in the final stanza of his...

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Cross-Cut: Falling into Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Cross-Cut: Falling into Edna St. Vincent Millay

By Dave Jarecki Working at an independent bookstore during a quarter-life crisis shortly after 9/11 was as good a part-time job as any I might want. Every employee carried around some grudge against their version of “The Man,” from the former radical/general manager, to the community organizing assistant manager, to all the wanna-be-writers—a group to which I belonged—who slung pages back and forth, griped about rejections, and sneered at a new wave of trust-fund authors with books about their lost years in Prague. The writers we celebrated...

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Cross-Cut: William Butler Yeats

Posted by on 7:28 pm in Cross-Cut, Updates! | 1 comment

Cross-Cut: William Butler Yeats

By J. Raymond It’s not quite eight o’clock in the morning as I write these words upon a barf bag, thirty-something thousand feet up in the sky. Heading home (West Palm Beach) from my most recent book reading and signing in Boston. I drink a can of bloody Mary mix with two vodkas, reflecting on the events of the weekend. It was a success, I’d say. The room was full, books were purchased, alcohol was consumed, relationships consummated – all in all, a good weekend for a full-time writer. The exception might be waking to a message from a lovely...

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