SOLC Day 25 and PF: What a Ride!

March 2021 SOLC–Day 25
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Susan Bruck at her blog, Soul Blossom Living. She’s sharing the Kidlitosphere Roundup for National Poetry Month. Make sure to check out this week’s offerings and all the poetic riches on tap for next month!

I just realized something kind of odd. I’m not a movie lover, but when times get a bit turbulent in my life, I often think of that boat scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You know the one, right? I’ve shared it multiple times in past posts, including earlier this week, but here it is again, for context:

What a scene, right!?

I wonder now about my initial reaction to this iconic movie moment. How old was I when I first watched it? Was I scared? Probably. Was I spellbound? No doubt. I picture myself, heart racing, peeking through my fingers at the flashing screen and Gene Wilder’s increasingly crazed visage.

I feel a bit like that now, as I’m navigating a sudden short-term switch to remote learning and this year of pandemic in general–like the unwitting passengers on this boat ride that suddenly takes a turn from fanciful toward bizarre and frightening…

A Wondrous Boat Ride

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the river’s flowing

Is it raining, is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?

Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing?
Is the grisly Reaper mowing?

Yes! The danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing

by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley

Luckily, these days the rowers do seem to be slowing, and ultimately, Wilder does stop the wild ride. Eventually, all ends well. Well, at least for Charlie and his grandfather.

Still, I think this brilliant poem (and performance) might just be the pandemic theme song.

16 thoughts on “SOLC Day 25 and PF: What a Ride!

  1. Many of us are beginning to see the end of that crazy tunnel or at least some familiar landmarks coming into focus. I wonder how we will look back on this once it is finally in the rear view mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Well, you know, they do say that hindsight is 2020. (Sorry–I couldn’t resist that one!) But seriously, I also wonder how we’ll see all of this once we have a bit more perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine says:

    How did I forget such a scary scene? Oh my yes. A perfect poem for pandemic teaching. So hauntingly true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m not a video/movie person at all, so it intrigues me that this scene comes to mind so often. It must have made quite an impact at the initial viewing!


  3. haitiruth says:

    Such a perfect metaphor. That really is a creepy book, and the movie makes it next-level. My second grade teacher read us the book, and it didn’t seem creepy to me at all then!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      We’ve decided to watch the movie again this weekend. (I’m looking to keep myself entertained since I’m in quarantine through Monday.) I haven’t watched it in ….decades? I’m looking forward to seeing what I think of it now. Maybe I’ll go back and reread the book, too.


  4. kd0602 says:

    A pandemic theme song?!? I’m not sure I want that playing in my head!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes it does seem like that at times, quite scary and unpredictable and no light at all! Let’s hope the rowers are slowing down.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie says:

    Yes, I remember the scene, & yes, you’ve nailed it with our lives. Though I’m no longer teaching, it feels like every morning I need to shake & wake up realizing that all this is still “rowing and going”. Best wishes for your own rowing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry to hear you are quarantining and hope you are well. My fourth grade teacher read us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I loved it. The movie, not so much. But you’re right about this song: it perfectly describes this pandemic year!


  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    Hooray for being in the homestretch of Slicing. Drat! You are full on remote. Maybe there will be some silver linings? I found some. Willie Wonka’s river song is perfect for this time period.


  9. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I think you’re on to something–this past year has felt like that wild boat ride. Hang on tight until this boat docks again.


  10. Janet F. says:

    This really nails it, Molly. I keep thinking it is getting closer to the next “new normal” yet…..a new wrinkle. Eventually we will return to something like our lives before Covid and hopefully with deep appreciation for health and safety and friendship and freedom of movement and time with those we enjoy, right? And school iike it “should be”…….I am grateful for the good things that happened in the Pandemic and heartbroken for the bad that affected way too many souls. And children who have suffered so much. Keep our chins up…and keep on enjoying poetry is my mantra and I am sticking to it.


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