Dr Zhivago

an impression of the film

When the wolves came things fell in shape: and she
was wild, but then the strange fears ran away,
the hammer flung its sparks, and history
written over the white paper of the snow
let my love burn high as the night was blind

then free of the filthy straw in the train I could say
remembering the sunflowers in the hospital,
the teazels in the cottage, that this is all:
that life is deep in love if one can know
what to take and what to leave behind

and as the wind blew the leaves and the storm roared
I took my pen and left for memory
deliberate burning strokes down the ironing-board.

Music my mother played has stayed with me.

Taxed by the question of whether Omar Sharif (whom I didn’t like as a girl I knew found him handsome) acted a poet convincingly, I kept going to see this film, and week after week dragged everybody I happened to be with to the 11pm Saturday viewing at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square. While I also went to see Julie Christie (whom I did like) I couldn’t let the question go till it was decided (in the actor’s favour). A wonderful film.

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