Drunk late at night in 1955, Jack Kerouac watched Frank Borzage's Moonrise on TV, and wrote this poem about it, in his notebook of religious meditations eventually published as Some Of the Dharma:
DUMB POEM CALLED “MOONRISE”
My friend Paul Zahl (of The Zahl File) drew my attention to this. He writes:
Prophet of Grace Sheriff and its Recluse of Wisdom Rex Ingram, its
insight about dogs, and its unsensational, unforgettable scene on a
very small ferris wheel.
Kerouac, watching a late night movie on television and
drunk, manages to capture the theme of the film. Does “blood”-destiny have to determine the outcome of a life? Or can other
things, like love (the shaky and vulnerable heroine), a wise man for
father-figure (the Rex Ingram character “Mose”, who knows what's really
up before anyone else does, and who gives his hounds the dignity of
being called “Mr. Dog” and means it) . . .
. . . and a philosopher-sheriff, the
likes of whom I have never seen depicted in a movie — sort of a
small-town “zen-detective” (the phrase is Thornton Wilder's) — who is
able to convey a concrete quality of grace in unsentimental terms. Can
the “sin rip” (Kerouac's phrase, not the movie's) be mended? Mended in
believable terms, in a way that could actually happen?
and the cabin kitchen at the end; and the swamp of the beginning and
middle; and comes up with a . . . kitten. All while drunk!