Monday, September 1, 2008

With deepest apologies to Walt Whitman, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, and the entire Hollywood film colony...

Let’s have a little Labor Day fun:

On Learning That Actor Tab Hunter Is Alive, Is 77 Years Old, And Admits In His 2005 Memoir That He Is Gay

When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
The brides were bred and the grooms were groom’d,
’Twas time for the corpse to be exhum’d,
For He laid him down with a will.

The fifties and sixties all up and fled,
Ms. Judy Garland is long since dead,
Her daughter Liza’s been multi-wed,
And Tab Hunter’s home from the hill.

There's nothing new that’s under the sun,
One career’s gone and another’s begun,
Old age and youth alike can have fun
(The word is out on the street).

One has to get something off one’s chest,
One generally knows what one loves best,
For East may be East and West may be West,
But ever the twain shall meet.

The grooms still groom, still the brides are bred,
And fans still deny Elvis Presley’s dead,
And Anna Nicole to her husband said,
“Just lay you down with a will.”

So life goes on, as it surely must,
Except for those who have turned to dust.
The rest attract moth and corrupting rust,
And Tab Hunter’s home from the hill.


  1. Does your clever brain know no limits?

    I looked at Tab Hunter's Filmography and I *might* have seen him in Damn Yankees (1958). Otherwise, his movies and I passed like ships in the night.

  2. Hi, Pat! I know, Tab had very limited acting talent, but because he was blessed with good looks, voila!, a minor star was born!

  3. That was brilliant! Bravo! LOL!

    I've probably seen him in something, but most likely when I was too young to bother much with who was in what.

  4. What a treasure I have found, thanks to your comment on Jay's Deppeffect. I am a screenwriter and obsessed with film. Your poem is pure magic! The second is that I adored Tab Hunter, whether he was gay or not. Esp. in the late 50's, early 60 surf's up films which were so popular here in U.S. It was nice meeting you, and perhaps you'd enjoy voting on Whose Role...I post a mini-script each week and on the right of the script are different actors/ actresses to choose from whom the raader thinks should play that role. It was very nice meeting you, and I'd like to add you to my log list so that I don't forget where to find you in the black hole of blogland. :)) Petra

  5. Goodness......did you write this? This must be your story-telling for the day!! I've heard of Tab Hunter, but that is it.

    In honor of you, I've added "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by Charlie Daniels to the Music Playlist on my blog. Isn't that COOL!!??

  6. Thanks, all of you for commenting.

    pat (an arkansas stamper) - My brain is not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, and one days its cleverness is probably going to get its derriere in a lot of trouble. You now have something else to pray about.

    jay - You're very kind. And also much, much younger than I.

    petra michelle - There's effusive praise, and then there's petra michelle! Treasure! Magic! If only it were true!

    jeannelle (or as you refer to yourself, "jeannelle" - I do confess to having written this. What you did with your Music Playlist *is* cool. The only part of Charlie Daniels' song with which I identify, by the by, is Georgia. Can't imagine why else you might have chosen it.

    Test For All - Can you identify the things in the poem that have anything to do with Walt Whitman, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling?

  7. I always find it a little sad that people like Tab Hunter and Rock Hudson had to live a lie to satisfy the Hollywood publicity machine. What an emotional toll it must have taken on them--I wonder if they would have been more effective actors if they hadn't had to waste so many energy acting a public image. And what a relief it must be for Tab Hunter to finally proclaim to the world, "This is who I am and always have been." To wait until you're in your late 70s to be able to be authentic before the world. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

  8. P.S. "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" is from Whitman's moving elegy to Lincoln.
    "Home from the Hill" is from a Robert Louis Stevenson poem. I didn't get the Kipling reference, but that's not surprising. I'm not a Kipling fan.

  9. I don't know anything about the poem's connections to Whitman, Stevenson, or Kipling. I'm not well-read.

    I like fast fiddle music is all. I heard that song the other day on the radio and hadn't thought of it in years. Am going to delete the one I chose for Playlist, though, for it has "SOB" instead of son-of-a-gun. I apologize for that, truly. I didn't listen to it first.

  10. Ruth, very well done! You're right about "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" by Walt Whitman. The last two lines of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "Requiem" are "Home is the sailor, home from the sea / And the hunter, home from the hill." And in "The Ballad of East and West" Rudyard Kipling wrote "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet." I modified some of them as necessary to fit my parody.