Posted by: janetleigh | June 13, 2008

‘Million Dollar Baby’

I recently watched Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby”, starring Hillary Swank.  The movie plot line moved me in such a way that even after a few days I couldn’t shake the feelings away.  Sometimes writing about it can help disarm the intensity.  Anyway, for those who’ve seen the movie I ask you if this series of haikus make sense to you.  I may scrap the whole thing if there’s nothing of value here.  Thank you for any feedback you may have.  BTW, I’ve tweaked it a number of times thinking it needed a bit of tightening up, but I may have actually strangled it in the process. heh heh.

From dust I come, go
irrepressible spirit
overcomes the soul;

two-fisted passion,
within, find mind will concur,
hope won’t be boxed in.

Passion deals cruel fate,
one well-placed blow changes life’s pace-
kinetic to still

my constrained soul sighs-
entombed alive lone one place,
hastens will to die,

entreats life’s mentor
envision big risk rescue-
exit present plight;

with boss, me, one mind,
entwined into that good night.
Go, launched soul – lift off!



  1. the wisdom of the soul verses the passion
    of the spirit , this poem touches my heart
    as well as my mind

    Thank you so much for stopping in to tell me your thoughts on this piece, Jade. I’m afraid I was tweaking punctuation at the same time you were reading, so I hope the addition of such proved helpful to its meaning. I appreciate your taking the time to comment, Jade..:)

  2. I didn’t see the movie, but I was moved the haikus … somthing of a will to survive, to fight oneself free … to “lift off!”

    You’re pretty spot on, Brendan. I’d go into more detail about what I mean because some may disagree saying it’s more to do with ‘determination’ to succeed than a will to survive, but I don’t want to give away any particulars in case you or others plan on watching it. I wasn’t sure I’d like it because it’s about boxing, but with Clint Eastwood, as you know, he can take anything and turn it into gold. It is a movie worth seeing. Thank you for stopping by again, Brendan.

  3. janet
    I feel more when it is concrete–but with the movie–I see it–I don’t know just didn’t rock me… :) like your others

    Hey, I don’t expect anyone to like everything I write, Scot, so it’s cool that this one doesn’t rock your boat…rock you to sleep maybe. It’s not always a blessing to be an abstract thinker, but I am, and it’s what I have to work with. My husband thinks in more concrete terms, like you, but I still love my Scott, despite his flaw:-}

    BTW, I’m going to feature a poem of yours on Poetmeister 4 Poets! It’s such a gem and I’d like to spread it around..:)

  4. Six Haiku to present your view of the film–that is cool, and creative. My review of “Million Dollar Baby”, entitled SEQUINED SPEEDBAG is there on FFTR, somewhere in the first 100 postings. God, I am approaching 1,000 like a comet. Unbelievable what moves me, such a variety of things that I want to share and share and share.

    I like the half dozen shots at promulgation and dips into chaos and eternity. But the first one does trouble me a tiny bit. /irrespressible spirit/dominates the soul/–for though it is sort of clear that the human spirit, the will, is only akin to “Spirit, God, Allthatis, Being”, the whole issue of soul structure being a cell in God’s eye, a part of the whole, then for me there is some confusion. Perhaps I am splitting hairs here. There simply is “spirit” with a small “s”, and “Spirit” with a capitol “S”, enit?

    I like the line/hope won’t be boxed in/ sharing the need the character had to not let her circumstances on life define who she was. Female Boxing is big business, but many of them train like men, develop muscles like men, lose the magic of being women through the rippling biceps and pummeling. /Passion deals cruel fate/ yes, that was pivotal to the plot, as it is to our own lives. The Zen view is that passion leads to lust not love, which leads to possessiveness not cohabitation, which leads to a dark place, to a sphere of dark energy. /kinetic to still/ ah yes, the frames per second come to a stand still, as does our heroine, a single icon, stranded there with her broken neck, adrift, only seen as another quadripeligic; not the woman, the person she is still inside. /my constrained soul sighs/entombed alive/–one of our greatest fears, total paralysis, bringing to mind THE SEA INSIDE, WHOSE LIFE IS IT, ANYWAY, and the more recent THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY; the right to die with dignity. Spiritully, it is believed we chose our lives, outline it, plan it to some extent, before we emerge for our first or hundredth lifetime, and yet, God help us, we have no such luxury when it comes to our exit, our transition. Quite a moral conundrum, actually. And Clint Eastwood’s character, the trainer, demonstrated the depth of his love by pulling the plug, doing that one last thing she desired, setting her free.

    The film comes back to mind through your powerfully flet poetry. Thank you.


  5. I haven’t seen the film, but I do think that the haikus seem very effective here. They are short and snappy, cinematic in fact. Some of the juxtapositions work especially well (‘kinetic to still’ for example). I think the tightness you mention does actually propel the pace of the poem forwards. It may still need some tweaking here and there (e.g. one well-placed blow change life’s pace -> jars slightly, I am not sure if it shouldn’t be ‘changes’ here…), but I already enjoyed reading it very much.

    Oh, you can find me here nowadays:

    it’s still under construction, but I’ll hopefully get round to including a poetry page there soon. I got fed up with having two blogs and I now intend to merge the poetry blog with my blahblah-blog.

    Take care,


  6. Janet
    feature away. I only said what I did because i figured you were fishing for a crit with the follow up post. I am so not abstract it isn’t even funny–took me 4 tries to get through college alg. :) I am one that the brain is slow, but the senses are keen. what poem?

  7. Hi Janet, I did see the movie and I enjoyed it, and I liked the haiku too, especially the third with that zinging line kinetic to still, love that line. I think they work to describe any difficult journey and I can relate them to the film. Love it when films do that. Recently I saw The Lives of Others, which I highly recommend, it blew me away.

  8. Hi Janet, how are you? hope your well…
    I have not seen the film…
    But the words you use are great,
    take care ;-D

  9. Janet,
    I’m not familiar with the movie. Instead I see Icarus re sprouting wings of gold. Flying ever higher in pursuit of the heavens. Becoming the Sun. Thank you.

  10. I love them all. You are really a knock-out. It really flows out of you when you really feel strongly for the subject.

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