25 March 2013

So shines a good deed in a weary world...

Greetings from a warm, sunny afternoon.

I've just been watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a wonderful movie full of poetry, fun, hilarious moments, other languages, everyone being German instead of British, and much more.

It came out in 1971, and is INFINITELY better than the 2005 Johnny Depp version. Roald Dahl purportedly hated it, because they had "my beloved Willy Wonka spouting poetic nonsense that wasn't in the books."

So, as a result I'll post some of the quotes Wonka says (in bold), and where they really came from. Enjoy!

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." ~Arthur O'Shaughnessy. Here's the full poem, titled Ode:

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

"So shines a good deed in a weary world." ~Portia, from the Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare. The exact quote is
"So shines a good deed in a naughty (worthless) world."
"Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere, but not a drop to drink."     This of course comes from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which goes

"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink,
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

"Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head?"   Another from Merchant of Venice, fancy in this case meaning love or passion. Make of that what you will, especially in the context of the movie.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." ~John Keats, of course, one of his immortal epigrams on love from the poem Endymion

"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."  Excellent quote, said by the fraudulent Thomas Edison. I've discussed his fraud in a Triviality column, which you can read here.

"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker." ~by the brilliant Ogden Nash!

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." ~This was actually said by Dahl himself, in the original Charlie book, which is ironic because he hated the nonsense they had Willy say.

"The suspense is terrible... I hope it'll last."  ~from the Importance of Being Earnest, said by Gwendolen in Act III. Of course, by the wonderful Oscar Wilde.

"In springtime, the only pretty ring time, birds sing hey ding... a-ding, a-ding, sweet lovers love... the spring."
Yet another Shakespeare quote, this time from one of his poems.

"Round the world and home again, that's the sailor's way!" ~William Allingham, a 19th-century author who wrote a poem called Homeward Bound, which is where this appears in.

And of course, the true classic crowning quote of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka:

 "There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be!"




  2. I love that quote. And his half-room. And his ludicrous contract he kept quoting from. :)