The people closest to me know that in my eyes, no male star shone brighter than that of Humphrey Bogart. He may not have been the most handsome of his contemporaries, but he stood apart from them for many other reasons. Bogie had a smile that could light up a room and a constant twinkle in his eye. That low unique voice of his invaded the hearts of millions. Whether playing gruff characters or romantic leads, he was able to captivate the attention and imagination of the viewer. He was a man that men could relate to and women could fall in love with. His allure was understated, yet evident to all those who saw his films. A friend of mine came across a fantastic poem about Bogart this week. I found it so unique and insightful I decided to include it here. The talented writer of this piece is Brian O’Connell, and the title is simple….Humphrey Bogart. No more need be said for a man who iconic and needs little introduction. In his words below, he captures the very essence and spirit that Bogart so naturally embodied.
The day that Humphrey Bogart died,
Cigarette smoke brought tears to my eyes.
Beautiful friendships in brilliant disguise,
Finally made me realise that the dream was over,
And that the camera always lies!
Nights in Casablanca never could be the same,
Though ‘All of the world’s a stage’, and ‘What’s in a name?’
Wilson and Greenstreet, Lorre and Veidt!
The usual suspects flicker in the night,
And heroic sacrifice rekindles an old flame.
Ghosts from the past lie silent in the vaults,
Awaiting resurrection, erasing all their faults.
Digitally re-mastered, the characters remain
Forever young and beautiful,
At ‘Rick’s Café-Americain.’
Precious letters of transit, and priceless letters of love!
We’ll always have Paris, and blue skies up above.
If you love someone, then set her free!
So here’s looking at you kid! Guess I’ll be seeing you,
Somewhere in time, or somewhere in eternity!
McCarthyism, Communism, and the Hollywood Ten!
Dirty politics, separating the boys from the men!
Friendly persuasion and the Fountainhead!
Movie-land heroes and real life zeroes!
Tough guys fighting imaginary reds under the bed.
In the desperate hours, if you knock on any door,
Be certain to know just what you’re looking for.
The falcon was made of lead, so its wings could never soar.
Blind faith will get you killed someday,
Like a shipwrecked sailor, dying alone on an uncharted shore.
‘Leviathan’, ‘Santana’ and ‘The African Queen’.
Gunboats and fun boats and somewhere between
George Raft and a hard case, Bogart had his course well mapped,
With geometry and strawberries and insanity after the fact.
On deck or on-screen, always the master of his craft!
Trench coats and tuxedos and hats with a snappy brim,
Pinstriped suits or sports coats, unmistakeably him!
Gone but not forgotten, and gone with few regrets.
Wanting to do it all over again with the whiskey and the women,
But next time with Cuban cigars, and not those damn cigarettes!