An Affair to Remember
LTV Studios, Wainscot
This evening, I attended the second annual Poetry Affair in the Hamptons. This is a lovely annual event in honor of poetry month hosted by Rosalind Brenner, featuring prominent Long Island poets in a taped and later televised performance. It was a memorable night. I read several of my favorite poems, including “Still Life,” a poem honoring a person who has died but whose legacy remains.
Coincidentally, when I came home, An Affair to Remember was on television. The scene in which the characters played by Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr visit “Janou,” the grandmother of Cary Grant’s character, is one of the most touching and tender in the history of film. Just watch this clip for beautifully subtle acting by Grant, as his character falls in love with Kerr while she sings. However extraordinary Kerr and Grant are in this scene, it may be said that they were outshined by Cathleen Nesbitt as “Janou.”
The lyrics from “An Affair to remember” include these: “Our love affair, may it always be / A flame to burn through eternity / So take my hand with a fervent prayer/ That we may live and we may share/ A love affair to remember.”
The song and film are about wanting to have and hold onto a timeless love, romantically and otherwise, as the love the movie shows is both the eros of Grant and Kerr’s characters, and their shared bond of love for “Janou,” the character whose love for them transcends time and space. This desire may also be found in the poem “Still Life.” When someone we love passes on, we see how love, and even life, transcends both.