Thou Still Unravish’d Bride

Grecian urn

During senior year high school English class, when we were studying the John Keats poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, we had a substitute teacher. Alas, I can’t recall her name, but she was an enthusiastic lover of poetry and her enthusiasm became infectious.

When she got to the lines— 

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
       Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:

—she said that reminded her of the Richard Rodgers song “The Sweetest Sounds” which went— 

The sweetest sounds I’ll ever hear
Are still inside my head

Shortly afterwards I came across an article about Rodgers where he mentioned that he had drawn the inspiration for those lyrics from that Keats poem (he wrote his own lyrics for the show No Strings because his long time collaborator, Oscar Hammerstein II, had recently died). I showed that article to a few of my classmates, including Mary Lou Bliss.

As luck would have it, not long after that, Mary Lou ran into that substitute teacher at the Lebanon mall and excitedly accosted her to tell her that she was right, that Rodgers was indeed inspired by that Keats poem in writing that song. When Mary Lou told us about it the next day, she felt certain that the teacher thought she was the worst kind of nut case.

I was reminded of that while watching another episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour last evening, this one entitled “Thou Still Unravished Bride”.

I had to turn it off after about ten minutes as it was both unintentionally funny and boring at the same time.

In the first scene it was established that there was a serial killer on the loose in London; his hallmarks were strangulation with a silk stocking and his victims were all roughly 30 years old. It was mentioned several times that the victims were about 30 years old. This is called exposition. It’s also called redundancy.

In the next scene we see our hero and heroine (presumably) discussing their upcoming wedding and she mentions (several times!) that she is 31 years old. This is called foreshadowing. And redundancy.

In the following scene our heroine is discussing her upcoming wedding with her mother, and once again she mentions (several more times, as if the viewer hasn’t gotten the point by now) that she is 31 years old. And then her mother repeats that she is 31 years old. By this time I was redundanted out. Is that a word?

It only has a 5.8 rating on imdb, so I don’t think I missed anything.

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