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Loyal user
Chicago, IL
287 Posts

Profile of scheda
Hey, in the workings for me is a stage act with mentalism and hypnosis. I found a poem here I want to use as part of an effect. I am fairly sure it will end up not being mentalism. So any illusion for a stage setting will work. Here is the poem.

John Clare

First Love

I ne'er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet.
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale, a deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked what could I ail
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away.
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start.
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter's choice
Is love's bed always snow
She seemed to hear my silent voice
Not love appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling place
And can return no more.

To anyone that can help give me an idea for which effect to use for the poem, it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Coming soon... Who knows!
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Inner circle
2110 Posts

Profile of marko
The Web

Seriously, it's a beautiful poem, I think a trick would only cloud it up. I'm sure there are members here with good suggestions though.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
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Veteran user
Oroville CA
327 Posts

Profile of Bilwonder
Probably true that tricks would clutter the poetic images. But just as a suggestion...you could simply produce a rose as you introduce the poem..have it bloom open on the first stanza. Produce a small plastic heart and then using the rose as a wand make the heart vanish from your hand at the end. A picture frame could be used for various effects...to produce the heart or rose from..to make images vanish and appear... There's the start of a brainstorm for you. However, a poem this serious in nature might need to be handled lightly...What is the effect on the spectator you want? You can interpret the poem many ways.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Paul Sherman
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Arlington, VA
1511 Posts

Profile of Paul Sherman
Great poem. One possible idea would be to produce a red rose during the first stanza, in the second stanza, it changes into a white rose. In the third it changes back to red. Then I'd actually drop the 4th and 5th (accuse me of poetic butchery if you will) stanzas. In the final stanza, the rose vanishes.

Performed slowly, in time with the poem it could be beautiful. I imagine that a large silk would play well with the flower, and would also probably vastly simplify the productions, transformations and vanishes.

While it's certainly not grand illusion (thank goodness) this type of smaller, almost parlor, effect performed artistically could hold an audience spellbound.

"The finished card expert considers nothing too trivial that in any way contributes to his success..." Erdnase

some youtube videos
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Wonderful concept!
Then build on Paul Sherman's idea a bit:
First stanza, red rose appears.
Second stanza, rose changes to white.
Third stanza, rose changes back to red.
Fourth stanza, rose vanishes.
Fifth and sixth stanza, produce flowers from fingertips.

But whatever you do, the whole concept of using that poem should truly move an audience, no matter what size.

Caleb Strange
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Special user
Manchester UK
676 Posts

Profile of Caleb Strange
Scheda, what a great idea! Here's a grand illusion for the poem.

You're on a bare stage. You read the poem, and the lights dim as you read, and you're left in only a pool of light. When you've finished acting out the poem, there's a pause, and then the stage is flooded with light. It has been transformed into a railway station concourse.

There's a young woman/man (gender and orientation will dictate what) wearing a cloak, looking up at the clock. Your eyes meet. The background sound of the station begins to take on the quality of music as this routine progresses. You both coyly begin to circle each other, in a ritualised dance, and are almost touching when crowds of commuters appear stage left and right, and you're bodily forced apart. You look feverishly for her, and then something wonderful happens.

The sound fx/music has become a beautiful waltz, and just as in the Grand Central scene from the 'Fisher King', so these commuters start to dance. Their coats swirl as they whirl romantically. Look at the film to see how charming this can be. You're both carried along by the dance, and although you nearly meet, it's a case of so near but so far.

Suddenly, as the music reaches crescendo, you're both whirled together, and the dancers become commuters again and hurry off stage. You stand before your cloaked beauty in a single spot light. Silence. And then you reach forward, and snatch the cloak away, and it is, of course, empty. The lights come on again, and you're once more on a bare and lonely stage.

You could, of course play the scene to the poem. And, as Clare was a great nature poet, set the dancing in a rural location, such as a country market. I liked the juxtaposition of the two ways of expressing those dizzy romantic feelings, but rural would be perhaps more appropriate.

Another Clare poem you could use is:

The Secret.

I loved thee, though I told thee not,
Right earlily and long,
Thou wert my joy in every spot,
My theme in every song.

And when I saw a stranger face
Where beauty held the claim,
I gave it like a secret grace
The being of thy name.

And all the charms of face or voice
Which I in others see
Are but the recollected choice
Of what I felt for thee.

I'd start with a little biographical information about John Clare. I'd focus on the sorrow he had on parting from his first love, Mary Joyce, which haunted him for the rest of his life. How this sorrow contributed to his madness (in 1837 he was admitted as insane to High Beach asylum). And how, in 1841 when he escaped, he walked the hundred miles back to his home convinced he would be reunited with Mary, believing her falsely to be his wife.

Then I'd talk about first love, how it ever murmurs in our heart tenderly, and I'd get
a volunteer to think back to her first romance. I'd recite the poem, as she reminisced, gazing gently into her eyes. Then I'd pause to let her feel some more of this happy memory. Still eye gazing, I'd then smile. Then I'd lean forward, brush back her hair, and whisper the name of her love softly into her ear.


Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
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Loyal user
Chicago, IL
287 Posts

Profile of scheda
Wow, thanks for all the great ideas guys. Caleb, I love your idea, although it is a little out of reach for me now, maybe someday I will use that. But as for now, I will just resort to the flower productions and changes. Peter, I think for now, I will use the little routine you gave me. I thank all of you so much for your input in this. I heard there was a video on flower magic. I'm not sure of the name or the man who made it, but if anyone has any idea of any, or maybe even some books, that would be great. As of now, I only know one simple flower production. Very simple, but very effective. For a routine like this though I think using silks would look more graceful than the flower production I know. Any information on flower magic will be helpful. Thank you guys so much again.

Coming soon... Who knows!
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Inner circle
1006 Posts

Profile of LeeAlex2002
My face turned pale, a deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away

Can't help thinking that this would fit to Copperfields "Laser". His top body walks one way whilst his legs stay fixed where they are!

Kevin James floating Rose and Snow Animator (although cliched now) might be worth looking to?

Snowstorm in China, (first with a torn and restored tissue that changes from red to white and then into a million pieces) or the
"Sun & the Moon" paper tear.
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

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Loyal user
Chicago, IL
287 Posts

Profile of scheda
Lol, I like those idea's, I just don't see how Copperfields "Laser" could fit into it, lol. Unless it's like a "broken heart" type of situation, but that would be hard to understand.... But anyway, for now I'm going to go with Peter's idea, it's the best for me right now. But thanks for all the responses guys! I really appreciate it.


Oh, wait, I didn't see the quote, sorry, lol. I see how it fits now.
Coming soon... Who knows!
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