Monday, August 25, 2008

The Kingfisher

I watched a jewel of a film last night, The Kingfisher, and it was
absolutely wonderful. It stars one of my very favorites, the brilliant
and beautiful Wendy Hiller, who plays the newly widowed Lady
Evelyn, wooed by the impetuous Sir Cecil, with whom she shared a
brief romantic moment some five decades earlier, played by the
charming Rex Harrison. This is a 1982 made for TV film, an
adaptation of the William Douglas Home play. It is short--only 77
minutes, quiet, elegant, literate and very funny. I must watch it
again to catch all the witty nuances. These two veteran actors go
head to head with their remarkable talents. Treat yourself with
this delicious little film!

The Kingfisher

IT was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues;
And, as her mother's name was Tears,
So runs it in my blood to choose
For haunts the lonely pools, and keep
In company with trees that weep.
Go you and, with such glorious hues,
Live with proud peacocks in green parks;
On lawns as smooth as shining glass,
Let every feather show its marks;
Get thee on boughs and clap thy wings
Before the windows of proud kings.
Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;
Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;
I also love a quiet place
That's green, away from all mankind;
A lonely pool, and let a tree
Sigh with her bosom over me.

-----W. H. Davies


  1. Another wonderful post! I love having kingfishers visit my pond. They are solitary, beautiful and noteworthy in their beauty and their call! The poem is beautiful

    Haven't seen the movie - I think I'll look for it, thank you

  2. "I've grown accustomed to her face..." LOVE Rex Harrison! And I've never seen this one--I think Joe would enjoy that as well. Thanks for the tip. What an amazing photo of that kingfisher--I've never seen one except in photos. What interesting birds.

    "Why can't a a CHUM."

  3. Rex Harrison was wonderful. I loved him in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (and Gene Tierney, of course).

    I will have to look for this movie as I'm sure I would enjoy it. I will put it on the list!

  4. I like old movies. Last night I was watching Rex Harrison and Audrey hepburn in My Fair Lady. Mt favorite part was the phonetics tutorial where she sings The Rain In Spain and then when she said she was going to marry Freddie as soon as she can afford to support him. I laughed.

    A beautiful bird. Poor fish. Hehe.

  5. Willow I love trying to learn the song of the birds. The only kingfisher song is the for the Belted Kingfisher but I thought I would share it with you in case you are interest. Not too exciting but nice to know in case you hear it while enjoying the outdoors. The photo you have posted is beautiful

  6. What a lovely poem! And, I love how intriguing your movie reviews always are.

  7. The movie sounds wonderful! And I love that bird! I've only seen a Kingfisher once! And like all serious bird-watchers, I recorded it in on my Life List. :)

  8. Haven't seen the film, but your review has made it one to watch on my list. The poem is so descriptive identifying every detail of the Kingfisher, I almost thought I saw one fluttering by!
    Well you know I could sit and chat with you all day, but I must go the girls are coming today......

  9. Willow,
    Your blog is better than many elegant magazine articles. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful discoveries. Have a nice labor day weekend! :)
    The Bach

  10. Another one to look for at the library....Thanks for the suggestion. The poem is wonderful!

  11. Very nice post and photo.

    Troy and Martha

  12. Lovely poem and another movie to add to the list


  13. I must get hold of that movie.
    Exactly my sort of thing.
    And a W.H.Davies poem. He was so cool and a proto hippie.
    "What is this life if full of care/We have no time to stand and stare......

  14. I love Dame Wendy in I Know Where I'm Going. One of my very favorites. If you haven't seen it, you need to. Very Scottish, very atmospheric.

    Love the colors on Mr. Kingfisher.

  15. I have to admit, Martha photographed the Foxgloves, white I photographed the Pacific.

    Thanks for the visit,

  16. Pamela, I love, love, love "I Know Where I'm Going" and posted on it some time back! Here's the link:

  17. I love Wendy Hiller--have you seen Pygmallion (1938) starring Hiller and Leslie Howard? It's such a gem, and far truer to Shaw's play than My Fair Lady, (though I love My Fair Lady as well). It would be interesting to see her and Rex Harrison in a film together!

  18. Margaret, I am nutty about Dame Wendy and own many of her films, including "Pygmalion". I posted on it, too! Here's the link:

  19. Willow.....just curious....does your husband watch these movies with you???

  20. Willow, that sounds just my type of film. I hadn't heard of it, so will put it on my list.

    Last night Jim and I watched a marvellous monologue type play starring the amazing Sheila Hancock (widow of John Thaw). She was playing a woman with a terminal disease, in a wheelchair, and had come to Switzerland to die, by choice. She sent her husband out of the room and made a video for him. That was most of the play. Then she called him back in. It was heart wrenching. Her acting took my breath away.

    I believe it's a series. I'll have to get the tv book for next week and see.

    Wonderful poem. We visited a bird sanctuary and sat in the hide watching a kingfisher for ages. So fast, that flash of turquoise is gone before you can blink.

  21. Willow, what a fun tribute to kingfishers! I saw one in the morning while walking my dog. They always give me a thrill.

  22. To bad that language is considered archaic in today's poetry circles. It sure reads nicely. Pappy

  23. Strider, he travels a lot, but when he is home, yes, he does!

  24. Confusing moment of the week. When I was reading your description of the movie I was thinking to mysefl: 'Surely she's got the wrong movie! It's actually Robin Williams with the Dude (the guy from The Fabulous Baker Boys, cant' remember his name now)' and then it suddenly dawned on me that the movie I was thinking of was 'The Fisher King' (or something like that).

    I have not seen this movie yet but the poem is a treat.

    Thanks for a beautiful post.

    Greetings from London.

  25. I'll have to drop a hint to the granddaughters with my birthday coming up. thanks for the tip. Ever since I saw Wendy Hiller as Eliza in Pygmalion she has been my prime favourite. She also played a vignette in one of the Anne of green Gables series which was delightful.

    Wonderful Kingfisher and poem.

    Actually Willow, I made a complete botch of posting your award. Being
    young and inexperienced I neglected to fill in the space for the title. Now I'm stuck, I can't shift it or anythiing else. I'm waiting for my advisor to return from New Zealand to fix it if possible.

  26. Cuban, teehee! Right...a totally different film "The Fisher King"! Funny! :)

  27. Arija, it looked very nice to me! I know what you mean about having a computer tech! My youngest son, 21, is the computer whiz around here. He actually built mine for me! Whenever I have a problem, I have to wait for him to come home from college. :)


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)