Variety has a story on Vera Fried, the now-retired teacher who inspired Darren Aronofsky to write an award-winning poem about Noah shortly before his 13th birthday. She attended the New York premiere of Aronofsky’s film last night, and she makes a few amusing comments about how he tracked her down years later, and how he seemed to have lost his knack for good punctuation in the interim.
She also reveals that she actually has two scenes in the film — one with Russell Crowe, which has been public knowledge for at least six weeks, and another one in which she plays one of the floating corpses, presumably in Noah’s vision of the Flood.
Before the screening last night, Aronofsky got his former teacher to read aloud the poem that started it all. Here it is, as transcribed by Variety:
A Poem by Darren Aronofsky
January 13, 1982
Evil was in the world
The laughing crowd
Left the foolish man at his ark
Filled with animals
When the rain began to fall
It was hopeless
The man could not take the evil crowd with him
But he was allowed to bring his good family.
The rain continued through the night
And the cries of screaming men filled the air
The ark was afloat
Until the dove returned with the leaf
Evil still existed.
When the rainbows reached throughout the sky
The humble man and his family knew what it meant
The animals ran and flew freely with their newborn
The fog rose and the sun shone
Peace was in the air
And it soon appeared in all of man’s heart
He knew evil would not be kept away
For evil and war could not be destroyed
But neither was it possible to destroy peace
Evil is hard to end and peace is hard to begin
But the rainbow and the dove will always live
Within every man’s heart
When I interviewed Aronofsky last month, he said he had found a copy of the poem while his film was in post-production, and he posted it in the film’s editing room. “It’s a little embarrassing,” he said, but he and his co-writer Ari Handel noted that the poem actually kind of has “the same themes and ideas in it as the movie”.
March 31 update: People has its own interview with Fried, as well as a photo of the “poem” — which turns out to have paragraph breaks, rather than line breaks:
People also has a photo of Aronofsky directing Fried in one-eyed-crone make-up: