INT. TODD'S ROOM - NIGHT
Todd is pacing circles about his room as he reads his poem. His pacing slows and then he tears the poem up.
INT. KEATING'S CLASSROOM - DAY
Knox stands at the front of the room with his poem in hand.
Charlie looks up from his desk with a grin.
I see a sweetness in her smile.
Blight light shines from her eyes.
But life is complete; contentment is
Just knowing that...
Several students begin to snicker.
just knowing that she's alive.
Knox crumples his poem and walks back to his desk.
Sorry, Captain. It's stupid.
No, no. It's not stupid. It's a good
effort. It touched on one of the major
themes, love. A major theme not only in
poetry, but life. Mr. Hopkins, you were
laughing. You're up.
Hopkins slowly walks to the front of the class and unfolds
his piece of paper.
"The cat sat on the mat."
Congratulations, Mr. Hopkins. Yours is
the first poem to ever have a negative
score on the Pritchard scale. We're not
laughing at you, we're laughing near
you. I don't mind that your poem had a
simple theme. Sometimes the most
beautiful poetry can be about simple
things, like a cat, or a flower or rain.
You see, poetry can come from anything
with the stuff of revelation in it. Just
don't let your poems be ordinary. Now,
Keating approaches Todd's desk.
Mr. Anderson, I see you sitting there in
agony. Come on, Todd, step up. Let's put
you out of your misery.
I, I didn't do it. I didn't write a
Mr. Anderson thinks that everything
inside of him is worthless and
embarrassing. Isn't that right, Todd?
Isn't that your worst fear? Well, I
think you're wrong. I think you have
something inside of you that is worth a
Keating walks up to the blackboard and begins to write.
"I sound my barbaric yawp over the
rooftops of the world." W. W. Uncle Walt
again. Now, for those of you who don't
know, a yawp is a loud cry or yell. Now,
Todd, I would like you to give us a
demonstration of a barbaric "yawp." Come
on. You can't yawp sitting down. Let's
go. Come on. Up.
Todd reluctantly stands and follows Keating to the front.
You gotta get in "yawping" stance.
No, not just a yawp. A barbaric yawp.
Come on, louder.
No, that's a mouse. Come on. Louder.
Oh, good God, boy. Yell like a man!
There it is. You see, you have a
barbarian in you, after all.
Todd goes to return to his seat but Keating stops him.
Now, you don't get away that easy.
Keating turns Todd around and points out a picture on the wall.
The picture of Uncle Walt up there. What
does he remind you of? Don't think.
Answer. Go on.
Keating begins to circle around Todd.
What kind of madman? Don't think about
it. Just answer again.
A c-crazy madman.
No, you can do better than that. Free up
your mind. Use your imagination. Say the
first thing that pops into your head,
even if it's total gibberish. Go on, go
Uh, uh, a sweaty-toothed madman.
Good God, boy, there's a poet in you,
after all. There, close your eyes. Close
your eyes. Close 'em. Now, describe what
Keating puts his hands over Todd's eyes and they begin to slowly spin around.
Uh, I-I close my eyes.
Uh, and this image floats beside me.
A sweaty-toothed madman?
A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare
that pounds my brain.
Oh, that's excellent. Now, give him
action. Make him do something.
H-His hands reach out and choke me.
That's it. Wonderful. Wonderful.
Keating removes his hands from Todd but Todd keeps his eyes closed.
And, and all the time he's mumbling.
What's he mumbling?
M-Mumbling, "Truth. Truth is like, like
a blanket that always leaves your feet
The students begin to laugh and Todd opens his eyes. Keating quickly gestures for him to close them again.
Forget them, forget them. Stay with the
blanket. Tell me about that blanket.
Y-Y-Y-You push it, stretch it, it'll
never be enough. You kick at it, beat
it, it'll never cover any of us. From
the moment we enter crying to the moment
we leave dying, it will just cover your
face as you wail and cry and scream.
Todd opens his eyes. The class is silent. Then they begin to clap and cheer.
(whispering to Todd)
Don't you forget this.
"poetry can come from anything"
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