Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish

Born in the right era,
with ethereal beauty and grace,
Lillian was a glorious actress
with the most angelic face.

She suffered for performing arts
a player with much obsession,
the quintessential heroine
in a time of Great Depression.

Her characters were often weak,
though her strength each time, came through.
Her popular films would guarantee
a magnificent, gracious review.

Archetypal damsel in distress,
a delicate flower of docility,
she fainted on a heaping ice floe
with self-sacrificing nobility.

She cowered before a brutal bounder.
She languished in a garret.
She was the original prototype
for the legendary Hollywood Starlet.

The first lady of the silent screen,
advanced the histrionic art.
She danced and acted all her life
with talent, verve and heart.


Written and Posted on:

 D’verse Poets,  challenge by Sheila Moore:

And yes, I wrote this quickly just for this prompt, which is why you see such undisciplined rhyme and meter.

For those of you who never saw her, or heard of her, enjoy:

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on September 3, 2011, in D’verse Poets Pub, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing her beauty and life with us… lovely words specially these:

    “She danced and acted all her life
    with talent, verve and heart.”

  2. You’ve captured so much about her … great job!

  3. You shared so much and for a quick write, it is very well done. Your rhymes are unforced and the progression of thought smooth. I enjoyed it very much.


  4. Now I know who Lillian Gish is thank you well done. I liked “She danced and acted all her life
    with talent, verve and heart.” as well.

  5. Enjoyed this… I especially like the 4th stanza.

  6. Thank you for the wonderful introduction. I loved silent films when I was little, because I was intrigued by the damsels in distress.

  7. Always thought she was one of the prettiest women ever. Thanks for putting her in your spotlight.

  8. very good poem/bio in one liked it

  9. I find myself fascinated by the Silent Film era. Your poem, and tribute, to Lillian Gish enhances my understanding – and its a good poem, too.

  10. Thank you for sharing this great poem!

  11. A great tribute to a talented actress.

  12. brilliant! histrionic arts is spot on! and I almost included a photo of her in the prompt just because of her breath-taking beauty. I am so glad you wrote this!

    • I’m glad you liked the histrionic arts. And I’m glad I fulfilled the requirement of HAVING to mention Lillian Gish WHENEVER silent films referred to historically (or histrionically.) :))

  13. Yes, she was one of the first movie ‘greats’
    Lovely tribute to her in your prose.

  14. Really nice tribute. It flows and the rhymes are perfect.

  15. Like Charlie Chaplin, her name is almost synonymous with the silent films. I enjoyed this a lot and enjoyed the meter and rhyme…it was a fun, flowing read.

  16. brought her out of the character and honor her well with your words…nice tribute…

  17. She was such a beauty! Excellent write.

  18. I’m thankful my mother introduced me to some of the early films when I was young. There are still many I haven’t seen, but they are so intriguing along with the actors and actresses of that time. Thanks for sharing this lovely piece 🙂

  19. Luscious name and the poem about Lillian Gish is equally luscious

  20. I really enjoyed this. You passed me on to Google and I learned something else. Very informative and presented very well. Very good use of the prompt.

  21. I don’t think enough credit was ever really given to the actresses of this era and genre, and it was wonderful to read your take on this actress. A nice tribute!

  22. Fantastic! I had a terrible time with this one…should have read some of these wonderful posts before writing. Truly enjoyed getting to know this lady.

  23. You brought smiles to my face when I read the title. She is one of my favorite Silent Screen actors. I even included an image of her in my poem. A wonderful tribute to an amazing woman. Great write. Good word choice and flow.

  24. nice…this one was for the silent films prompt? you def bring her alive in this….and always great to see ou grace the pub…smiles…your science sonnets are still my favs…smiles.

  25. Nice tribute and they don’t make stars like her anymore

  26. A wonderful tribute to an almost forgotten star! Thank you for this.

  27. So wonderful to revisit! As always, I love your diction and style.

  28. I was not here the first tme round. I admire your well put together poem 🙂

  29. Who cares about the “undisciplined rhyme and meter”…you have here a narrative poem about a star of the past. Well done!

  30. Awesome portrait of an actress of a by-gone era. They were more expressive back then, I think. This reads great. 🙂

    Thanks for including the link to clip too. Very cool.

  31. My grandfather had a big crush on her and she was acting up until the end. Quite the actress and the star. Wonderful poem and tribute to a film icon!

  32. A beautiful woman from a magical era so wonderfully said

  33. This is my favorite part:

    “a delicate flower of docility,
    she fainted on a heaping ice floe
    with self-sacrificing nobility.

    She cowered before a brutal bounder.
    She languished in a garret.”

  34. Never knew her name
    But knew her through her fame
    Wonderful tribute you gave
    She is deserving of any rant and rave

  35. I missed this one the first time around…always have loved Lillian Gish. And loved her presence in the movies of that era..even though playing “weak” she was anything but.

  36. Wonderful tribute! I’ve always liked her == and you’ve hit on the “faked” weakness too. Well done. k.

  37. Thank you for sharing this.
    Wonderful tribute to an amazing woman.

  38. a fine outline – well measured…
    thru your scope i see the artist 😀

  39. You captured her so well, very nicely crafted poem.

  40. Beautifully done. You did indeed evoke and capture her so well!

  41. We studied her in college. I was always intrigued by her expressive eyes and baby doll mouth.

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