A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Upon Watching What Maisie Knew, Which has Been Sitting in my Netflix Queue for Ages

It’s different from the book.
The book may not be better.
In the book – SPOILER ALERT! – Maisie chooses to stay with the old nanny, Mrs. Wix, instead of becoming surrogate child to her parents’ discarded lovers who want to rescue some good feeling that relationship created by playing house with Maisie. 
In the movie, Maisie chooses to play house. It isn’t like playing house. It’s like the soul selecting her own society—something one doesn’t usually get to do when it comes to parents, or children.

Julianne Moore plays a good crappy Mom.
Is it okay to say the lines Your father’s an asshole, you know in front of a six or eight-year-old? Because she did.
She also said, You know, I was like you once
I was thinking the same thing.

But now, on second thought, I know that I was not like Maisie.
It wasn't all that hard to tell what I knew when I was six or eight. I was a quick read. 
I thought something bad would happen if I didn't tell all my secrets.
My parents were not the real children in our family. 
I wasn't independent. I was dependent, except when I was distracted or being bossy or daydreaming.
The images of my childhood are from my parent’s perspective, not mine.
I didn't wear clothes that made me look like an interesting person. I wore my socks inside-out for comfort.


  1. A good childhood makes a boring movie! That's all you can hope for as parents, I think--that your kid doesn't relate to Maisie. That last line is so right and reassuring and moving.

    And I agree that I kind of liked the ending change!! and those clothes sure did make her look like an interesting person. (I saw this movie pretty recently, too, like in January or February maybe.)

  2. I like that Laur K was the last poster of 2013 and the first of 2014, and I like imagining little Laur K as a compulsive confessor of secrets. What bad thing did you think would happen? Spontaneous combustion??

  3. Little Laur K was compulsive in a lot of ways! Spontaneous combustion, or the sudden death of everyone I loved sound about right.