Friday, July 15, 2011

we interrupt this poetry blog remark on how thrilling it was for our whole family to attend a midnight showing of You-Know-What 7 Part II last night.  Recently at The Miss Rumphius Effect Tricia had a Poetry Stretch in which she mused about the "small moments" our children may remember (check out Steven's clever, frozen-moment spincentric response, among others).  While this moment together at the Avalon Theatre in DC was not small--and I know that my daughter's entire childhood has been colored by Harry & Co (though I'm proud to say that her favorite character has always been the distasteful, complicated, ambiguous Snape)--the yawning, flaky day we're having today and even the cheat for my younger son, who has now seen three movies without reading the books first, is totally worth it.  Too bad I have no commemorative poem to share.

So here's something else to amuse (and I'll get back to those zebras another week when my EfficientOrganizedBrain has returned from vacation). One of the things I like best in the series is parsing the linguistic and connotative meanings of all the spells and incantations:  flash poems, you might call them, and try "Wingardium leviosa" with that thought in mind.

One of my personal favorite moments of the film was when Professor McGonagall begins to protect Hogwarts Castle with the spell "Piertotum locomotor," which brings to life the statues and suits of armor of Hogwarts' walls and halls to "Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!" [spoiler alert] Then she turns to Molly Weasley and says with a kind of dizzy, desperate pleasure, "I have always wanted to use that spell." (This line is not in the book, I find.)

As the animated warriors pound towards the boundaries, all I could think of was the scene from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks,"  the 1971 Disney film in which the fledgling witch Miss Price brings a similar army to life against the Nazis using Substitutiary Locomotion and a very different incantation:  "Treguna mekoides tracorum satis dee." 

It's a scene with a much more humorous tone from that of the Deathly Hallows battle, but shows equally the magical power of the right words.  As you embark on your weekend, "protego!"

Find more powerful incantations over at  A Year of Reading with Mary Lee.

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