questions to ask a poem

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What is being said?  
Is there more that wants to be said? 
Does it follow its own deepest impulses, not necessarily the initial idea? 
Does it know more than you did when you started it? 
Are there things in it that don’t belong? 
Are there things in it that are confusing? 
Is it particular? 
Could any of its words be more interesting?  more surprising? more alive? 
Does it allow strangeness? 
Does each of its moments actively move the poem toward its full realization? 

seeing hostiles

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My father and I are long-time Western fans, starting when I was a kid and we'd go to the drugstore for the latest Western novel by Louis L'Amour. So when my father saw the movie "Hostiles" advertised we immediately made plans to see it.

A workmate saw it and described it as a "thoughtful" Western.

Well, it is definitely that. But also much, much more. The scenery is majestic, great sweeping pans of rugged mountainous terrain and close-ups of rugged and lived-in faces. It starts out with two throat-gripping scenes that trigger the emotional roller-coaster ride that is the movie. (No spoilers here.)

We like our history with clear villains and heroes. The truth of course is much more ambiguous, which this movie captured. I cheered. I cried. The three main stars Christian Bale, Wes Studi and Rosamund Pike gave such all-in performances it was hardly acting. It was being. With an artful human transparency. In the end the resolute human heart prevails. Definitely worth seeing.

hostile (noun): a person or thing that is antagonistic or unfriendly.