Through car mirrors | Skillshare Projects

Gabrielle Despaigne

an aspiring filmmaker



Through car mirrors

STEP ONE - SELECTING THE TEXT: "Ernest Hyde" - Spoon River Anthology

"MY mind was a mirror:

It saw what it saw, it knew what it knew.

In youth my mind was just a mirror In a rapidly flying car,

Which catches and loses bits of the landscape.

Then in time

Great scratches were made on the mirror,

Letting the outside world come in,

And letting my inner self look out.

For this is the birth of the soul in sorrow,

A birth with gains and losses.

The mind sees the world as a thing apart,

And the soul makes the world at one with itself.

A mirror scratched reflects no image—

And this is the silence of wisdom."

(Masters 61)


I chose this piece because of the idea of a man's views of the world changing through experience, hardship, and grief. I have the idea of a man who thinks he knows how the world works but really only sees the surface of things. He's superficial and lacks individuality. But through growing up and experiencing things, he allows himself to change and the many marks left from things he's done open up his perspective. Instead of being mentally isolated and superficial, he becomes wiser and more connected to reality. I feel like this is a journey everyone must take spiritually so that they come of age.

So after a pause I came back to this piece to look at it once again. The lines "the mind sees the world as a thing apart/and the soul makes the world at one with itself" caught my attention this time. People think that they are separate from the energy that makes up the universe. People can feel much more powerful, different, and in control of their lives in their minds. So they ignore the world in order to cling to this feeling of empowerment. But little do they know, it's inevitable that they ARE part of the world/big picture. A person's soul IS part of the unity and equilibrium of the universe and it's something you cannot detach yourself from.

All of this isn't meant to be negative or positive. This scratching of the mirror, the transformation people's souls go through, it all has it's "gains and losses". It's simply change and in a sense the beginning of a new life of which a person can see through both sides of the way the world works. The ability to not simply reflect on something's surface but instead look inside it AND your own self is true wisdom.

I'm so sorry if all my thoughts are scattered around here. I'm trying to put everything into words but I feel this poem is pretty abstract and deep. I've always needed help with bundling up my ideas together.

I'm still brainstorming but here is my step one so far! I know I want my focus to be on Ernest's interactions with other characters which opens up his perspective. But I also want to toy with the philosophy that comes with this poem.


"OH many times did Ernest Hyde and I

Argue about the freedom of the will.

My favorite metaphor was Prickett’s cow

Roped out to grass, and free you know as far

As the length of the rope.

One day while arguing so, watching the cow

Pull at the rope to get beyond the circle

Which she had eaten bare,

Out came the stake, and tossing up her head,

She ran for us.

“What’s that, free-will or what?” said Ernest, running.

I fell just as she gored me to my death."

(Masters 61)


I still want my focus to be on Ernest up above. I wanted to see if I could find any other details in the book that might help me shape a plot that makes more sense in my mind. I read through Roger Heston as it's kind of the companion piece to Ernest, and I think I will use it to come up with a plot point in my screenplay. It's a pretty morbid piece like the majority of the poems in the collection...

UPDATE/NOTICE: I'm sorry due to some things that came up in real life I haven't been able to work on this. I will try to get my draft out by the end of the week. But thank you for viewing.


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