Introduction

Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film “City Lights” is widely regarded as one of the best movies ever committed to film. It is a silent, black and white romantic comedy about a tramp and a young girl. Since few people in 2014 take the time to watch 80 year old silent films, I have chosen to respectfully parody the movie’s story line in verse, hopefully in a manner that evokes some of the movie’s depth and emotion. My goal is not to compete with the original in any way at all. My goal is to get you to watch the movie.

I have made some minor changes to the plot, since the silent movie by definition relies on some developments which are intrinsically visual and difficult to capture in verse.

I have also chosen to present it in five installments for multiple reasons. First, I thought it would make for easier reading in smaller sections. Secondly, if at any point I succeed in convincing the reader to stay and enjoy the original, I’m less likely to be giving away a key development or the ending.  Finally, the way I’ve divided it up, some sections do rather stand on their own and I appreciate constructive criticism that might be particular to each section.

Kenn Henry
February, 2014

This is the official documentary for City Lights. The movie itself is available for streaming from most providers, or you can watch it free at the Internet Archive