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Life Could Be Verse: Reflections on Love, Loss, and What Really Matters

Life Could Be Verse: Reflections on Love, Loss, and What Really Matters

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Life Could Be Verse: Reflections on Love, Loss, and What Really Matters

3.5/5 (18 ratings)
135 pages
36 minutes
Dec 2, 2014


Discover the life and lines of Spartacus. . . 

He is Spartacus. And a whole lot more. That rugged chin. Those broad shoulders. A swag epitomized in epic films such as Spartacus and The Bad and the Beautiful. Crowned one of greatest actors of all time, Kirk Douglas, whose son Michael continues to build on his Hollywood legacy, is more than legendary. He's a husband. A father. A philanthropist. A Renaissance man. At 97 years old, Kirk Douglas has embraced many roles. But poet?
Playing on his Yiddish roots, Life Could Be Verse--not worse--gives readers the best seat in the house to the intimate world of an acclaimed actor who has turned the silver screen gold. But his poems transcend pentameters--they are nostalgic celebrations of old Hollywood, of timeless lessons in life and love, reflecting an era when people had few coins in their pockets but an abundance of hope in the promise of the American dream.

Through poems, prose, and photographs, Douglas candidly shares it all as he chaperones us through the stages of his life, including the untimely death of his youngest son and the stroke that left him unable to speak. Still, Douglas doesn't dwell in the sadness. Instead, he tantalizes us with his words, his perspective on life, and some never-before-seen photographs and stories of Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall, Brigitte Bardot and his most cherished leading lady of all, his wife of sixty years, Anne Buydens.

Life Could Be Verse is uncomplicated yet revealing, poignant yet playful. It's the life and the lines of Spartacus-an uplifting reminder that many times the story of our lives is the most entertaining script of all.

(The following is an original poem Kirk wrote about his famous son Michael Douglas):

Fathers and Sons

"Am I a good father?'" I asked my son

He took a pause, too long for me

I waited and waited for him to answer

And finally he said, "Ultimately."

But the pause was all I heard

The silence was so loud

I was waiting for some kind word

Something that would make me proud.

How could I have been so dumb?

And I never heard

The answer in the pause,

When he spoke not a word.

I became a "good father,"

It took me too long to see,

When I needed him

More than he needed me.
Dec 2, 2014

About the author

Kirk Douglas was a renowned actor who appeared in almost ninety movies before retiring from film acting in 2004. His work on and off the screen was rewarded with three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Medal of Freedom. Through his production company, Bryna, he produced acclaimed films such as The Vikings, Lonely Are the Brave, Paths of Glory, and Seven Days in May. A master storyteller, Douglas also penned ten novels and memoirs. In 2009, he starred in an autobiographical one-man show called Before I Forget at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. For many years, Douglas maintained an active life in Beverly Hills and Montecito, where he lived with his beloved wife Anne. He passed away on February 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. He was 103 years old.   .

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Life Could Be Verse - Kirk Douglas

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What people think about Life Could Be Verse

18 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    From the great title to the short poems and autobiographical stories and numerous photos, this is another great book from Kirk Douglas. Well worth it.
  • (5/5)
    Presented in lovely way, these poems are simple and mostly life-affirming. In between the poems are short bits about his life and I enjoyed reading it all. Lets take into consideration the fact that this is written by a 98 year old man. To me, this is astounding. I really enjoyed this book and the look of it was darling.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting (if short) life story of Kirk Douglas. Many pictures and poems in addition to the text, which is in his own words. Much of it skips over the top of his life, mentioning famous names and movies and other topics of general interest without going into any depth, but there are some small gems. I already knew that his father was a hard-drinking ragman, but who knew that his mother found him in a gold box in the backyard? - that's the story she told him anyway when he asked about the birds and the bees. Worth a read.
  • (3/5)
    I read this book purely for the novelty of it - a famous actor writing poetry? Who doesn't want to know what THAT sounds like? And let's be honest - I don't expect him to be a contender for Poet Laureate any time soon. But the poems are sweet and heartfelt, and each carries with it a snapshot of what has been a fantastically complex and interesting life. My only real complaint is that I wish the book had been longer - Douglas comes across as warm and funny, and I would have enjoyed hearing more stories from his 97 years. Recommended for Kirk Douglas fans or Hollywood fans.(I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.)
  • (4/5)
    This book was an easy and delightful read. Kirk Douglas has certainly lived a rich life and has some amazing stories to tell. He has included several snippets of both his acting career and his personal life, but his heartfelt poems are the highlight.