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Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind   —   Books

In 2006 I rewatched a movie called The Trigger Effect. I'd last seen The Trigger Effect some ten years prior and its unsettling story had always haunted me. I was excited to see if the movie still held up to my memory of it, desolate and bleak with an underlying sense of hope shrouded in despair. In short it did, but I walked away after that second viewing with something far more memorable occupying my thoughts - a children's poem. In the movie Elizabeth Shue reads aloud from a children's book as she's putting her son to bed. This scene occurs over the course of three different sections scattered throughout the movie and it's clear by the end of the movie that there was a big chunk of the poem that we didn't hear. So after the credits rolled and I discovered that the poem was called "Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind" written by Gary Ross, I googled it hoping it would turn up the children's book and that I could then buy it. Instead what I discovered was that the poem was written solely for the movie, and that the book that it was read from didn't actually exist.

So I replayed the movie and skipping to those three scenes, transcribed the poem and blogged about it. You can read that first blog here. About a year later I was perusing Gary Ross's IMDB page and found a long thread of fans writing in the message boards begging Gary Ross to finish the poem or publish it in a book. He eventually responded with kind words and an updated version of the poem, including a new never before seen section of the poem. I wrote a second blog entry about it here.

About once or twice a year I still get post comments from strangers who say they'd been looking for this poem for years and how nice it was to discover it on my site. A few days ago a previous commenter updated the comment section of that post with news that "Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind" is finally being published! This is very exciting news!

It looks like the book won't be available until November but I urge anyone with children or anyone who enjoys children's books to pick up a copy for yourself or as a gift. It's a beautiful poem, and by the looks of it, will be brilliantly illustrated. I'm so pleased that what began as a "mysterious unfinished poem" six years ago (though sixteen years ago by The Trigger Effect's release date), now has closure.

Posted 6.29.2012 1:57:12 PM

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