11 March 2015


To Kill A Mockingbird
Source: Webomatic

Tall and compassionate as a willow
tree, Atticus Finch is the man to know.
The male willow of my childhood is not
alive in Tolkien and Rowling's thought
Mine protects children and wards off evil,
relieves pain andfor justicebears upheavel. 

Sitting in the circumference of his arms,
Scout explores humans, their ills and their charms.
Male and female, black and white, and all ages
suffer fairness in Atticus’ stories, exit their cages.
He kills a mad dog but not mockingbirds,
gives Jem models of courage beyond words.

His formula is simple—consider
things from the points of view of others.
… until you climb inside of his skin and walk
around in it" your knowledge is unjust talk.
I have heard that he has changed non-fiction
legal systems with the arc of his action.

Atticus—kind, unafraid and active—
is my ideal man, is quite attractive.
Played in the movies by Gregory Peck,
he moves like a willow, arms round his neck
as children climb up to see what he sees.
We know we won’t fall.  He puts us at ease.

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast


Jae Rose said...

He puts us at ease - a very telling thought to end this piece..how true that our ideal of what a man should be has changed into a kind of parody/superhero figure..a special man is certainly one who is caring and kind and prepared to fight for what is right

Mary said...

Yes, Atticus Finch is a good example.. though fictional. He definitely was a heroic man, the kind we would all wish to know. Gregory Peck definitely acted the part well.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh how I love this, as I adore the book and own the movie. Love the idea of children climbing up him like a tree to "see what he sees". Fantastic poem, Susan!!!!!!

humbird said...

Oh, this is meaningful character! and to see someone's view by 'walking in his skin' ~ important step to be compassionate. ~ I read this book in Russian time ago and loved it. ~ Thanks for the prompt, Susan.

Anonymous said...

As Gregory Peck said, "the role of a lifetime." I love the way you describe him esp., in relation to Scout. Wonderful choice to write about.

Hannah said...

An awesome example of a man and a human being...you brought the story to life, Susan.

Old Egg said...

I think there was one scene in the film when the colored housekeeper sitting with Scout in court tells her "Stand up, your father's passing" in admiration of his quality. A great film and classic book. I look forward to reading the sequel with Scout older.

Susan said...

It wasn't the African-American housekeeper. I'm pretty sure it was the Reverend of her church. Great scene!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent observation of a man who - although fictional - changed the thinking of (some in) the legal profession. (Gregory Peck someone special too!)

Anna :o]

rallentanda said...

Atticus was a wonderful character and Gregory Peck's charisma contributed to the character as well.

Sumana Roy said...

children will always flock to the ideal man attracted by his divine simplicity...a great job Susan...

annell4 said...

A beautiful write!

Christopher Barnes said...


Arathi Harihar said...

even though fictional he is real for children..very nice Susan..

PT said...

An innovative take from an imaginary character....

Marcoantonio Arellano (Nene) said...

quite interesting perspective of Atticus. i never knew my bilogical father (abandonment) but if i could perceive a
dad this is also how i would.


Anonymous said...

AWESOME. I already loved him when I read the book, then the movie...ahhhhhh. YES. A great choice.