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15 Movies Based On Poems

07/24/2013 07:51 am ET

From Homer to Disney, and Dr. Seuss to Charles Bukowski, many famous poems and poets have made the leap from book to box office - with varying levels of success.

For better or worse, poetry seems to make film directors drool, and why not? You could think of poetry like the popcorn of the literary world – bite-sized, compact little narratives or emotional jolts with plenty of room around the edges to lather on the artistic “interpretation.” The Disney classic "Mulan," for instance, is even more classic than you think: it dates to 3rd Century China. Bukowski's poetry is vastly more entertaining than his biography, while Beowulf is actually better, believe it or not, without Angelina Jolie.

Luckily though, many poetry-based movies actually do a degree of justice to their bardolic antecedents, rising above simple cinema-fodder to bring verse to life.

Click through for 15 films based on great poems, and try to read them before you see them!

15 Poems That Were Made Into Movies

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