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Friday, 28 June 2013

The Offer

“Make him an offer that he can’t refuse”
is a phrase from ‘The Godfather’ films
that’s become a cinematographic cliché.
For the actor James Gandolfini it meant
the opportunity of a lifetime when given
the lead role in ‘The Sopranos’ TV play.
It was a novel way to portray a mobster:
the Mafia capo risen through the ranks
who goes on to be the leader of the pack.
The character was full of contradictions:
a devoted father, a cold-blooded killer,
a tough guy but prone to anxiety attacks.
This prompts him to go into therapy
and he unburdens his soul to Dr. Melfi
revealing a situation that is intricate.
The female psychiatrist helps Soprano
with sessions full of sexual tensions
but she’s too professional to be profligate.
The pilot of the series was so successful
that episodes after episodes ensued
and in each James Gandolfini shone.
There won’t be, alas, any more shows
with this brilliant actor, a true genius,
who has sadly, and prematurely, gone.

© Luigi Pagano 2013

Luigi Pagano is a contributor to Poetry24 and other websites. Author of three poetry collections, his work has appeared in various anthologies.


  1. Hi Luigi!

    I am watching every serie of the Soprano coz Ive never watch them before. I enjoy them all very much(and even write poems on this).
    Thank you for sharing this!
    A brilliant write!


    1. Hi Amy. I have been a fan of 'The Sopranos' since the beginning but can't say I have seen all the episodes because the series was transferred to satellite channels. I shall have to get DVDs to get up to date. The acting was brilliant, not only from Gandolfini but the whole cast. But it was he who was the pivotal character. Such a shame that the actor should die so young.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. A thoughtful and well written tribute to Gandolfini. I think I'd say it was more prose than poem, a very good example of a vignette, and as such I' would prefer to read it set out as such. Having said that I have no problem with it appearing here on Poetry 24. In fact perhaps we should see more here.

  3. Little Nell, many thanks for your comment, much appreciated and revealing.
    I have often wondered at the eternal question: what is poetry and what is prose? And what about prose poetry?
    To quote the opening line on About.com about this subject: "There are as many definitions of poetry as there are poets."
    Wikipedia defines prose poetry as "Prose poetry is poetry written in prose instead of using verse but preserving poetic qualities such as heightened imagery and emotional effects."
    A further complication is that prose poetry combines the characteristics of poetry with the superficial appearance of prose, such as in Robert Frost's poem, "Home Burial."
    I am by nature a non-conformist and I don't exactly know how to define this poem (whith a rhyme or half-rhyme every third line) and your definition of a vignette may well be right. I am grateful for any point of view but I don't want to open a debate.