Darren Aronofsky wrote a Noah-themed poem when he was a teen at Mark Twain IS 239 in Brooklyn. The poem eventually won a United Nations contest, and Aronofsky credits his teacher, Vera Fried, with inspiring his creative writing. (She even has a cameo in Noah.)
We've got both the original poem and an interview with Fried, whose all-pink wardrobe Aronofsky fondly remembers. Needless to say, she was a formidable influence.
Fried: "Darren was a bright light. He was always such a thoughtful person and has remembered my class with great passion. When he found me again he said, 'Thank you for the passion, for the love, and for teaching me what writing really is.'"
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Fried: "I had his class create an entire alien world and a 12-page newspaper from their planet. They had to include ads, movies, and sports that they created. He never gave me back his newspaper because he was so proud of it! He has kept it all these years and said he would send it to me if he can find it."
What's your favorite memory from your time as a teacher?
Fried: "Finding a special gift in each student. Every kid taught me something; from day one I learned from them."
Here's Aronofsky's poem, titled "The Dove." The full text is below.
"The animals ran and flew freely with their new born [sic]. The fog rose and the sun shone. Peace was in the air and it soon appeared in all of mans' heart."
"He knew evil could not be kept away for evil and war could not be destroyed but neither was it possible to destroy peace."
"Evil is hard to end and peace is hard to begin but the rainbow and the dove will always live within every mans' [sic] heart."