galleryCelebrity Poets 04.03.09galleryCelebrity Poets Last week, Russell Crowe regaled an award show audience with a poem uniting Kipling and the Bee Gees. In celebration of Poetry Month, The Daily Beast presents a gallery of stars who emote with rhyme.04.03.09 4:23 PM ETBrad Barket / Getty ImagesCROWETRY When Russell Crowe took the mic after winning the Empire “Actor of Our Lifetime” Award last week, the Aussie read a mystifying poem instead of delivering an acceptance speech. The mash-up of lyrics and verse brought together, likely for the first (and last) time, Billy Bragg lyrics and If by Rudyard Kipling. The poem read: “I am celebrating my love for you with a pint of beer and a new tattoo./ Imagine there's no heaven./ I don't know if you're loving somebody.” He also lifted from Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh: “To be a poet and not know the trade, to be a lover and repel all women. Twin ironies by which great saints are made, the agonising pincer-jaws of heaven.” What a beautiful mind.Peter Macdiarmid / Getty ImagesLONG AND WINDING PROSE Paul McCartney’s fans went wild when a rare handwritten poem of his went up for auction last November, and it eventually sold for over $8,000. The poem begins: “The voice of the poet of Dumbwoman's Lane/ Can be heard across vallies [sic] of sugar-burned cane.” Well, it’s no “Yesterday.”SHE WILL SAVE YOUR STANZAS In 1998, songstress Jewel took a break from composing sad guitar tunes to pen a book of poetry entitled A Night Without Armor, which sold over a million copies with moody lines like, “You don't call/ I check again/ I become uneasy—/is this a frame?” Naturally, the poem’s name is “Insecurity.”Diane Bondareff / AP Photo PEANUT GALLERY Jimmy Carter’s book of poems, Always a Reckoning (1994), dealt with heavy subjects inspired by the former president’s expertise in foreign affairs. The improbably named “Why We Get Cheaper Tires from Liberia” contains the stanza: “Sweat, too,/ has poured like sap from trees, almost free,/ from men coerced to work by poverty.”Susan Walsh / AP Photo WORDS IN FLIGHT America’s hero, the preternaturally calm pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, is apparently a man with more than one talent. His $3 million book deal with HarperCollins will include a collection of inspirational poems in addition to a book about his skilled emergency landing into the Hudson River last fall. Can’t wait to see what rhymes with “geese.”TRY, TRY AGAIN Silky-voiced R&B singer Ashanti published a book of poems called Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love in 2002, which includes the insightful gem: “You Always Make Me Feel”: “I want to let you know/ that I’m so in love/ with you.”Chris Ashford / Retna LORD OF THE RHYMES With the money he made from the Tolkien franchise, Viggo Mortensen founded Perceval Press, the imprint under which he’s produced many of his poems. He published Ten Last Night, his first book of poetry, back in 1993. Its title poem reads: “I pass a pile of broken chairs/ On our street corner/ And feel you/ Drying on me./ I taste the blood/ That simmered/ On your lips./ Lingering, like guilt does.”Ethan Miller / Getty ImagesMOODY MAN Roguish Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen seems to be hiding quite the interior monologue under those leather bomber jackets. He has self-published his poems in two books— A Tale of Two Sisters, in 1989, and A Piece of My Mind, in 1990. One poems reads: “...Teacher, teacher, I don't understand,/ You tell me it's like the back of my hand./ Should I play guitar and join the band?/ Or head to the beach and walk in the sand?”John M. Heller / Getty ImagesIDENTITY CRISIS Three’s Company blonde Suzanne Somers got in touch with her hiking-and-granola side when she published a book of private poems entitled Touch Me in 1980. In her poem “Organic Girl,” Somers wrote: “Organic girl/ dropped by last night/ For nothing in particular/ Except to tell me again how beautiful and serene she feels/ On uncooked vegetables and wheat germ fortified by bean sprouts—/ Mixed with yeast and egg whites on really big days—/ She not only meditates regularly, but looks at me like I should/ And lectures me about meat and ice cream/ And other aggressive foods I shouldn't eat.”Frazer Harrison / Getty ImagesSPOCK SPOUTS OFF Jack of many trades, Leonard Nimoy has found success as a director, photographer, and poet, and his musings about time and love can be found in the published volume, A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life. “Today,/ Time has stopped./ A minute is still a minute./ An hour is still an hour./ And yet,/ The past and the future/ Hang in perfect balance./ All focused on the present./ A sweet flow of excitement/ Warms me./ You are near.” Beam us up, Scotty, that’s not half-bad.Bryan Bedder / Getty ImagesLETTING IT ALL HANG OUT Written in rehab, Ally Sheedy's confessional poetry compilation Yesterday I Saw the Sun reflects the psychological torment the Breakfast Club starlet underwent during her recovery. “I expand/ Dissolving into black horizons/ into my inside sky/ Diving into freezing depths/ into my inside sea.” And another: “Dark wound in my heart/ surrounded by the pink flesh of/ healing transformation...”Chris Pizzello / AP Photo HE’S VERY SERIOUS For his next movie role, James Franco will play beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the 2010 film Howl. The recent UCLA grad majored in English with a concentration in creative writing and is pursuing an MFA at Columbia. The thespian’s own written words, however, are still a mystery.Joel Ryan / AP Photo NOT SO THRILLING As if we needed more evidence of his brand of, uh, eccentricity. Michael Jackson has etched a youth-centric poem into marble where it will live forever. The frightening verse reads: “Children of the world, we'll do it/ With song and dance and innocent bliss/ The soft caress of a loving kiss/ We'll do it/ Psychologists probe, analyze the tears/ Of hysterical notions, phobias, fears.” Um, yeah.Dan Steinberg / AP Photo POETRY BEFORE BREAKFAST Ed Westwick, 21-year-old carouser and Gossip Girl fan favorite, has taken to writing rhyme in the early hours of the morning. A 14-line love poem he wrote at 6 a.m. ends: “Love is being entranced in a glance,/ To muster up courage when you’re flustered,/ To stumble on the words you prepare./ Don’t worry about the money that went down the drain/ Because the best things in life are free.”Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images for IMGSTREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS The poems on Rosie O'Donnell's blog are a true multimedia affair, no punctuation necessary. Take, for example, “ Squirrel School”: “we stared at each other/ for a half hour/ then i threw a peanut up/ took a/few tries/ but he got it/ smart/ my squirrel.” The ode is accompanied by slow motion slide show of a squirrel in various poses.Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty ImagesLOYAL ROCKER Frustrated by accusations of ill-will towards his hometown of Detroit, White Stripes frontman Jack White wrote a rather long ode to the city titled “ Courageous Dream’s Concern”: “The water letter carrier/ bringing prose to lonely sailors/ treading the big lakes with their trailers," it goes. Finally, it ends: “Detroit, you hold what one's been seeking,/ Holding off the coward-armies weakling,/ Always rising from the ashes/ not returning to the earth.” At least someone has the city's back.