I was going to save these until Saturday, but then I saw that it was Kyle Maclachlan’s birthday today, so I thought I’d move it up the list a little. Following on from my poem, A Sonnet for Laura Palmer the other day, I decided to keep on going and write another one; this time about my hero, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Since watching Season 3 of Twin Peaks, I’ve had mixed emotions about his fate and actions and I’ve been wrestling with myself to form a coherent opinion.
I’m torn. This feeling pleases me, however. I was just a young teenager when I watched Twin Peaks for the first time and saw only one side of the character. I never questioned his actions, his judgement or his motives. Season 3 made me look again at the character with more mature eyes and I started to see cracks in the façade. I started to look deeper and see the way that this paragon was essentially another flawed human being like the rest of us. It’s not about tearing down idols for me. It’s more about coming to a realisation that we can all be heroes because our heroes are just people, and people make mistakes.
I sat down and wrote a sonnet for Agent Cooper. I was very happy with it, but I hadn’t said everything I wanted to. I had dwelt too long on some of my more bleak views on things. I had missed out so much of the positive that I cherished when I was young. Therefore, I decided to do another poem, a reflection of the first. One of these poems is a celebration of all that is best about this character; the other looks through a far darker mirror. To be clear, this is not about Mr. C. It’s also not about the Dougie-shell in which Cooper is trapped for a large portion of the third season. These two poems are all about Dale Cooper, the man. They’re both true in my eyes, but each more so depending on my mood as I read them.
I’m hoping he gets the chance to see these, as it is a tribute to him that he portrayed the character with such skill that he remains a constant touchstone of inspiration for me in life. Happy birthday. 🍰🍩☕️⚡️🦉
Dispatched northwest to intervene,
A true hero in the Hornblower mould,
Adherent to chivalric codes of old,
Our Special Agent, intuition keen.
Steadfast defender of those in pain,
Lover of deep, black joe and cherry pie,
Prepared to stare into evil’s fell eye,
Though his true soul was cleaved time and again.
Walked a razor’s edge between dark and light,
A mournful, guilty father’s wounds to heal,
Met adversity with stoic ideal.
Out of bondage he reached to defend the right,
Travelled dimensions; the currents of time,
Charged to erase a most terrible crime.
Coasted to town on fumes to solve the case.
Brought wisdom from the East, inspired trust.
Steel resolve, he’d bend rules for what was just,
Yet when he left, a monster wore his face.
He won loyalty with an innocent charm,
Drove others to strive for their perfect aim.
While some, for the town’s ills, held him to blame,
Sipped morning coffee as more endured harm.
Those who think long may rule him unprepared,
Trusting imperfect love to no avail,
To challenge a foe of unparalleled scale.
Though no witness would deny that he cared,
He loosed a low shadow to act his part,
And was, in time, displaced for all his art.
Credit for the images must go to Ronaldo Arthur Vidal via Unsplash.
Thanks so much for reading. You can see my daily #whatthehaiku videos on YouTube or read my other thoughts and writing about Twin Peaks by following the links below. I’ll See You In the Trees is a 3-part fanfiction story that I wrote last October.
All the best,