A film adaptation by Peter Madden of a piece originally titled “Skype,” by the bilingual Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Madden first released an English version, about which he noted: “This is basically a performance based video, Doireann simply reads the poem on skype.” Then he made Glaoch (embedded above): “Shot to the same beat as its English version ‘Call’ it varies only very slightly, echoing the changes that occur in translation.”
Both films were part of a recent feature of Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s poetry in Numéro Cinq, which includes her statement about this poem:
Glaoch/Call is a consideration of modern life and love. I am intrigued by the multiple paradoxes of contemporary life — we are more connected than ever through technology, and yet there often remains a fundamental disconnect between us, an emotional distance, a fundamental interpersonal detachment. This poem arose from dissonance between these opposing constructs, and our collaboration in film seeks to further explore this matter.
I know I don’t post nearly as many performance videos here as I could. Sometimes that’s because the poetry is too didactic (a common failing especially of spoken-word poetry, in my view), but more often than not because the filming simply isn’t imaginative enough. But this film, short as it is, proves that a talented filmmaker can transform a performance video into something wonderful — and perhaps transcend the genre altogether. This could just as easily be classed as a videopoem/filmpoem that happens to feature the poet.
Then of course there’s the pleasure of watching and hearing a poem read in another language while reading a good translation in subtitles. That’s one of the things that most interests me about poetry video in general: the way it can be used to bring the music of poetry in other languages across, at the same time helping poets who write in languages with relatively small numbers of speakers to reach a global audience.
This is the second installment in the 12 Moons collaborative videopoem series produced by Swoon (Marc Neys), Kathy McTavish and Nic Sebastian with texts by Erica Goss for publication in Atticus Review. Marc notes that
A large part of the images for this one came from Bea Mariano (from http://futuretransits.com/video/mistake-momentum-memory)
I really liked the concentration that oozed from these, so I asked if I could re-edit some parts of it for this videopoem. A big thanks to her.
Just as in Wolf Moon, I wanted the ending to take us somewhere completely different. I wanted water, overpowering, and loads of it.
I can’t express enough how much fun it is to work on videopoems with this kind of building blocks.
This video combines four of my favorite things: Theodore Roethke’s poetry, stop-motion animation, machine-generated poetry reading, and legos. It’s by Manami Okada, who described it briefly on Vimeo:
Stop motion video using spray-painted Legos. A factory setting used to demonstrate the conformity portrayed in Roethke’s poem “Dolor.” Taken with Sony Nex-3
To Flee From Memory is “A short film about being lost set to a poem by Emily Dickinson,” according to the director, Irish filmmaker Simon Eustace. Click through to Vimeo for a full list of credits. The voiceover is a bit quiet, so let me paste in the text of the poem:
To flee from memory
Had we the Wings
Many would fly
Inured to slower things
Birds with surprise
Would scan the cowering Van
Of men escaping
From the mind of man
As a frequent writer of erasure poems, I was excited to see this animation by artist Erin Zerbe of what she tells us is
an erasure poem by Karin Wraley Barbee. The source for the erasure was Sarah Palin’s book “Going Rogue”. The audio was performed by Kathy Graves.
I wasn’t able to turn up much about the poet online, except for three fine poems in DIAGRAM.
I think the description on Vimeo kind of buries the lede for this one:
I love seeing collaborations like this. The sisters produced it as a trailer for Frances’s new book of poems, Beast (Augury Books, 2014). Here’s how they characterized the book at Vimeo:
In BEAST, Frances Justine Post explores the destruction and eventual reclaiming of the self following loss. Many of the poems make up a series of “Self-Portraits” that explore the psychological core of intimacy with its inherent devotion and betrayal, reward and punishment. In one, she is a wolf; in another, an equestrian and her horse; then a tornado, the dropped crumbs of a beloved, a pack of hounds, and finally a cannibal. The self changes form and species and switches from one voice to multiple voices. Each poem attempts to reinvent the self and alter it as a way of trying to understand what remains after devastation.