Symbolically, Pearls provides a vehicle for wisdom as well as providing a mirror in which to see ourselves, giving us insight into how we appear to others.
In a more literal sense, the “Mother” in the poem is on a mission to ‘find herself’ through some pearls that she thinks are hidden in the rocks. Her son, who is watching from down below, is trying desperately to communicate, to gain her attention, her love. In fact, he is trying to tell her that she already has pearls, if only she could see them.
The first line of the poem was inspired by a poetry-film on Moving Poems site, so it seemed appropriate to explore my text further through film. I sent the poem to Voiceover Artist and Broadcaster David Wartnaby. A few weeks later, I found exactly the right footage, music and sound and the poetry-film fell into place.
Artists Cecelia Chapman and Jeff Crouch have collaborated on a number of videos over the years, some of which — like this one — can be seen as videopoems. The soundtrack is by Halo Svevo, and Christa Hunter appears in the video along with footage from 1956 film On Guard! by IBM. There’s also a small folded book and CD.
Message4u is a video and folding book based on email conversations between myself and Jeff Crouch about knowledge, democracy, technology and the computer and oracle as repositories of knowledge and prediction.
A new videopoem by Robert Peake (poem, concept) and Valerie Kampmeier (original music). With all the thousands of poetry videos I’ve watched over the years, I’ve never seen someone use footage shot through a kaleidoscope before—leave it to an endlessly inventive tech geek and poet like Peake to come up with it. I find the effect mesmerizing and an apt complement to the text. As usual, he’s posted the poem at his blog, along with some process notes:
With the tenth anniversary of the birth and death of our son James fast approaching, I find myself writing about the ongoing effects, including sudden and overpowering moments of grief. The text came first. I then shot time-lapse of clouds through an inexpensive toy kaleidoscope using a Raspberry Pi camera. I also shot real-time nature footage through the same kaleidoscope by holding it up to my smartphone camera. Valerie composed and performed the music. The title refers to a nearby patch of common land in North Hertfordshire that we frequent. One year, after extensive tilling, a field adjacent to the common erupted in red poppies, not unlike the no-man’s land of the First World War.
A gorgeous, author-made videopoem from Quebecois poet Jean Coulombe and videographer Gilbert Sévigny, “Réalisé pour le blogue de création poétique CLS Poésie.” The text (shown via type on screen) is only in French, but at my request, Coulombe sent along an English translation:
RESSACS / BACKWASHES
À pelleter devant soi / Shovelling forward
des phrases-chocs / shocking sentences
que personne n’écoute / that nobody listens to
à clamer dans le vide / shouting in the emptiness
notre stupeur de vivre / our amazement to live
on désapprend le feu / we unlearn fire
on tressaille sans faire d’ombres / we flinch without casting shadows
il ne faudrait surtout pas / we certainly should not
bloquer le trottoir / block the sidewalk
ramener les illusions / bring back illusions
trop près des braises / too close to the embers
CLS Poésie is a group literary blog after my own heart, and makes me wish I knew French. The three poets behind it even have a joint Blogger/Google account, which reads:
Les poètes Jean Coulombe, Alain Larose et Denis Samson ont ouvert cet espace , libre et sans prétention, en juin 2009, pour partager leur poésie sous toutes ses formes. Cette grande aventure a débuté à Saint-Benjamin dans la région des Etchemins au Québec.
The poets Jean Coulombe, Alain Samson and Denis Larose opened this space, free and unpretentious, in June 2009, to share their poetry in all its forms. This great adventure began in Saint-Benjamin Etchemins in the region in Québec. (via Google Translate)
British performance poet Luke Wright notes on YouTube,
Four months into my six month driving ban I’m getting nostalgic about motorway service stations. I miss rating my toilet experience.
This very basic video shot with a stationary camera is rendered thoroughly engrossing by Wright’s entertaining performance and the innovative (though deliberately not seamless) co-mingling of rhyming poetry and explication.
We decided to collaborate on a video for one of her poems, Abschied.
Spohie is also a composer and a filmmaker. In our mailing back and forth I received some of her compositions and a short film she made a few years ago.
I decided to take pieces of her music and a short sequence of her film ‘Die Erfahrung’ and re-mix and build a new work on those pieces.
A soundtrack came first; [Soundcloud link]
Most sounds and noises you hear in this track (except for the clicks, the birds, and the piano) are all made out of samples of Sophie’s music and voice.
She also provided me with a subdued reading and an English translation for the subtitles.
I used the tempo (and clicks) in the soundtrack as a guide to edit the chosen film sequences. Using a lot of repetition to create a form of visual rhythm.
Once the videopoem was done I asked Sophie to do a small write up;
Image and sound. Words and pictures. In “Abschied” i try to talk about letting go and starting a new. In my work with marc neys we focused on sound- and picture- material that i associate with the subject of death. we used it as a playground. mark re- arranged and composed the material, put it into rhythm, added new layers, used filters and interpreted the fragments in a very intelligent way.
We both like what came out of this and might collaborate again in the future, but then with newly created sounds and film…
For now, enjoy Abschied!
A new videopoem by artist and poet Martha McCollough always makes me do a little dance of pure delight. Break and Remake debuted on Atticus Review a week ago, and I’ve held off on sharing it till now (not wanting to steal their thunder) only with great difficulty. Here’s how McCollough introduced it:
Break and Remake came out of thinking about the recombined creatures in myths and in the margins of medieval manuscripts. The whole video is broken and reassembled, as are the griffins, chimeras, and other monsters within the video. The text is also a hybrid, combining overheard remarks, a line from a song by Son House and computer-generated text from spam.