Nationality: Argentina

Detrás de los fragmentos / After Fragments by Diana Bellessi

An English-subtitled reading by the Argentinian poet Diana Bellessi, part of a larger documentary about her. The translation’s really good and the language and landscape are both mesmerizing, I thought. Here’s the YouTube description:

Diana Bellessi reads the poem “After the fragment”, about the history of her family, originally from Italy. As she reads, the sun sets over the land they worked.
This is video is part of the documentary “Secret Garden” (www.secretgardendocumentary.wordpress.c­om).

Directed by Cristián Costantini, Diego Panich and Claudia Prado
Camera: Leandro Listorti/Diego Panich
Poem translation: Cathy Eisenhower

Diana Bellessi lee el poema “Detrás de los fragmentos”, sobe la historia de su familia, descendientes de italianos en la pampa santafesina. Mientras ella lee, el sol se pone en la tierra que trabajaron sus parientes.
Este video es parte del documental “El jardín secreto” (www.eljardinsecretoblog.wordpress.com).

Three poems by Alejandra Pizarnik

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I wanted to start the New Year with one of my favorite poets. This is Todo hace el amor con el silencio: tres poemas de Alejandra Pizarnik by Hernán Talavera. Here are the three texts along with some rough translations. (Feel free to suggest improvements in the comments.)

[El olvido]

en la otra orilla de la noche
el amor es posible

-llévame-

llévame entre las dulces sustancias
que mueren cada día en tu memoria

[Oblivion]

on the other side of night
love is possible

-lead me-

lead me among sweet substances
which every day vanish from your memory

[no. 22 de "Árbol de Diana"]

en la noche
un espejo para la pequeña muerta
un espejo de cenizas

[from "Tree of Diana," #22]

in the night
a mirror for the small dead
a mirror of ashes

[de Aproximaciones]

La niña que fui
ahora en mi memoria
entre mis muertos.

De lágrimas se nutrirá mil años.
De destierro el sonido de su voz.

[from Approximations]

The girl who I was
lives now in my memory
among the dead.

Fed on tears for a millennium.
Exiling the sound of her voice.

Arte Poética (The Art of Poetry) by Jorge Luis Borges

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“A journey around Argentina and Uruguay to illustrate words of Jorge Luis Borges,” says the Paris-based director, Neels Castillon. The soundtrack includes Borges’ own reading of the poem, as well as music by Yann Scott. The cinematography is by Kévin Michel.

Here’s the English translation Castillon supplied in the description at Vimeo:

To gaze at a river made of time and water
And remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.

To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into music, a sound, and a symbol.

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness–such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

Sometimes in the evening there’s a face
that sees us from the depths of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

Happiness by Jorge Luis Borges

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Today’s Google Doodle commemorates the birth of Borges:

“Wishing Jorge Luis Borges a happy 112th birthday!” Google tweeted early this morning, adding a well-known Borges quote: “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

I shudder to think what this arch-conservative and biobliophile would’ve said about videopoetry, let alone digital texts. But thanks to a Facebook contact, I saw this video and thought it worth sharing. It appears to be a quite illegal upload (and re-branding) of a snippet from the documentary Art, Poetry and Particle Physics, narrated by John Berger and directed by Ken McMullen. However, the uploaders do at least acknowledge the theft, and also reproduce the text of the translation by Stephen Kessler used in the documentary. [The YouTube user account was terminated for copyright violations. I swapped in a DailyMotion version on 15 August 2014.] And it’s a very effective selection, I thought — it works well on its own as a videopoem, even with the apparent non sequitur by Berger at the end about Borges’ lack of interest in 20th-century science.

Instructions on How to Cry by Julio Cortázar

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This is from the first chapter of Cronopios and Famas, translated by Paul Backburn, “The Instruction Manual” — “an absurd assortment of tasks and items dissected in an instruction-manual format,” according to the publisher’s description on Amazon.

Sari Rachman is the actress, and also supplied the voiceover reading of the poem. Leonardo Cariglino did everything else. You can read the text at Maud Newton’s blog. Someone else posted a video interpretation of the poem on YouTube, and had I not discovered this one, I might have posted it. But I’m afraid Cariglino’s film blows it out of the water.

Incidentally, Cariglino is in the midst of a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to make a film inspired in part by a Baudelaire poem. Check it out.

Del vacío de la voz (Of the Emptiness of the Voice) by vanvelvet

Vanvelvet is an Argentinian filmmaker currently living in Barcelona. For this videopoem, she had assistance from Federico Rasenberg and Florencia Peitrapertosa. The English translation is O.K.; the only egregious error is “whom” for “womb” (vientre), the final word of the poem.

The Threatened One, by Jorge Luis Borges

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A nicely non-literal animation of the poem by Latvian filmaker Signe Baumane, from 1999. It won Silver at Worldfest – Houston Film Festival 2000, the Robbie Burns Award at Cin(e) Poetry Festival 2000, and a Jury Award at the 34th New York Exposition of Short Film and Video 2000, according to Baumane’s website. Here’s the Spanish text.

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