Another of Othniel Smith’s videopoems made with free classic film footage from the Prelinger archives and free audio from Librivox. What makes this one work for me, oddly enough, is the lack of music juxtaposed with the dancing scene.
Film by Gianni Marini; voice by Paul Buchanan. This is the poem also known as “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”:
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
The complete title of the poem is “For two NATO soldiers who drowned in an attempt to recover supplies from a river in the province of Badghis, Western Afghanistan, November, 2009”; Swoon calls the videopoem Drift. Irish poet Paul Perry’s text contrasts sharply in mood with the video images. As Swoon writes in a blog post:
The main images came not from me but I used footage from the site Beachfront B-Roll. Crisp and clean footage. Idyllic images with water, birds and logs.
Movement and juxtaposition I found with Cullen McHale. This footage of young men, alive, in their prime and having fun with searching kicks in innocent danger forms a perfect contrast with the content of the poem. Yet they tell a story of what was, or could have been.
I only had to add a layer of ‘light’ and some treated photographs to add to the general atmosphere of the video.