Nationality: Ireland

The Polish Language by Alice Lyons

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This is just about the most inventive typographic animation I’ve even seen — a gorgeous and moving tribute to the power of Polish poetry by American-Irish poet and artist Alice Lyons and Irish artist Orla Mc Hardy. The film has its own website at, whence the following description:

The Polish Language is an animated film-poem about the subversive force of art and the renewal of poetry in the whispery language of Polish.

Based on the poem of the same title, the film pays homage to the revitalization of poetry in the Polish language in the 20th century. Using hand-drawn, stop-motion and time-lapse animation techniques, the poem unfolds onscreen, with typography as a key visual element. It visual style is loosely based on underground publications in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, known as Bibula. A chorus of voices sampling poems in Polish, woven together with original music by sound designer Justin Spooner, combine to create a powerful score in a film of ’emotional depth and technical sophistication’ (Jury, Galway Film Fleadh 2009, award for Best Animation).

The Polish Language is at once a playful and solemn journey into the sensuality, beauty and power of language.

Lyons wrote the poem, while Mc Hardy took the lead on the animation. For full credits and a list of screenings, see the website’s About page. The poets sampled in the soundtrack are Tadeusz Różewicz, Zbigniew Herbert and Wisława Szymborska.

Dún Chaoin by David McLoghlin

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[Update: embedding disabled — watch on Vimeo]

A wonderful evocation of an artist and a place, with original music and a poem for the narration. I strongly recommend expanding it to full-screen. The director, Lanka Haouche Perren, describes it as follows:

7 minutes non-narrative documentary exploring the work & methods of the renowned Irish artist Maria Simonds-Gooding who has been based in Dún Chaoin, Co. Kerry, Ireland, for the last 40 years. It features a poem by award winning poet & writer David McLoghlin, narrated by Dominic West.

More examples of McLoghlin’s work may be found at his website. And be sure to check out Maria Simonds-Gooding’s website as well.

Currach by Tony Curtis

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Animation by Ronan Horan of a short piece by the Irish poet Tony Curtis.

For Poetry, this by Tony Curtis

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Irish poet Tony Curtis reads his poem about the death of Delmore Schwartz in this animation by Tim Phelan.

The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats

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A William Butler Yeats animation that manages not to be cheesy — and done in Second Life, yet! This is by far the most sophisticated and beautiful SL videopoem I’ve seen. The animator, Lainy Voom, adds, “I’ve had requests from people to visit the Sim where this movie was filmed, unfortunately it does not exist in virtual space – the sets were only set up to create this poem, then they were torn down again.” Thanks to Linebreak blog for bringing this to my attention.

One hates to complain about such a technically accomplished production, but I do think the reading could have been a little louder and livelier. Here’s the text of the poem, which is in the public domain.

The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Alas (Helas) by Oscar Wilde

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Not sure of the filmmaker’s full name, but he’s Kevin on Vimeo, and obviously very professional in his approach to filmmaking. Here’s what he has to say about this piece:

An homage to the great Oscar Wilde, one of his lesser known poems penned in 1881 entitled “Helas” which translated from French is “Alas”. Interpreted by the mesmerizing young actor, Isaac Haldeman, set to the hauntingly austere music of Kevin McLeod, shot in Brooklyn with a Panasonic Lumix GH1.

Road to Derry by Seamus Heaney

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Poem by Seamus Heaney

Video by Raw Nerve Productions, “Produced for an interactive tourist guide for Derry City Council”