Nationality: Spain

Murder (Two voices at dawn on Riverside Drive) by Federico Garcia Lorca

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Asesinato, directed by Javier Gómez Serrano for elegant mob films, is an adaptation of a poem from Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York), which may be read at Google Books in both Spanish and English (translation by Pablo Medina and Mark Statman).

The Wind, One Brilliant Day by Antonio Machado

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Machado is one of my favorite poets, so I was excited to see this from award-winning filmmaker Chel White, and with the recitation by none other than Alec Baldwin. Here’s White’s description from the Vimeo page:

Based on a one-hundred-year-old poem by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, “Wind” is an allegorical perspective on climate change. In recent years, a number of films have been made on the topic of global climate change, but few have addressed the issue from a poetic perspective.

“Wind” is constructed with the poem as the film’s nucleus, book-ended by montages of astonishing time-lapse sequences by photographer Mark Eifert. In the film, scenes of the earth, weather, and human interaction, both negative and positive, dominate the film’s imagery. The music consists of a lesser known piece by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with solo piano played by Thomas Lauderdale (of Pink Martini.)

Though written in the early 20th century, the Machado poem is particularly poignant today, bearing an uncanny relevance for climate change and planet stewardship. This film was commissioned by the environmental organization Live Earth, and is narrated by Alec Baldwin. The English translation is by Robert Bly.

(Thanks to Viral Verse for the introduction to Chel White’s work.)

Gacela of Unforeseen Love by Federico Garcia Lorca

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

I’m rarely satisfied with my own efforts, but I do like this one. (Which is not to say it couldn’t be improved.) I blogged a bit about the poem at Via Negativa last month.

Catalan Ballad (Balada Catalana) by Vicente Balaguet

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A splendid little animation, which Laen Sanches has also made available with French subtitles and without any subtitles. (The original is in Spanish, not in Catalan.) Ines Cuesta helped with the illustrations (and provides additional credits at the link).

Carpe Noctem by Ana Muñoz

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Poem by Ana Muñoz

Video by sonolopez

El lenguaje de las hormigas (The Language of Ants) by Fernando Sarría

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Poem by Fernando Sarría

Video by sonolopez (Javier López Clemente)

El lenguaje de las hormigas es húmedo, constante,
ligero pero lleno de matices y sabores.
Nada se determina de antemano,
reconocen las sendas claras y oscuras de la tierra,
de un cuerpo sonrosado y de un anhelo.
Su murmullo es la marca de su saliva,
la piel siempre deseándolas
y aunque cierren los oídos, las ventanas,
las puertas de la cama,
ellas, pacientes, sabrán esperar.

Yo no sé cómo saltar (I Don’t Know How to Leap) by Juan Ramón Jiménez

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Poem by Juan Ramón Jiménez (Estío, 11)

Reading and video by sonolopez (Javier López Clemente)

Here’s the poem, which I think should be in the public domain by now, together with my translation (feel free to offer corrections in the comments).

Yo no sé cómo saltar
desde la orilla de hoy
a la orilla de mañana.

El río se lleva, mientras,
la realidad de esta tarde
a mares sin esperanza.

Miro al oriente, al poniente,
miro al sur y miro al norte…
Toda la verdad dorada
que cercaba al alma mía,
cual con un cielo completo,
se cae, partida y falsa.

…Y no sé como saltar
desde la orilla de hoy
a la orilla de mañana.

I don’t know how to leap
from the brink of today
to the brink of tomorrow.

Meanwhile the current bears
this afternoon’s reality
into despairing seas.

Look to the east, the west,
look to the south and to the north…
all that golden truth
that encircled my soul,
complete with its own sky,
collapses, false and broken.

…And I don’t know how to leap
from the brink of today
to the brink of tomorrow.

I imagine Jiménez is rolling at his grave at the video’s use of the soundtrack from The Matrix — he was pretty uptight, I hear — but it works for me.