Blog Archives

Stealing by Carol Ann Duffy

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Update: this video is no longer online.

Directed by Gerard Docherty. Aside from the sloppy spelling, this is a fine video and seemed worth sharing. Duffy is, of course, the current Poet Laureate of Great Britain. I assume this video was made without her permission, and thus represents a kind of stealing itself — and/or an homage and act of generosity, depending on your view of intellectual property rights.

I’m going back to posting five videos a week here, at least until I can shrink the current queue of draft posts. So much good stuff coming out these days!

Adrift by Juliet Wilson

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It’s not often I get to see a new videopoem for the work of a poet whose blog I’ve been reading for years. This is a poem from Juliet Wilson’s debut collection, Unthinkable Skies, from the Scottish Calder Wood Press. The film is by the indefatigible Alastair Cook, who adds that this is the “the first of a series of films with Juliet, which will be premiered at my upcoming solo show at the Drill Hall in Leith on 29th July this year:

Puritan Black by Kate Ruse

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According to J. P. Dougan’s description on Vimeo, this is one of a series of poems entitled “Poetry of Colours” by English writer Kate Ruse. “It is concerned with the use of campeachy wood in the production of black during the 18th Century.”

A Poem for A, by Harold Pinter

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I like the silent-movie style of interrupting the action with text. I wonder why more videopoems don’t adopt this style?

This is the work of independent filmmaker Justin Anderson, and is dedicated to Roksanda Ilincic. The Vimeo page contains complete credits as well as the following artist’s statement:

This film takes its structure from a short love poem by Harold Pinter written in 1974 about Lady Antonia Fraser his then lover and subsequent wife. She is and was the ‘Light of his Life’. In making this film I was trying evoke some of the feeling of the mid-seventies YSL, a beautiful girl with a rich dark skin wearing a dress that seems to emit light, she is hit by cracks of sunlight. This a very formal film about colour, form and minimal movement. Roksanda Ilincic is designer I greatly admire; her work is very sculptural, feminine and has a real filmic quality.

Portobello by Morgan Downie

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Another film by Alastair Cook for the This Collection project of 100 videopoems about Edinburgh, and his second in collaboration with Morgan Downie — the first was Scene.

Five limericks by Edward Lear

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This is “Nonsense Poems,” by Francesca Talenti.

“I am” machine-poem by Brion Gysin

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I couldn’t resist following Steven Nichol Smith’s “I Am” with this audio experiment from 1960 by Brion Gysin:

Permutation is a technique commonly used by avant-gardes and above all, and systematically, by the American writer Gertrude Stein. It is possible to permute sentences, words within a sentence, syllables and phonemes within a word. Permutation is a typically modern device and considerable use was made of it in the plastic arts by the constructivists. In fact it permits the complete exhaustion of all the possible combinations within a given choice of material, without limit of number. The Englishman Brion Gysin, one of the founders of the beatnik movement and inventor of such new formulas as the collage-novel, has composed his phonic texts on this principle. “I am” is a classic of the genre. Composed exclusively of permutations of the biblical words “I am that I am”, with ever more marked accelerations, he succeeds in rendering, from the initial nucleus, a crowd of “I am”s, the creation of the world in geometrical progression until it fades away in the sidereal silence.

The video by Alex Itin is titled “hotdog,” and is one of the very first videopoems posted to Vimeo four years ago. The god/dog pun is an old one, but the twitching of the animal in its sleep is a great way way to suggest dreaming and delusion while remaining entirely objective. And you certainly wouldn’t want anything less minimalist for a poem like this.