Nationality: United States

Meta-Free-Phor-All

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The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Meta-Free-Phor-All: Shall I Nail Thee to a Summer’s Day?
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Something for April Fool’s Day — and the first day of (Inter-)National Poetry Month — from a king of fools. This episode of the Colbert Report aired on April 19, 2007. Colbert seems to genuinely like poetry, and has interviewed a number of poets on his show. I like the way this skit plays off the misconception popular with people who “just don’t understand poetry”: that a poem (or metaphor) is basically a code with one correct solution. I’m also impressed by Robert Pinksy’s stage presence and acting skills.

Incision by Jillian Weise

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Poem by Jillian Weise, from An Amputee’s Guide to Sex

Animation by John Roberts

From the publisher’s description:

The Amputee’s Guide to Sex is an authentic exploration of disability and sexuality. Tired of seeing “cripples” appear as asexual characters in all forms of media, Weise took on a subject close to home: her own disability. This does not mean that these poems “happened” to Weise in real life. While based on the experience of an above-the-knee amputee, the poems have a life of their own.

Lullaby by Anne Sexton

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Poem by Anne Sexton

Video by Jeff Doud

The Frigidaires of Idaho by Virginia Shank

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Poem and animation by Virginia Shank, with music by One Ring Studio

A rare example of a poet making a video interpretation of her own work — and in claymation yet! She gets huge respect from me. I found more information about the project in a blog post.

It’s nice to see that months of work have turned out so well and it’s hard to believe that Virginia found time to sculpt each frame by hand (for a total of literally thousands of individual frames) when she had three classes to take, a literary magazine (Fugue) to read for, and two classes to teach. But she’s like that – when she’s not making the best sushi for a hundred miles or singing Nancy Sinatra at our weekly MFA karaoke sessions, she’s doing THIS.

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

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Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

Film by Erica Tachoir

One of the more unique and ambitious approaches to the video poetry genre I’ve seen so far. I like the meta- aspect here, what the film says about readers and how poems intertwine with their lives. I also like the implicit judgement against people who can’t tolerate poetic expression.

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

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Poem by William Carlos Williams

Animation by Lee Luker, with music by Six Organs of Admittance

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Written and directed by Kira Rouse with art by Jeffrey Rouse and sound by Digital Scientist

Hard to say what WCW would’ve made of this one, but it’s an interesting testament to the ubiquity of his poem.

Semishigure by steve d. dalachinsky

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Poem by steve d. dalachinsky

Video by rousseaujj2, using audio from a live reading in Sasebo City, Japan, June 2006

Dalachinsky is a major New York performance poet whom I’ve gotten to know by publishing some of his work at qarrtsiluni. While there are various videos of his live readings on YouTube, this is the only video interpretation of his poems I could find. The video is pretty good, but the reading is extraordinary, I thought — a great evocation of cicadas from someone not generally thought of as a nature poet. Dalachinsky evidently also collaborated with the composer Vito Ricci on a CD called Cicada Music — Ricci says, “Steve Dalachinsky came back from Japan with a tape of cicada singing and a journal. This is the music including the cicada singing.”