I have been working on ‘Poetry Storehouse’ videos in between workshops and commissioned projects. Perfect way to create a (much needed) distance from one project while playing around with another one (with less pressure)
This videopoem started out with ‘loose’ footage I shot in Athens (during a workshop for Frown. More on that in a later post). I wanted parts of a ping pong table almost to feel other-worldly.
Back at home I stumbled on this great instrument: http://www.femurdesign.com/theremin/
The selection of poems in the Storehouse is evidently large and diverse enough that a filmmaker with some footage and music already in hand can locate a suitable text, as Swoon did:
Somehow I thought the feel of the poem and the alienating music fitted well together and were a great ‘match’ with the ping pong footage. When I say ‘match’, I mean there’s a lovely friction between it all. It seems wrong (hence the title) and strangely suitable at the same time…
This latest Motionpoems animation is by Keri Moller. The poem is from Bob Hicok’s collection Elegy Owed. The Motionpoems monthly email newsletter included this brief exchange with the poet. I like his suggestion for a writing exercise:
MOTIONPOEMS: How did this poem begin?
BOB HICOK: Seeing vultures and loving vultures for being underrated as beauty queens (and kings).
MOPO: What’s your favorite moment in the poem, and why?
HICOK: When it’s over. So i can go work on my shed.
MOPO: Motionpoems are used in classrooms a lot. If you were to recommend a writing prompt or exercise using this poem as a model, writing teachers and students might find that very useful.
HICOK: Go outside. Thrust your arms out like the wings of a vulture. Run in circles around what you imagine to be a grave. Come back in. Write a poem in which you wonder why you didn’t run in circles around what you imagine to be a garden. Put flowers in the garden and a child eating dirt. This may be way too specific. Open your notebook. Write your mind.
This is Hicok’s second poetry film from Motionpoems. The first, “Having intended to merely pick on an oil company, the poem goes awry,” made by Joanna Kohler, remains one of my all-time favorites of theirs. But this one’s also a gem. Something of Hicok’s droll, off-kilter wisdom seems to have infected both filmmakers.
Here’s a Sunday bonus video, a poetic un-sermon after my own heart from one of our finest Southern poets. Ed Madden’s TEDx talk seamlessly incorporates three poems from his 2013 collection My Father’s House: “How to lift him,” “Knowledge,” and “Thirst.” The book’s publisher, Ron Mohring, describes this talk as “Frank, open, painful, specific, direct, moving, and perhaps above all, generous.” I was especially moved by Madden’s quietly radical questioning of the power of communication to change those around us, and his refusal to grasp at easy, glib truths.
The video is also available at the TEDx site.
This is the second installment in the 12 Moons collaborative videopoem series produced by Swoon (Marc Neys), Kathy McTavish and Nic Sebastian with texts by Erica Goss for publication in Atticus Review. Marc notes that
A large part of the images for this one came from Bea Mariano (from http://futuretransits.com/video/mistake-momentum-memory)
I really liked the concentration that oozed from these, so I asked if I could re-edit some parts of it for this videopoem. A big thanks to her.
Just as in Wolf Moon, I wanted the ending to take us somewhere completely different. I wanted water, overpowering, and loads of it.
I can’t express enough how much fun it is to work on videopoems with this kind of building blocks.
This video combines four of my favorite things: Theodore Roethke’s poetry, stop-motion animation, machine-generated poetry reading, and legos. It’s by Manami Okada, who described it briefly on Vimeo:
Stop motion video using spray-painted Legos. A factory setting used to demonstrate the conformity portrayed in Roethke’s poem “Dolor.” Taken with Sony Nex-3
To Flee From Memory is “A short film about being lost set to a poem by Emily Dickinson,” according to the director, Irish filmmaker Simon Eustace. Click through to Vimeo for a full list of credits. The voiceover is a bit quiet, so let me paste in the text of the poem:
To flee from memory
Had we the Wings
Many would fly
Inured to slower things
Birds with surprise
Would scan the cowering Van
Of men escaping
From the mind of man
As a frequent writer of erasure poems, I was excited to see this animation by artist Erin Zerbe of what she tells us is
an erasure poem by Karin Wraley Barbee. The source for the erasure was Sarah Palin’s book “Going Rogue”. The audio was performed by Kathy Graves.
I wasn’t able to turn up much about the poet online, except for three fine poems in DIAGRAM.