Nationality: United States

A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

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Poe’s 1849 poem in a 2014 adaptation by Catalonian poet Josep Porcar with cinematography by Tomás Baltazar, a voiceover by Tom O’Bedlam and a Catalan translation by Txema Martínez Inglés in subtitles. The actor is Luis Carvalho.

Message4u by Cecelia Chapman and Jeff Crouch

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Artists Cecelia Chapman and Jeff Crouch have collaborated on a number of videos over the years, some of which — like this one — can be seen as videopoems. The soundtrack is by Halo Svevo, and Christa Hunter appears in the video along with footage from 1956 film On Guard! by IBM. There’s also a small folded book and CD.

Message4u is a video and folding book based on email conversations between myself and Jeff Crouch about knowledge, democracy, technology and the computer and oracle as repositories of knowledge and prediction.


Noman’s Land Common by Robert Peake

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A new videopoem by Robert Peake (poem, concept) and Valerie Kampmeier (original music). With all the thousands of poetry videos I’ve watched over the years, I’ve never seen someone use footage shot through a kaleidoscope before—leave it to an endlessly inventive tech geek and poet like Peake to come up with it. I find the effect mesmerizing and an apt complement to the text. As usual, he’s posted the poem at his blog, along with some process notes:

With the tenth anniversary of the birth and death of our son James fast approaching, I find myself writing about the ongoing effects, including sudden and overpowering moments of grief. The text came first. I then shot time-lapse of clouds through an inexpensive toy kaleidoscope using a Raspberry Pi camera. I also shot real-time nature footage through the same kaleidoscope by holding it up to my smartphone camera. Valerie composed and performed the music. The title refers to a nearby patch of common land in North Hertfordshire that we frequent. One year, after extensive tilling, a field adjacent to the common erupted in red poppies, not unlike the no-man’s land of the First World War.

Bicycle Love Poem: Midtown to Canal by Jessica Jacobs

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This delightful film by Tom Jacobsen (Pixel Farm) was one of the winners of MotionpoemsBig Bridges Film Festival in Minneapolis last year. Sophie Jacobsen is the actress and Jesse Marks provided the sound mix. The many nods to selfie culture recall some of the best video work of Alt Lit poet Steve Roggenbuck.

For more on the poet, Jessica Jacobs, see her website.

River Bicycle Peony (from August Notebook: A Death) by Robert Hass

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This is a kind of metaphor, a stop-motion animation by Paige Speight of Robert Hass‘s “River Bicycle Peony.” Evan Montilla provided the voiceover.

Crows, Reckoning by Jessica Goodfellow

A poem by Jessica Goodfellow adapted to film for Motionpoems by Alex Hanson and Edward Chase Masterson of Commandr studio. See Masterson’s Vimeo upload for a full list of credits, which appear to have gone missing in Motionpoems’ otherwise fabulous new website design.

Released on January 1, this was the last episode (as they’re now calling them) in Motionpoems’ Season 6, which was produced in partnership with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and featured a lineup of all female U.S. poets. As with the others in this season, there’s a bonus interview with the poet. Here’s the final question and response:

What was your initial reaction to seeing the motionpoem?

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I had to watch the movie two or three times before I could take it in, because its story line was so different from the poem. I was all the while captivated by the the textures in the imagery, the childlike yet knowing voice of the narrator, the mystery of the film, those actual crows (I had expected animation since I did not think real animals would be feasible) and that final striking image. Even now, though I’ve watched the film a dozen times, it remains mysterious to me, but that’s the genius of what Alex Hanson and Edward Chase Masterson have done—adding layers of mystery rather than in trying to explicate the poem. Because of their film, the poem has become a deeper, more moving experience, one that evokes a despair in me that I did not expect.

Smell! by William Carlos Williams

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William Carlos Williams’ own recitation of his poem is included in the soundtrack of this animation by Isaac Holland. The video is part of the Poetry of Perception series commissioned by Harvard for its Fundamentals of Neuroscience course.