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.
I think the description on Vimeo kind of buries the lede for this one:
I love seeing collaborations like this. The sisters produced it as a trailer for Frances’s new book of poems, Beast (Augury Books, 2014). Here’s how they characterized the book at Vimeo:
In BEAST, Frances Justine Post explores the destruction and eventual reclaiming of the self following loss. Many of the poems make up a series of “Self-Portraits” that explore the psychological core of intimacy with its inherent devotion and betrayal, reward and punishment. In one, she is a wolf; in another, an equestrian and her horse; then a tornado, the dropped crumbs of a beloved, a pack of hounds, and finally a cannibal. The self changes form and species and switches from one voice to multiple voices. Each poem attempts to reinvent the self and alter it as a way of trying to understand what remains after devastation.
It’s entirely possible that I take videopoetry just a bit too seriously. The thing about Othniel Smith’s remixes is that they are fun. This one is a good case in point.
Look for an interview with Smith about his approach to poetry film at the Moving Poems Forum toward the end of the week.
Another simple-but-effective Nic Sebastian video remix of a poem from The Poetry Storehouse, this time by Kristin LaTour. Nic posted some process notes at her blog. Especially interesting are her comments on blending multiple voices, and how she collaborated with the other reader, Jonathon Lu, for the voiceover heard here.
Like poem-making, videopoetry-making is a binding/weaving process, a deliberate or serendipitous blending of disparate things (words, images, sound) that were not linked before. Since voice is for me a hugely prominent element of the process, I continue to look for ways to create voice duets, voice dialogues, voice mosaics.