Migrations by Dave Richardson

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A gem of a videopoem by poet and filmmaker Dave Richardson.

Note that, polished as it appears, this is still a first draft, according to Richardson. In a comment at Vimeo, he wrote:

Always happy to share works in progress. My “first draft” might just be someone’s “final draft.” I think this motion piece is in good shape now.

Lebensweisheitspielerei by Wallace Stevens

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A film by the Greek composer, musician, filmmaker and video artist Makis Faros, who writes in the Vimeo description:

The project is based on a poem of Wallace Stevens titled “LEBENSWEISHEITSPIELEREI”.
The lyrics : “The proud and the strong Have departed” marks a huge portion of the history of the African states calling for their independency at the decades of 60 and after. People who were cut off from their land, used to be dependent on slave labor and within a culture imposed on them, had to stay stool when their invaders departed. These mechanisms can also be found at the contemporary consumer societies of the western world. The video focuses on the endless vicious game of them: those who remain, between desire and the “grandeur of annihilation”

This was uploaded by Vital Space Projects, who have a number of other interesting experimental films on Vimeo.

Sandburg and Photograph by Lennart Lundh

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A simple but effective videopoem. Nic Sebastian used a text from The Poetry Storehouse contributed by Illinois-based writer and photographer Lennart Lundh, but as she notes at her blog, the video imagery came first.

For this one, I started with the footage and then searched for the poem.

One of the challenges for a videopoem maker not yet handy with his or her own camera (that would be me) is finding video footage that a) works and b) is copyright-free and c) is either free or inexpensive. There are a few sites (eg Motion Elements or OrangeHD) that put up video clips for free use, and I trawl them regularly, downloading and saving footage against future need. The clip subjects are super-odd and almost comically random and nearly always fall in the ‘you never know’ category.

In this case, I found a series of shots taken of and through the side rear view mirror of a car. They struck me as metaphorically powerful and I went back through the Storehouse poems, deliberately looking for one which would match the metaphor. Lennart’s elegantly tragic simple/complicated piece, with its telescoping rearward/forward depiction of time and space jumped out at me very quickly.

Read the rest.

Telegram by Amy MacLennan

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

For all you lovers, here’s a videopoem by the indefatigable Belgian filmmaker Swoon (Marc Neys).

Since the beginning of The Poetry Storehouse last year, a gentle stream of new arrivals and voices filled up the shelves. It was about time I went shopping for words again.
It’s such a fun place to nose. Different styles, themes, voices and ideas… This time the poem ‘Telegram’ by Amy MacLennan caught my eye. [...]

The images came fairly easy. I wanted a very subtle, understated almost, scenery. slow movements, details of bodyparts and a slow veil of colour…
The video practically made itself…it felt right from the start. A good sign.

The poem first appeared online in Linebreak, and in print in MacLennan’s chapbook Weathering (Uttered Chaos Press, 2012).

Nic Sebastian (who provided the reading used in the soundtrack) interviewed Amy MacLennan for our ongoing series of interviews at the Moving Poems Forum with poets and remixers who have provided or worked with material from The Poetry Storehouse. Here’s what MacLennan had to say about “Telegram”:

I never expected to hear that kind of music, see that kind of video, hear that kind of voice merged into something that I had provided words for. The pacing was crazy interesting for me. I saw other things in my own poem that I wouldn’t have thought before because I was too attached to the rhythms of “Telegram.” I watch this now and think, “Wow. My words were the beginning to THIS? Oh my goodness!”

Be Drunk (Enivrez-vous) / Bądźcie Pijani by Charles Baudelaire

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A Polish-language videopoem with English subtitles (sorry, French people) by Gaba Sibilska, who says in the Vimeo description:

It’s an attempt to re-interprate Charles Baudelaire’s poem in a way that fits in our world – world of young people. It’s the inevitable future that frightens the youth. In the juvenile joy of life and affirmation of fun, one can find denial, lies, fear, despair, a desperate attempt to escape from the reality. Eventually, though, every young person must realize that however change of perception may ease the fear, it has no affect on time. And no matter how distant it seems, the end of carefree youth will come one day…

Here’s the French original.

House Clearance by Gaia Holmes

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A charming stop-motion animation by Terry Wragg, who notes that

‘House Clearance’ was first published in Lifting the Piano with One Hand by Gaia Holmes, published by Comma Press (2013).

Terry Wragg is a member of the Leeds Animation Workshop, and had a filmpoem called Working Metal screened in the The Body Electric Poetry Film Festival last year. For more from Gaia Holmes, visit her poetry blog (and, of course, check out her other poetry videos at Moving Poems).

Ars Poetica by Annelyse Gelman

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

“A fireman puts out fires. An artist puts out artist statements.” So begins this entertaining poem by Annelyse Gelman, recited as any good ars poetica should be: in clown makeup, auditioning for the part of a poet who shares her name. The Vimeo description reads:

Poem and direction by Annelyse Gelman.

From the collection ‘Everyone I Love is a Stranger to Someone’ (Write Bloody, 2014).

Thanks to Rick “Tricky the Clown” Sahar for help with set and makeup.

The book is due out on April 4. Meanwhile, best of luck to Gelman in getting the part.