Tsead Bruinja, Frisian poet

A short documentary about contemporary Frisian poet Tsead Bruinja from the German broadcasting company Deutsche Welle.

A video of Bruinja reciting one of his poems, “Darling no one knows about the previous lives,” with English subtitles. This is from Wyld Hynder (Wild Horse) films, according to the info on YouTube.

Here’s Bruinja reading a poem called “‘Sy wennet yn in baarnend hûs” — “She lives in a burning house.” This was produced by the Omrop Fryslân broadcasting company. Bruinja includes an English translation by David Colmer on the YouTube page:

she lives in a burning house
every storm takes a tile from the roof
it’s cold her teeth chatter
someone outside thinks up new rules for traffic
an old man cycles on
newspapers stuffed under his clothes
she walks out with a basket full of washing
black sheets black blankets black
pillowcase she sees the fields are burning too
no point in going out
it’s better back inside the walls
flames dancing on his portrait
letters fall unasked through the door
rustling down not reaching the mat her cat
jumps onto her lap with a vegetable desire
to be stroked she pours more meths
over the photo albums wipes
the ash from her glasses and reads
and reads and reads

Some more English translations of Bruinja’s work may be found on Poetry International Web, though according to the translators’ notes, they were based on the author’s own translations into Dutch. (Bruinja also writes and has published poetry in Dutch.)

No Road by Philip Larkin

A piece called “Type in motion,”

designed by Joseph Allison and Sophie Tanat-Jones. The piece is inspired by the design ethos of Lazlo Moholy Nagy. The work features a poem by Philip Larkin called ‘No Road’.

This is just the first stanza of the poem, which may be read in its entirety at ilikethispoem.

The Dead by Billy Collins (McDonalds remix)

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Lauren Adolfsen spliced together some footage from old McDonald’s commercials to make a new video for Billy Collins’ poem. This uses the same audio as the animation by Juan Delcan, which was one of the 11 videopoems authorized by the poet. I am not sure he’d approve of this one, but it definitely changes the way I think of the poem.

Currach by Tony Curtis

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Animation by Ronan Horan of a short piece by the Irish poet Tony Curtis.

The New Vestments by Edward Lear

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This is “Verse Versus…” by Australian artist Anna Glynn. Though marred a bit by her watermark, it still seemed worth sharing for the extent to which it captured the oddness of the Lear poem — and oddly, won first prize from a local historic preservation group.

Anna Glynn was awarded first prize in the Historic Houses Trust’s 2009 Meroogal Women’s Arts Prize for her work ‘Verse Versus…’, a digital video art work which brings characters from Edward Lear’s poem ‘The New Vestments’ to life against a backdrop of images of the Historic Houses Trust property, Meroogal.

Contemporary Australian artist Anna Glynn works in a variety of media – this evocative short film features her original artwork: drawing, painting, photography, sound, animation and video/film SFX. Glynn’s main interest is in narrative works, in expressing this essence of “place”, either physical or temporal.

Family Group Day by Radames Ortiz

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“Video Poem written and performed by poet Radames Ortiz featuring music by Trills, graphic design artist Alberto Capetillo and videographer Gilbert Camargo.” See the rest of the YouTube info bar for the text of the poem.

Ortiz blogs as the amplified bard.

Ozymandius by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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This video is the work of Tasmanian “freelance visualisation consultant” Peter Morse. The music was composed by Glenn Rogers and performed by Alistair Foote, Penelope Reynolds and Samantha Podeu. Morse describes the project as follows:

The Video & Text

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic poem (1818) is used in the video in relation to romantic and Neoclassical architecture, with particular reference to Boullée and Speer, as a kind of critique of the ideology of power articulated by these architectures. The poem ‘Ozymandias’ is a vivid portrayal of the vanity of demagoguery and monumentalism, explored here as a trope for the moral ambiguities of these unbuilt architectures, that stand as fascinating historical symbols of the folly of certain types of power, albeit from varying political persuasions. The strong counterpoint of the ‘modernity’ of the score with the inflated Neoclassicism of the architecures is an attempt to dramatise the counterpoint of these different aesthetics, both of which have struggled for power in this last century. Ironically, these buildings will ever be as virtual as they are here: fictions of history re-imagined via computer simulation.

The Music

Ozymandias is mostly based on the enigmatic minor and the enigmatic major scales. These are rather unusual and obscure scales not generally associated with Western music. In the more polyrhythmic and densely orchestrated sections the inversions of both these scales are used. In some sections notes from the enigmatic scales act as pedal points (tonal centres). From these pedal points are used their associated harmonic series and their inversions to generate a palindromic type of effect. These techniques were largely employed as formal compositional methodologies and may not be obviously audible in the music.

Note: This was the ‘blurb’ from the “Liminal” interactive CD-ROM (2000). The video was made on a Mac in 1998, using 3D animation and compositing, with footage shot in Berlin.