Grand Central, Track 23 by Lizzie Skurnick

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HvwsuaNxuE

Cool watercolor animation by Neil Subel of a poem by the well-known literary blogger, YA author, and poet Lizzie Skurnick, read by the author.

My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTCsVswKc2w

Some poems inspire many YouTube videos, and “My Papa’s Waltz,” by Theodore Roethke, is one of them. This is the only video though that seemed worth sharing here, despite a foreshortened ending. The nicely non-literal mesh of of Roethke’s recording with public-domain footage from archive.org really works for me. Video by epittsburgh.

Diologos (Dialogues) by Alejandra Pizarnik

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHWeTFzVehU

Here’s a film based on one of Alejandra Pizarnik’s “Dialogues,” which I’ve translated below along with the prefatory text. According to the hard-to-read credits at the end, the director is Carlos Martinez. I love the evocation of classic horror films here.

The rain is expected to pass.
Winds are expected to blow in.
It’s expected.
They say.
Through love to silence, they say pathetic things.

I wish they’d leave me alone with my new, fresh voice.
A stranger.
No! Don’t leave me!

Words to illuminate the silence.

*
[Un cuento memorable/A memorable story]

—That black one that laughs from the small window of a streetcar resembles Madame Lamort —she said.
—That’s not possible; there are no streetcars in Paris. Besides, that black one on the streetcar doesn’t resemble Madame Lamort in any way. Quite the opposite: it’s Madame Lamort who resembles that black one. In sum: not only does Paris lack streetcars, but I have never seen Madame Lamort in my life, not even in a portrait.
—You agree with me —she said— because I don’t know Madame Lamort either.
—Who are you? We should introduce ourselves.
—Madame Lamort —she said— and you?
—Madame Lamort.
—Your name, I can’t think what it reminds me of —she said.
—Try to remember before the streetcar comes.
—But you just told me there were no streetcars in Paris —she said.
—They didn’t exist when I said it, but one never knows what might come to pass.
—Then let’s wait for it, since we’re waiting for it —she said.

Vocab Lab by Linh Dinh

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Vietnamese-American poet Linh Dinh has a number of video poems on YouTube, all of them in this rather crudely produced, grungy style. I really like “Vocab Lab” — for the poem, if not necessarily the video. But the latter does have its moments.

Hato (pigeon): Japanese word-play by Hanafubuki

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I like poems and poem-like things that can be enjoyed without any knowledge of the language. Hanafubuki says,

It’s me reading a Japanese tongue twister. the word “hato” means pigeon in Japanese.

How Spring Arrives by James Wright

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Despite some technical problems with the video quality, I’ve decided I really like this simple film by Theresa Williams, not least because it uses a recording of James Wright reading his own poem, and he was a great reader.

Claustrophobia by Gaia Holmes

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Another Gaia Holmes video poem from Comma Film, this one by Charlotte Caetano, with narration by the poet.