Two Tanka by Ono no Komachi

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A video by Portuguese artist Bruno Gaspar illustrating a tanka by Ono no Komachi. Here’s an English version:

It’s too cold to sleep
in this lodging on the way
to Iwanoue.
Oh monk, if it’s all the same to you,
could I borrow your robes?

And here’s a short film by Bryan Lacey. The interplay between the classical Japanese poem and modern folk/country song certainly creates an interesting mood, and one worlds away from the original court milieu.

Multiple English versions of the tanka in this video — Ono no Komachi’s most famous poem — are collected here.

Robots are Blue

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Not a video poem, but a short film about robots and poetry by Bill Sebastian. Enjoy.

Stealing Sugar from the Castle by Robert Bly

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Ithaca by C. P. Cavafy

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Poem by C. P. Cavafy (Kavafis)

From the 1996 film Kavafis, directed by Yannis Smaragdis

An English translation of the poem read by Sean Connery, and illustrated by cliched images in a video by babylonianman

Trick Photography by Aaron Fagan

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Poem by Aaron Fagan

Film by K. Erik Ino

Alphabet by Natalie d’Arbeloff

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Video by British artist Natalie d’Arbeloff. I think it’s interesting how the poem here is intrinsic to the film itself; the text would be difficult to extract and fairly meaningless as a static object without the interplay with the images.

Arte Poética by Vicente Huidobro

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Poem by Vicente Huidobro

Music by Iván Lizama, performed by Ensamble Transiente – Música Experimental Latinoamericana (see YouTube for personnel)

Arte poética

Que el verso sea como una llave
Que abra mil puertas.
Una hoja cae; algo pasa volando;
Cuanto miren los ojos creado sea,
Y el alma del oyente quede temblando.

Inventa mundos nuevos y cuida tu palabra;
El adjetivo, cuando no da vida, mata.

Estamos en el ciclo de los nervios.
El músculo cuelga,
Como recuerdo, en los museos;
Mas no por eso tenemos menos fuerza:
El vigor verdadero
Reside en la cabeza.

Por qué cantáis la rosa, ¡oh Poetas!
Hacedla florecer en el poema;

Sólo para nosotros
Viven todas las cosas bajo el Sol.

El Poeta es un pequeño Dios.

Let poetry become a key
That opens a thousand doors.
A leaf falls; something flies past;
Let everything the eyes see be created,
And the listener’s soul keep trembling.

Invent new worlds and guard your word;
Unless it gives new life, the adjective kills.

We dwell in a circle of nerves.
Muscle hangs,
Like a memory, in museums,
But that doesn’t mean we have less strength.
True vigor
Comes from the head.

Poets! Why eulogize the rose?
Through the poem you can make it bloom.

Everything under the sun
Lives only for us.

The Poet is a little God.

My attempt at a translation. The last line became the slogan of the literary movement Huidobro founded, Creacionismo (“Creationism”).