Poem by Vicente Huidobro
Music by Iván Lizama, performed by Ensamble Transiente – Música Experimental Latinoamericana (see YouTube for personnel)
Que el verso sea como una llave
Inventa mundos nuevos y cuida tu palabra;
Estamos en el ciclo de los nervios.
Por qué cantáis la rosa, ¡oh Poetas!
Sólo para nosotros
El Poeta es un pequeño Dios.
Let poetry become a key
Invent new worlds and guard your word;
We dwell in a circle of nerves.
Poets! Why eulogize the rose?
Everything under the sun
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”).
Musical composition by Alden Jenks
Performed by the San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble, conducted by Nicole Paiement, with mezzo-soprano Raeeka Shehabi Yaghmai
A brief peek into Yaghmai’s rehearsal with Jenks for the premiere performance of The Soup may be seen in this documentary about her from Bebin TV, starting at the 4:30 minute mark.
From Taylor Mali’s Page Meets Stage reading series at the Bowery Poetry club in NYC.
Poems by A.H. Afrasiabi, translated by Niloufar Talebi
Video from The Translation Project — a scene from Icarus/Rise, “a multimedia theatrical piece based on new Iranian poetry, created, translated and narrated by Niloufar Talebi, in collaboration with choreographer and video artist Alex Ketley and composer Bobak Salehi” (text from YouTube).
The Translation Project’s page goes on to say:
Based on the poetry in BELONGING: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World, ICARUS/RISE is inspired by the Iranian spoken word tradition of Naghali, which is practiced in the streets, cafes, public rituals, or ‘art music’ stage. By giving this spoken word tradition new content (new poetry in BELONGING) — rather than its usual content of classical Persian poetry and myths — and fusing it with western theatrical elements, ICARUS/RISE gives voice to hybrid-Iranians, reflecting their experience in contemporary society.
I’m going to break my informal rule against featuring slideshows today, because I think these are exceptionally well done. The poet is Kwame Dawes, and the photographer is Joshua Cogan. The slideshows were produced by the Pulitzer Center, and are only one facet of a multimedia website, Live Hope Love, which includes interviews, audio of many other poems, and more. Dawes took three trips to his native Jamaica to collect materials for the project; it resembled a regular work of investigative journalism in every way, except for the fact that one of the final products was a collection of poems. His mission, according to the Pulitzer Center: “to explore the experience of people living with HIV/AIDS and to examine the ways in which the disease has shaped their lives.”