Filmmaker TJ ODonnell says, “I added some effects to the soundtrack (whales) to further the feeling that one was slipping slowly under water.” I like the classical piano here, too, which is unusual — many times I’ve decided not to post an otherwise pretty good videopoem because of just such a soundtrack.
I’m not sure of the original provenance of the footage, but these videos appear to have been taped from Spanish TV. According to the text at the beginning, the movie was made on March 10, 1966. Sexton reads “Menstruation at 40” in the first and “Wanting to Die” in the second, and talks about poetry reading styles, why music is better than poetry, and why death is harder to write about than sex.
Here’s another YouTube video incorporating rare footage of the poet: