In 2014, Belgian film-maker, Marc Neys (aka Swoon), made a video of Bill Yarrow‘s poem, Bees in the Eaves. Five years later, Marc has just released a new video for the same poem, with new images and music.
Watching the two very different treatments of the same text suggests the changes in sensibility an artist may undergo over time. Even the voice performance, from the same recording by Nic S., has a distinctly varied aural quality, pace and mood in this new version.
The disturbing images in the 2014 video display a directly metaphorical relation to ideas in the poem. In a way akin to the horror genre, the earlier film evokes a strongly emotional response.
In this latest video, the connection between image and word is much more oblique, creating a more contemplative, yet still dynamic, meaning of the poem. While both videos employ repetition to great effect, the 2019 version is more graceful in its approach to film form.
Marc’s striking approach to editing, and his surprising rhythms, remain evident in both videos. This new video is further testament to his unique and masterful work in video poetry.
Bill Yarrow’s poem “Bees in the Eaves” has had many lives. It originally appeared in Mad Hatters’ Review along with audio of the author’s reading, was reprinted in his collection Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX 2012), and was reprinted again at The Poetry Storehouse, where it garnered a reading by Nic S. and this video remix by Marc Neys, A.K.A. Swoon. Coming back full-circle to the mad hatters, perhaps, the video uses footage from the 1940 documentary Symptoms Of Schizophrenia, via the Prelinger Archives. Marc notes:
There was a track ‘Tsukuru Swims‘ I had just finished that was right for Nic S.’s reading of the poem.
It took a bit of re-editing but the combination worked beautifully […]
I took out the footage I thought was disturbing and confronting and edited it to the rhythm and the noises in the soundtrack. I layered the result with moving lights, shot from a train, to give it an extra edge and some depth.
Bill Yarrow spoke of his experience with Poetry Storehouse remixes in an interview at the Moving Poems forum back in March (prior to the release of this video).