Poet: Sarah Howe

A Painting by Sarah Howe

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Hong Kong-born British poet Sarah Howe’s poem is brought to the screen by Amabel Stokes, credited with screenplay, directing and editing. The camerawork is by Raquel Orendain Shrestha and music by The Cinematic Orchestra. Howe shared the video in a public Facebook post, writing:

I was really touched when, out of the blue, an English student called Amabel Stokes emailed me to say she’d made a film out of my poem, ‘A Painting’. Amabel is Eurasian too, and I confess at the spot in the film when she moves the paintbrushes like chopsticks, I spontaneously burst into tears. Maybe it was just the Stephen Hawking-film music working on my heartstrings(!), but I’m really, really impressed at what the kids can do these days.

Relativity by Sarah Howe

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I wanted to share something by Sarah Howe today to celebrate her winning the TS Eliot prize with her collection Loop of Jade, “the first debut poetry collection to win the British prize since it was inaugurated in 1993” as the Guardian pointed out. YouTube has a couple of good videos of her reading her work, but the only videopoem is this one by Bridget Smith, produced for National Poetry Day 2015. The renowned physicist Stephen Hawking reads a poem Howe wrote especially for him. He praised the poem on Facebook:

Physicists and poets may differ in discipline, but both seek to communicate the beauty of the world around us. … Sarah Howe brings light to life in her poem “Relativity.”

It sounds as if this video, or one very like it, will be part of an upcoming Bridget Smith exhibition at the Frith Street Gallery in London, The Eye Needs a Horizon:

A high definition video installation shows a beam of light emanating from an unseen projector. The film shows nothing but light and particles of dust, yet it evokes a sense of drama and indeed of immensity using the sparest of means.