Poet: Stefan Hertmans

Cirkel / Circle: 11 Belgian poets

A filmpoem by Swoon (Marc Neys) incorporating 11 poems by 11 different Belgian writers, telling a single story of life, lust, love and loss. The poems range in style from experimental to formal verse, all ably translated by Willem Groenewegen. I had the pleasure of seeing this at ZEBRA with an introduction by the filmmaker, having first viewed it online more than a year ago when Marc briefly made it public. It’s now been fully released to the web after nearly two years of festival screenings.

I don’t know if there is ever an ideal day of the week to post a 20-minute poetry video, but website visitor stats do suggest that Monday is a big day for procrastination on the job. So grab a beverage, put on your headphones and hit the play button. What better way to ease into the week than with a surreal poetry film to alter your consciousness?

Here are the poems that make up the film:

  1. “Meer tijd” (More Time) by Jan Lauwereyns
  2. “Tel Aviv” by Michaël Vandebril
  3. “Over de afstand tussen twee vogels (III)” (On the Distance between Two Birds (III)) by Lies van Gasse
  4. “Het komt” (It Will Come) by Stefan Hertmans
  5. “!!!” by Xavier Roelens
  6. “Krop” (Crop) by Leonard Nolens
  7. “Of wel” (Or Will It) by Marleen de Crée
  8. “Een hele kleine oorlog” (That Little War) by Yannick Dangre
  9. “De reu rouwt, de mens steelt” (The Hound Mourns and People Steal) by Delphine Lecompte
  10. “Dertien vragen en geen antwoord” (Thirteen Questions Without An Answer) by Stijn Vranken
  11. “Onvoltooid” (Unfinished) by Charles Ducal

The poems were recorded by three well-known Flemish actors: Vic De Wachter (poems 1, 6, 7, 8), Michaël Pas (poems 2, 4, 10, 11) and Karlijn Sileghem (poems 3, 5, 9). The actors are Katrijn Clemer, Mathieu Courtois, and Rommel the cat. (“Rommel” means “clutter” in Dutch; it has nothing to do with the Nazi general.) The music is by Hanklebury, Lunova Labs, and Swoon. Click through to Vimeo for the rest of the credits, not to mention the extensive list of screenings.