Poet: W. S. Merwin

To the Hand and To a Coming Extinction by W. S. Merwin

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The two poems that comprise the closing section of Men Think They Are Better Than Grass, the Deborah Slater Dance Theatre production based on poems by W. S. Merwin. “To the Hand” is read by Ellen Sebastian Chang and “To a Coming Extinction” by Peter Coyote — an excellent, if terrifying, choice of a final poem. This is also the only one of the videos uploaded to Vimeo that gives a good impression of the film playing behind the stage during the production.

Unknown Bird and Calling a Distant Animal by W. S. Merwin

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Another two poems from the production Men Think They Are Better Than Grass by the Deborah Slater Dance Theatre, based on poems by W. S. Merwin. “Unknown Bird” is sung and composed by Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi. “Calling a Distant Animal” is read by Brenda Wong Aoki. The two featured dancers are Travis Rowland and Wendy Rein.

Air by W. S. Merwin

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Another section from the production Men Think They Are Better Than Grass by the Deborah Slater Dance Theatre, based on poems by W. S. Merwin. “Air” is read by Anne Galjour.

Separation by W. S. Merwin

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A highly imaginative use of Merwin’s short poem in a film called “Coping,” which Grace Cho says is the “first video/stop-motion that I made for my video class at Simon Fraser University.”

Something I’ve Not Done by W. S. Merwin

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Another section of the production Men Think They Are Better Than Grass by the Deborah Slater Dance Theatre, based on poems by W. S. Merwin. This section features a trio of dancers: Shaunna Vella, Kelly Kemp and Wendy Rein.

Some Last Questions by W. S. Merwin

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Another section from the production Men Think They Are Better Than Grass by the San Francisco-based Deborah Slater Dance Theatre, based on poems by W. S. Merwin. The two featured dancers here are Travis Rowland and Breton Tyner Bryan. The inclusion of sound effects from the TV quiz show Jeopardy is brilliant, I thought.

Last Thursday, Merwin was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate.

Listen and Before the Flood by W. S. Merwin

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This is one section of a production by the San Francisco-based Deborah Slater Dance Theatre called Men Think They Are Better Than Grass, based on poems by W. S. Merwin. (I’ll post other excerpts in the coming weeks.) Here’s the description from Vimeo:

This section features the entire company followed by a duet featuring Kerry Mehling and Kelly Kemp. The poems are LISTEN read by Arwen Anderson and BEFORE THE FLOOD read by Peter Coyote, both written by W.S. Merwin. The music is by Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, video by Elaine Buckholtz, lights by Allen Willner, set by Mikiko Uesugi and costumes by Laura Hazlett.

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