Poet: William Butler Yeats

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey…

By situating the action of this animated short in the “pavements grey” rather than the “bee-loud glade,” director, scriptwriter and editor Don Carey was able to avoid the trap of too-literal illustration while drawing attention to the poem’s longing and suggestion of despair. The ending is brilliantly ambiguous.

According to the Vimeo description, Innisfree was “produced by the students of the animation department at the Irish School of Animation, Ballyfermot College of Further Education, 2013.” It won best animation at the 2014 Royal Television Society awards, and has been screened at several festivals, including the Cork Spring Poetry Festival, the 7th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, and the Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival 2014 in Bristol (and again last week at their “Reflections” screening in Bath).

Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by William Butler Yeats

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Nic S.’s latest poetry video is especially noteworthy for its soundtrack, which blends the voices of four different LibriVox readers to great effect.

A Drinking Song by William Butler Yeats

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Another of Othniel Smith’s videopoems made with free classic film footage from the Prelinger archives and free audio from Librivox. What makes this one work for me, oddly enough, is the lack of music juxtaposed with the dancing scene.

He Wishes For The Cloths of Heaven by William Butler Yeats

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Film by Gianni Marini; voice by Paul Buchanan. This is the poem also known as “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

According to the Wikipedia, the poem was featured in an episode of the BBC television series Ballykissangel, where it was recited by one of the characters.

The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A William Butler Yeats animation that manages not to be cheesy — and done in Second Life, yet! This is by far the most sophisticated and beautiful SL videopoem I’ve seen. The animator, Lainy Voom, adds, “I’ve had requests from people to visit the Sim where this movie was filmed, unfortunately it does not exist in virtual space – the sets were only set up to create this poem, then they were torn down again.” Thanks to Linebreak blog for bringing this to my attention.

One hates to complain about such a technically accomplished production, but I do think the reading could have been a little louder and livelier. Here’s the text of the poem, which is in the public domain.

The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.