And I return, a shadow on the white ground,
To your sleep that haunts my memory,
I pluck you from your dream, which scatters,
Being only water filled with light.
To mark the July 1 death of the great Yves Bonnefoy, Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon made public what he called “an older (and personal) videopoem, never released before,” featuring his own reading of Bonnefoy’s poem “La Branche” in a Dutch translation by Jan H. Mysjkin with the English translation by Alison Croggon in subtitles.
Marc Neys (A.K.A. Swoon) writes in a blog post about this video that it grew out of a face-to-face meeting with the author, Romanian poet Doina Ioanid, at the Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp earlier this year.
After the festival I asked her and her translator Jan Mysjkin if I could make a video for one of my favourites of her performance […] The images of this piece were taken from ‘Lost landscapes of Detroit’ (Prelinger Archives) and I re-edited them, adding an extra layer of colour and light.
The result is a short (moody) piece.
To me, the ability to present a poem in multiple languages is one of the best and most under-appreciated uses for videopoetry/filmpoetry, which is itself already something of a translation. I’ve always loved bilingual editions of poetry with the original language on the facing page, but it’s so much better to be able to hear the original while seeing an English version, the two linked and in some ways brought closer together by a filmmaker’s vision (usually including a good soundtrack, as here).