Continuing the flavor of my moment, here’s my second attempt at a videopoem. Sadly, I’ve discovered what those of you doing this regularly already know – that finding footage you a) are allowed to use and b) want to use is no mean feat, particularly if you are not yourself handy with a videocamera. This fact alone will probably seriously cramp my future as a videopoemographer. But ok.
The footage for this piece is courtesy of the wonderful artists at the Hubble website. In their video gallery they have numerous segments labeled ‘artist’s impressions’ of various space phenomena. Some of these are truly breathtaking (even if one doesn’t have a clue what they mean scientifically).
So I greedily downloaded a bunch and was getting ready to try and find a poem to frame the footage, when I realized that the footage had already begun writing a screenplay for itself in my head. This is the end result (kinda obvious for a space theme, but hey): one of those catch-all poems with a smart-ass title addressed to god/muse/lover, or all of the above. (Now I think about it, sort of a PS to Dark and Like A Web, which had a bunch of that kind of poem in it.)
— writing a poem for a ‘performance’ such as this is not the same as writing a poem for the page. I don’t have much patience for snobbish ‘page’ poets who look down on ‘stage’ poets, but – honestly? I like this poem as words and film and music all together, but you’ll notice I’m not linking to the text separately, anywhere.
— it’s total fun writing. First you have all these different film segments that you have to arrange so they tell some kind of story, whether narrative or emotional or pictorial or whatever. Then you have to decide what poetic ‘point’ you would like to make for each segment. Then you have to write your poem so you can make that point in the same length of time as that of the good footage you want to use. Some segments may be only 10 seconds long, others 25, etc etc. Silences are good helpers here (I’m a big fan in general of space & silence while reading), but you can’t go over the top with them either.
— which is more fun: writing for footage or finding someone else’s poem for footage? Neither! Both! I’d go for either.