videopoem – ‘L’infinito’ by Giacomo Leopardi

Based on a recent Pizzicati of Hosanna reading.

Realized that so far it’s been mostly the Italian readings at Pizzicati of Hosanna that I’ve wanted to do video work for (hands-down favorite video so far: Forse Il Cuore by Salvatore Quasimodo). So far, we have three Italian videos, one Spanish, and no French. Still working out why this is so, especially since – knowing pretty much zero about any of those canons starting out – I am going for the obvious, the well-fingered and most-anthologized French, Spanish and Italian poems (whose authors are dead). The net result for me has been: very minor resonance with the French, somewhat more with the Spanish, and most with the Italian. They feel essentially very different to me. Foolhardy to generalize and stereotype, especially on so short an acquaintance, but I’ll stick my neck out and say the Italian ones have so far struck me as the most spiritually sophisticated. I’ll let you know if I still think that next week.

On a technical level, feel I may be getting to grips with layering. Still not able to get PowerDirector to do *exactly* what I want, but feel much more in control. This video stuff really “do by doing.” Impossible to lay out story-lines or visual narratives without getting hands on, without literally setting up the images and actually viewing them unfurl with the text. Neat sequences played out perfectly in your mind beforehand rarely work on the screen, I’m finding, and the process is essentially ‘well, that didn’t work, so how about this…?” repeated over and over again, until you get that right combination to which your whole body reacts. (Yeah – just like it reacts when you *know* you’ve found the perfect phrase or line for that poem you’re working on..).

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Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

2 thoughts on “videopoem – ‘L’infinito’ by Giacomo Leopardi”

  1. If you want spiritual sophistication in the Spanish-language canon, of the moderns I’d recommend Juan Ramon Jimenez, Vicente Aleixandre and Jorge Guillen. And then of course Sor Juana and San Juan de la Cruz. Also Rafael Alberti’s book on angels. Of the French poets, what about Jean Follain and Francis Ponge?

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