Pizzicati of Hosanna – update & videopoem triptychs

I was stoked to notice today that there are now 36 readings up at my new site, Pizzicati of Hosanna, and eighteen of them have videopoems associated with them! I’ve been working on linking the videopoem-ed pieces in triptychs at a new page on the site. It felt a bit weird initially to think of linking poems in different languages in this way, but after the first set came together, the differences in language began to seem minor and irrelevant. Warmest thanks to fellow videopoets Swoon, Dave Bonta and Rachel Laine for their wonderful video work on Pizzicati readings!

The first triptych, which I’ve called ‘Ashes Like Bread’, has a poem by Italian poet Primo Levi, one by American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and a third by Bolivian poet Ricardo Jaimes Freyre. I’ve been haunted by Levi’s L’Approdo ever since I first read it, and in quick succession last week, I suddenly came across the Millay and the Freyre – both of which jumped out at me as deeply connected in feeling and metaphysical basis to the Levi, but each of which moved the joint narrative forward in different ways.

Once I’d made the initial intellectual leap (after all, why not link poems in different languages into triptychs?), other connections between the poems and their related videos began to leap out at me and these are the results. Representing, obviously, just one possible set of connections, since each poem could of course be meaningfully linked to others in different ways.

I have to say I’m enjoying the Pizzicati of Hosanna experience. After the Whale Sound experience, which was fast and contemporary and live, and filled with real-time contacts and connections with living Whale Sound poets, this experiment – working only with dead poets’ poems – feels more like doddering happily about among old books in a quiet library – a much more solitary and internal experience, and just as rewarding, I am finding (whether despite or because of the considerably less website traffic I am still deciding!).

After pretty much starting blind with French, Spanish and Italian poetry – finding pieces mostly through internet searches – I have now settled down to four resources:

Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology
Modern French Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology
Twentieth Century Italian Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology
The Oxford Book of American Verse

A very random set, but working nicely for doddering and pressure-free reading selections, for the moment.

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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.

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