Adaptation: Poem to Video

Here’s an interesting example of a golempoem: Billy Collins reads his poem Forgetfulness “over” a series of animated dream images that “illustrate” the poem. How does the animation add or detract from your experience of the poem? How does the poem add or detract from your experience of the animation? Would this work differently if someone else (say Harvey Fierstein) were reading the poem instead of Collins? Would this work differently if, in fact, no one read the poem at all, but the words appeared between or within the animation?

If you’d like to hear more, I’ve collected a number of Billy Collins poem videos in a You Tube play list. There’s a fairly wide variety of approached represented here. I’ll want to delve more deeply into particular adaptations in coming posts. But, for now, what do you think of Forgetfulness?


~ by matt on 28 May 2007.

2 Responses to “Adaptation: Poem to Video”

  1. I really enjoyed this poem and the images associated with it. I felt that the images didn’t detract and what I liked was that the images weren’t totally didactic-explaining the very thing that he was talking about. I though the images supported the essence of what he was talking about, and in an equally poetic way. I think that his voice is perfect with a plantif quality and almost monotone sadness works well for the theme and the tone of the poem would most certainly change with a different narrator, like Harvey Fierstein. He has a great voice, but it can be a bit comical at times, and it is very recognizable. Collins’ voice sounds almost mechanical, as if a computer created it, which somehow works well.
    I like your blog, and I’m curious as to how you are finding working with wordpress? I want to put some of my apartment videos on my blog and I like the way you have them on wordpress. I don’t know exactly how it will work on blogger, and I was thinking of switching?
    Keep going. Looking good!

  2. Thanks Kelly.

    Thanks esp for your insight regarding Collins’ speaking voice and its compatibility with the online delivery of his poem as an online animated video. I wonder if that characteristic (and the extent to which his speaking voice matches his poetic voice) is what attracted the animators to Billy Collins’ work in the first place.

    I switched to WordPress from Blogger. It takes a little longer to get used to I think, but not much. And, it seemed to offer richer widgetry and related apps.

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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