I’m delighted to bring you the final cut of the experimental, collaborative film-poem myself and poet Jo Colley have been making over the last 2 months. I say final cut, but in fact there are more sections to the poem, so consider this the final version of a pilot edition. Jo has edited together footage donated by several people, most of who are excellent poets in their own right – please watch through to the end for the credits.
We’re very grateful to those who sent in clips, whether they were eventually used or not. One thing we’ve learned from this process is that it’s harder than you think to capture even 20 seconds of compelling video! Writing poetry and making film-poetry are most definitely two linked but separate disciplines. Where do their skill sets diverge, and where do they overlap? I’m going to think and research more in order to answer that question in future blogs, and in my own film-poems. My gut tells me the overlap lies in attention to detail, and the creation of metaphor. What do you think?
We’re nearing the end of this little project, but there are still a few surprises to come as our collaborative film-poem twists from verse to verse. The latest clip is from Diane Cockburn, who picks up the “four years” of the poem by placing down the four of each playing card suit. Her deliberate movements are reminiscent of a Tarot reading, where there may well be “a reckoning”. See also how the colours of the table cloth echo and continue the colours of last week’s crochet footage.
So now we move to the final prompt! Can you find a way to illustrate this last verse?
As with a traditional renga, anyone from the group of participating artists can offer contributions as often as they like – which is how we welcome back Alison Raybould, who gave us our very first images. It just goes to show, try try again! Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get a bit of film that works the way you want it to.
Poet and renga-master Jo Colley has selected this clip of hands crocheting vintage wool for a number of reasons. One is that she enjoyed how it continues an overall mood of domesticity that is appropriate to the atmosphere of the poem it illustrates. She also liked seeing an action that is different from the pickling described in the verse, yet is also a kind of magic transformation of one substance into another thing entirely. And finally, she has fond memories of the wool shop featured on the wrappers in the film – if you’re from Darlington, maybe you do too?