January 11, 2009

Poet Animations

Here's an interesting project - poets reincarnated using computer animation, still images and readings of their poems. They have an intentionally scratched film look.

They come from Jim Clark, a London videographer, sound recordist, photographer and archivist of acoustic musicians and poets.

He has posted many of them online at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/poetryanimations

Here's a virtual movie of Matthew Arnold reading "Dover Beach" using a reading the late classical actor Mallory Jameson.

The poem opens on the shore of the English ferry port of Dover, facing France at the narrowest part of the English Channel, where Arnold honeymooned in 1851.

DOVER BEACH


The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.



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