I completed the Canada Council for the Arts project of twelve videos based on my poetry collection Moving to Climate Change Hours at the end of October. Since then I’ve been thinking of how to create a longer form video including the 12 and to extend the project with linkages. The problem was how to link them in a way that was interesting to me and also worked with the videos. In other words how to create a cohesive whole from them.
Sara recently suggested to me that I listen to the audiobook version of the American poet Ross Gay’sThe Book of Delights, a book of short essays coming out of a daily practice Ross developed. They are quite amazing, Ross’ mind is fascinating and the delights range far and wide. His definition of delight being quite expansive sometimes including very dark topics, often important topics, but sometimes whimsical, material that makes you angry, sad or happy, I often laugh out loud while listening. His observations have inspired me to observe more as I go about the world.
At any rate, after listening to a few I realized perhaps what I needed to link these poems are small prose pieces. Not copying Ross, because I don’t have either his material or his sensibility but more some kind of meditation on words or association from the videos.
In some ways it is like the renga I talked about in this blog.How the subsequent verse rubs up against the previous. So the video poems rub up against the video prose pieces, are in conversation. Hopefully like Basho suggested, linked through the poetics of scent. And somewhat like the William Carlos William’s hybrid collection, Spring and All with its introductory prose to its poems. That’s my idea anyway.
The video essay above goes with the video On Leaving and since the video poem attempts to show the enjambment of the poem on the page through video and audio I thought I’d preface that video poem with a short essay on the word enjambment. But because this is poetic video I come at it a little from the side instead of straight on.
In researching the internet around enjambment I saw the first lines of The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot being referenced as a good example of enjambment so I incorporated them into the video essay.
And I’m looking for video to support these small essays as well as linking the prose pieces through the use of the same piece of music. In this one’s case I used some footage from a Doc Story Studio workshop I completed back in 2016, the assignment was to find footage that evoked a feeling without being literal.
I used the old Hamilton Sanatorium as backdrop, it’s been torn down since then for a housing development, sadly. (As an aside, how come land donated for a specific good cause like helping people with lung disease can later be sold for a housing development by a corporation? Doesn’t make sense to me, it should have been preserved at least as a park.) So there is I think a sense of that doom for the place that also coincidentally goes with the lines from the Wasteland.
It was cold that winter of 2014, you can see it in the video. My daughter Erinn was the videographer, my granddaughter Chloe, who was a wee infant, was along for the ride. This will be incorporated into the long form video, which is still a ways away. Hope you enjoy this. Happy New Year.