A Fire in Ice by Marly Youmans

Paul Digby designed and created this video, which I am slotting into the “concrete poetry” category (even though the text is in rhyming couplets) on the strength of its last few seconds, which to me also perform the essential function of suggesting additional meanings beyond those immediately obvious in the text itself. Marly Youmans reads her poem, which is from her new collection The Throne of Psyche.


  1. Reply
    Diane Lockward 30 March, 2011

    Lovely! How do you get the curser to track the letters and then
    erase them?

  2. Reply
    Dave Bonta 30 March, 2011

    I’m guessing he just held down the backspace key? I’ve never actually done a screen-capture video, but I gather it’s not hard.

  3. Reply
    Paul Digby 30 March, 2011

    Indeed this was a screen-capture video. I took the completed poem then made a movie of it being backspace deleted.
    This movie was then reversed and slowed down to create the initial ‘typing’ of the movie – Ken Burns effect followed the slowed down and reversed screen capture. I timed sections to follow Marly’s readings as best as I was able to. The original movie used for the entire piece was therefore very short. Perhaps 10 seconds or less.
    At the end I just imported the movie as originally taken, but speeded up a tad. That last section was the sole screen-capture used to make the entire movie. Not difficult (other than getting the Ken Burns effect to pan and keep the cursor centered, which proved to be tricky and surprisingly time-consuming!)
    I believe Flash can do this more effectively and more quickly, but I haven’t used that much so…..!
    Thank you Diane, and thank you for uploading this Dave. I love this site, so to have this here is very flattering!

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