Cliché and meaning in videopoetry

I don’t share videopoems of my own work on Moving Poems; that’s confined to my literary blog Via Negativa, where earlier this week I got a little carried away with introducing a new video. In fact, I’d been meaning to say something about common videopoetry images and strategies, and it occurred to me that the popularity of at least a couple of them — moving landscapes from a train or car window and P.O.V. shots of walking feet — may suggest that something deeper is going on:

Moreover, a certain interplay between movement and stasis seems intrinsic to the videopoetry genre. Archibald MacLeish’s justly famous “Ars Poetica” says that “a poem should be motionless in time,” which while hyperbolic does capture the essential stasis in much modern lyric poetry (including my own): “A poem should be palpable and mute / As a globed fruit,” states the opening line. By contrast, motion is the soul of film, and therefore I suggest that an unresolved tension between movement and stasis is the fundamental agon in poetry film, akin to the dynamic balance between life and death in any organism or ecosystem.

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