~ history ~

The Inevitability of Narrative

As humans, we are driven to narrative. It is almost impossible for us to experience a sequence of events and not attempt to ascribe some kind of narrative arc to it. What just happened? What does it mean? How did it start? What will happen next?

There is a considerable literature on the theory and practice of creating narrative in different contexts: fiction or non-fiction; in print or on stage or screen; or via any other medium. Narrative can be language-based, as in a novel, or non-verbal, as in a choreographed dance, or a combination of both, as in a movie. But the basic structure of narrative mostly boils down to a few key points: there is a beginning, middle and an end; something changes along the way; it occurs in some kind of contextual framework. If any of these key elements is missing, we, the readers or viewers, inevitably will try to fill in the gaps.

Over the last 20 years, neuroscientists and cognitive scientists have made significant advances in understanding how – and to some degree, why – the brain creates narrative. Much of this new research complements well the ideas of theorists and practitioners concerning the role of narrative in literature, cinema, theatre and dance. Indeed, many authors have integrated data across the sciences and humanities to build new appreciations of how and why narrative works. Key foundation texts in this field include The Poetics of Mind: Figurative Thought, Language and Understanding by Raymond W Gibbs, Jr (1994); On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition and Fiction by Brian Boyd (2009); and How Literature Plays with the Brain: the Neuroscience of Reading and Art by Paul B Armstrong (2013).

From a cognitive point of view, we can consider the construction of a narrative as coming in different flavours: for example, we can describe a series of external events, that is, things that others can also describe from their own experiences of the same events; we can create a story from our own remembered experiences that is essentially private, since no one else can have those same memories; or we can create a fiction, a story that no one has ever actually experienced, even though such a narrative necessarily contains elements that are relatable to the external world.

Autobiography, memory and narrative

In order to create a narrative, we must access several different elements of memory. There is no single phenomenon called “memory”. Rather, there are many forms of memory, some of which are so fundamental to neural processing that we are not consciously aware of them. The duration of different types of memory can range from a few tenths of a second (eg the early steps of processing visual or auditory stimuli) to a lifetime (eg learning to walk or knowing what a flower is). Furthermore, many forms of memory lie outside easy verbal description, eg how to button up a shirt; how you solved a crossword puzzle; how you felt at lunch-time yesterday.

The components of a traditional first-person narrative (“I did this, and then I did that…”) rely on what is generally known as “autobiographical memory”. This is memory of what you have done in the past. It is fully private, in that only you can access it. Unless you have a very specific type of brain injury, it is updated continuously as you consciously experience the world. There are several remarkable features of this memory system:

  • It is initially encoded by the same part of the brain (the hippocampus) that also encodes and keeps track of our movements through space and time in our local environment. 
  • This means that salient events are automatically linked to a time and place.
  • Some time after these events are first recorded into memory, they are transformed into long-term memory stores elsewhere in the brain where they are associated with other memories of varying degrees of relevance or significance: the nature of event itself, the weather beforehand,  the person who wasn’t there, the name of the movie, the music playing at the bus-stop…
  • Each time these long-term autobiographical memories are actively retrieved they are remade: in effect, they are re-remembered.
  • The neural processes involved in imagining a future autobiographical event are almost the same as those remembering a past autobiographical event. People with a damaged hippocampus not only cannot remember what they did in the past, they cannot imagine themselves doing something in the future.
  • As a consequence, autobiographical memory, most of the time, is hopelessly unreliable (there are other factors contributing to this, but that’s another story).
  • And as a consequence of that, virtually all narrative is a construction of unreliable memories. In other words, I suggest, all narrative can be considered to be first-person fiction (and that is yet another story…)

For the reader or viewer of a narrative, we automatically feed the story (such as it might be) through our own autobiographical memory processor. We identify the temporal sequence, the salience of each component, the relationships between the components, assign meaning to elements we recognise and make a guess at the meanings of elements new to us. Even the most abstract, abstruse, uneventful “narrative” will have a beginning, middle and an end, a context in which it is viewed, an emotional and cultural framework within which we will evaluate it. And so we create our own narrative version of “the story”, almost certainly incomplete when compared with the narrator’s intent, perhaps remembered only fleetingly, but more likely, generating a new entry of our own autobiographical memory (“Let me tell you about the movie I saw last night…”).

Selling the story – you don’t need much…

This ability for the viewer to make narrative out of minimal clues has been well recognised for many years. A famous experiment by Heider and Simmel (1944) showed how moving abstract shapes are commonly read as behaving like people within a strong narrative arc.

Similarly, short form texts such haiku, one-sentence poems, even Tweets (!!) can be commanding in their narrative intensity. Advertisers have known all this for a long time. Successful television advertisements must tell a story in as few as 15 seconds (“Look at this! See, it’s amazing! That’s why you need it… Buy one now! Get it here!!”). Indeed, some television advertisements have been recognised as stand-out examples of short-form video narration, for example, highly-regarded productions for Budweiser and Google.


Most television advertising lacks such sophisticated production values, but even the most simple, hackneyed approaches can inspire a poetry video narrative. In my 42nds, the timing of the scenes and the amount of text per scene closely follows that of typical advertisements 15-45 seconds long. This video was commissioned for outdoor screening in a downtown shopping mall and has since been screened on other public locations mixed in with genuine advertisements.

I’ll finish with two examples of masterful, albeit unconventional, poetry videos, both of which have featured on Moving Poems previously, that incorporate many of the elements mentioned above. These episodic narratives subvert the tropes of commercial television whilst illustrating the highly mutable state of autobiographical memory: Profile by RW Perkins and Human Condition by Rich Ferguson and Mark Wilkinson.

The success of these videos relies totally on our ability to:

  • recognise the contexts of what is happening in each episode;
  • hold the episodes in our short-term working memory long enough to understand the relationships between them;
  • synthesise the meaning of the full narrative in terms that make sense to us, thereby embedding the external narrative in our own autobiographical memory, ready to reappear, perhaps in a subsequent narrative of our own. Which is more or less what has happened in this essay…

Ground-breaking documentary about videopoetry now at Vimeo On Demand

At long last, the documentary Versogramas or Verses&Frames by Galician director Belén Montero—a unique, multicultural look at contemporary videopoetry through the eyes of 14 filmmakers—is available to watch on the web:

We have great news to share with you: Verses&Frames is now available at Vimeo On Demand. Watch it here!

Now you can enjoy the documentary at home, at any time, for a really low price. Moreover, we have released all the different linguistic versions of Verses&Frames, so you can choose five screening possibilities: original version in Galician with Galician subtitles, Spanish version with Spanish subtitles, English version with English subtitles, reduced Spanish and reduced English versions.

This is how it works: For 3€ you can “rent” the screening of the version you choose. It will be available for 24 hours so you can watch the documentary as many times as you want. You can reproduce it on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast.

One of our main objectives when producing Verses&Frames has always been to contribute to the knowledge, research, enjoyment and diffusion of videopoetry. As well as the screenings conducted at festivals, museums and television, we believe that this is a good way to deliver the content of the documentary directly to the public, and to share with you all the emotions that videopoetry arises.

So, just a click away: Verses&Frames On Demand.

That rental price in US dollars is just $3.32. The Vimeo description doesn’t include links to the videopoets interviewed in the film, but you can find that on the project’s website (also available in three languages). I wrote a somewhat critical but generally positive review of Versogramas for Poetryfilm Magazine in 2018. I wrote, in part, that

The interviews are creatively shot and well edited, and the interviewees all come across as fascinating people with uniquely unconventional approaches to making poetry and art. There wasn’t one of them whom I didn’t want to immediately track down on the web and watch every one of their videos, and I was pleased by how many of them were new to me, either because their work had never been translated into English, or because they just hadn’t happened to have crossed my radar.

This is testimony to the sheer breadth of the international videopoetry community, I think. It’s impressive that the producers can focus on just one part of the world—Spain, especially the Galician region—add a handful of filmmakers and videopoets from outside that region, and still end up with a highly varied, complete-feeling snapshot of the state of videopoetry in the 21st century.

So go check it out! I know I for one will definitely be watching it again.

A Short History of Spoken Word Poetry

If you’ve ever wondered, as I have, why the U.K. has such an incredibly vital spoken word scene, this charming animated short from Apples and Snakes’ Spoken Word Archive will bring you up to speed. (Yes, YouTube gets a nod.)

Spoken Word Archive is a celebration of the artists and the events that make up the Apples and Snakes story, as well as the wider story of the modern spoken word poetry movement.


Apples and Snakes is the leading organisation for performance poetry in England, with a national reputation for producing exciting and innovative participation and performance work in spoken word.


Animated by Caroline Rudge and Creative Connections
Voiceover by Charlie Dark
Script by Ben Fagan
Produced by Nicky Crabb, Ben Fagan and Giovanna Coppola
Research from the Spoken Word Archive team: Russell Thompson, bleue granada and Chikodi Nwaiwu.

The UN, Beyoncé, Volvo, and Dareen Tatour: What’s at stake in the mainstreaming of poetry videos

As poetry films and videos enter the cultural mainstream, they are being put to a variety of political and commercial uses. But this growing relevance brings into sharper relief questions that have always dogged them, given how difficult and expensive it can be to produce them: Who gets to make videopoems and poetry films? Whose stories get told? Whose creative license is at stake?

Exhibit A: a recent, widely circulated poetry video about the plight of refugees featuring no actual refugee poets or speakers.

Most coverage led with variations on this headline from The Guardian: “Cate Blanchett leads celebrities in UN video poem for refugees.” Here’s how they reported it:

A host of celebrities are seeking to highlight the plight of refugees in a video in which they read a poem listing items people have grabbed as they fled their homes.

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett leads a cast including Keira Knightley, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jesse Eisenberg and Kit Harington in performing the poem “What They Took With Them” in the film, which UN refugee agency UNHCR said was released on Facebook on Monday to support its WithRefugees petition.

Written by Jenifer Toksvig, the poem was inspired by the stories and testimonies of people fleeing their homes and the items they took with them.

Among those listed by the actors in the film are a wallet, an army service record, a high school certificate, a mobile phone, house keys and a national flag.

“The rhythm and words of the poem echo the frenzy and chaos and terror of suddenly being forced to leave your home, grabbing what little you can carry with you, and fleeing for safety,” Blanchett, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, said in a statement.

UNHCR said the petition is asking governments to ensure refugees have access to safe places to live, education and work.

Whatever one might think about the decision to have other people speak for refugees in an effort to make their plight seem more relatable, it is certainly impressive that a poetry video incorporating filmpoem-style sequences would be the major tool in a high-profile campaign to influence refugee policy at the UN General Assembly. Poetry film has arrived, people! And using celebrities certainly seems have been a successful strategy to draw attention. I saw the video being shared on Facebook, Twitter, and even the venerable Women’s Poetry listserv. It was a story on Reuters, NPR, Time, People, Access Hollywood, Hindustan Times, Mashable, International Business Times… well, you get the point. It would probably be easier to compile a list of places it didn’t appear. And I’m guessing that it was the first poetry video ever to be featured in a few of these magazines and newspapers. As Poets House in New York discovered with its popular YouTube video of Bill Murray reading poetry to construction workers, people will watch anything if celebrities are in it — even a poetry film.

But you don’t have to be an expert trend-spotter to see that 2016 was the year that poetry film hit the mainstream. It’s all Beyoncé’s fault. When the greatest superstar in American pop music releases a video album that includes imaginatively filmed interpretations of poems by Warsan Shire, a hell of a lot of people who didn’t pay any attention to poetry film before are going to take notice, including the New York Times.

When the credits roll on Beyoncé’s new visual album, “Lemonade,” which had its premiere on Saturday on HBO, one of the first names to flash on screen doesn’t belong to a director, producer or songwriter. It belongs to a poet: Warsan Shire, a rising 27-year-old writer who was born in Kenya to Somali parents and raised in London.

Ms. Shire’s verse forms the backbone of Beyoncé’s album and its exploration of family, infidelity and the black female body.

That was in April. Most of the videos are still behind a paywall, but “Hold Up” was released to YouTube two weeks ago. I like both the poetry portion itself and how seamlessly the film transitions from poetry film to music video:

Another video chapter from Lemonade, “Sorry,” is also on YouTube, and you can read the entire script at Genius.com.

Poetry film is already a hybrid genre, so further hybridization with music video is a logical extension, in my view. And while many poetry films are made with little input from the writer, this particular collaboration between poet and singer-producer seems to have been a true partnership, with Shire apparently modifying her texts (which preexisted the album) in close consultation with Beyoncé, and receiving full credit for her contributions. This makes sense, since Black and female agency seem very much at the heart of Lemonade‘s message. And both partners stand to benefit from the collaboration: Shire gets to reach a vastly expanded audience, and Beyoncé gets to burnish her image as a serious artist engaged with the urgent issues of our time.

Barring seances, dead poets get no such opportunity for input in film adaptations. If their work is out of copyright, they may not even be credited at all, as in this new television ad for the Volvo S90, directed by Niclas Larsson, which incorporates an excerpt from Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road“:

A post in Ad Age claims that “Volvo’s Beautiful Ad Imagines a Modern-Day Walt Whitman,” but I’m not sure that’s what is going on here. For one thing, the real Whitman was not exactly interested in picking up women. As I see it, the film depicts a pick-up artist passing off the poem as his own, or at least fantasizing about doing so (the film is nicely oblique on that point). Whitman is credited after a fashion: we get a brief glimpse of his name on a book cover at the top of a stack at the writer’s elbow. This may not be the first ad to use Walt Whitman’s poetry — I believe the honor goes to Levi’s for that — but  as far as I know it is the first poetry film about a plagiarist. And given that plagiarism is a growing problem in the academic poetry world in the US and UK, it’s certainly a timely topic. I’m not exactly sure what’s in this for Volvo, but I salute the filmmaker for an inventive remix of poetry-film and advertising cliches in a story about authorship, power and fantasy that appears to acknowledge the sleaziness inherent in the commercial exploitation of poetry.

Since advertisers are always eager to make their brands and products appear authentic, it’s a given that they will continue to deploy poets, who are generally seen as incorruptible in part because, ironically, they tend to write for little or no expectation of remuneration. In Anglo-American culture, at least, poetry remains a peripheral art. But it’s worth remembering that in some parts of the world, poets are superstars, and can be jailed, flogged, and even executed for their poems. At this point, the question of who gets to tell their own story becomes very urgent indeed.

The case of Dareen Tatour has gotten quite a lot of attention this year, because it marks the first time that Israel has jailed one of its own citizens for expressing the wrong thoughts in a poem, leading critics of the Israeli government to draw uncomfortable parallels with Saudi Arabia and Iran. One of at least 400 Palestinians arrested for social media posts over the past year, Tatour is “charged with incitement to violence based on a poem posted to Youtube.” I can’t embed the video because YouTube restricts it to logged-in adult viewers, but as Al Jazeera‘s description indicates, it’s a pretty standard videopoetry remix of news footage:

The poem, whose title translates roughly as “Resist my people, resist,” is read aloud against background images of Palestinians clashing with Israeli security forces.

To me, Tatour is a great example of a modern poet at home with all the technological tools of the digital age: blogging, photography, social media, and video remix. At the same time, she shares that stubborn love of language and truth-telling that has set poets apart for millennia:

“I cannot live without poetry,” Tatour told Haaretz. “They want me to stop writing. For me to be a poet without a pen and without feelings.”

Tatour remains under house arrest; the prosecution wrapped up its case earlier this month. Here’s a video interview with her from AJ+:

A poem she wrote in prison has been translated into English by Tariq al Haydar. It concludes:

The charge has worn my body,
from my toes to the top of my head,
for I am a poet in prison,
a poet in the land of art.
I am accused of words,
my pen the instrument.
Ink— blood of the heart— bears witness
and reads the charges.
Listen, my destiny, my life,
to what the judge said:
A poem stands accused,
my poem morphs into a crime.
In the land of freedom,
the artist’s fate is prison.

But thanks to digital editing tools and the internet, the artist’s words and images may have an altogether different fate.

Note: While this article isn’t entirely a bait-and-switch, if you’ve read this far, there’s a pretty good chance you have some strong opinions of your own about videopoetry and poetry film. Why not share them with Moving Poems’ readers? We’re always looking for new contributions of essays, reviews, interviews, and curated lists. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: Poetry Film in its Infancy


from Two Too Young
poem: “The Charge Of The Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, performed by Carl Switzer
directed by Gordon Douglas

In my quest to find the perfect video poem I stumbled upon a wonderful piece that brought me back to my childhood: “The Charge Of The Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as performed by Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer. Could this be the early days or even perhaps the first poetry film?

When I was a child the preferred baby sitter in our house was the TV. Back then morning television was limited to Farmer Grey cartoons, and reruns of The Little Rascals.

The Our Gang/Little Rascals version of “The Charge Of The Light Brigade” may not actually be the first poetry film, but it does have a place. Strictly humorous, watered down and marginalized, for many it was our first exposure to the art form better known as pop culture. I assume the intention was not to spark a new genre, however producer and creator Hal Roach did just that. If not the first at least he played a role in the development of video/film poetry. Unintentionally history or film poetry history was made.

This particular YouTube version includes some of my favorite actors: Spanky McFarland, June Marlowe (Miss Crabtree) and Eugene Gordon Lee (Porky.)

Not to stray too far off topic, Warner Brothers had a part in introducing young minds to this satiric (distorted) form of our art as well. What’s Opera Doc? from what I can remember is probably my first opera. I got hooked not only on the music but it assisted in deepening my appreciation for the art of animation, hence my love of video poetry.

Wagner’s Siegfried starring Elmer Fudd as the titular hero and Bugs Bunny as Brunhilde. Elmer is again hunting rabbits as they sing, dance and eat the scenery. For me it’s a walk down memory lane:

What’s Opera, Doc?
directed by Chuck Jones
screenplay by Michael Maltese
voice actors: Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan

Great introduction to film poetry… on the radio

I just listened to an excellent, 45-minute program on BBC Radio 3 called “Crossing the Border – Poetry and Film.” Though understandably UK-centric, its survey of the history of poetry films and film poetry gave due credit to early Soviet filmmakers and other international influences, and talked in some detail about the earlier conception of a film poem as simply a non-linear, lyric film. The highlight of the program for me was hearing Tony Harrison and Peter Symes explain the collaborative working process for their ground-breaking poetry films of the 1980s, articulating ideals strongly reminiscent of those of videopoetry pioneer Tom Konyves from the other side of the Atlantic. I liked the attention paid to the link between poetry film and propaganda or advertising, which is a connection I don’t see spelled out very often. And I appreciated Alastair Cook’s positive assessment of what the democratization of access to filmmaking tools in the digital age has meant to the genre and those who practice it.

The program is now available on the website (and at iPlayer), though if I’m not mistaken BBC will block access to any IPs not originating in the UK, so international listeners may have to connect through a proxy. It’s well worth the hassle. Here’s the show description:

Right from the birth of cinema, film-makers have experimented with poetry in film. Matthew Sweet explores this overlooked history.

The Russian pioneer film-maker Dziga Vertov developed his celebrated montage technique out of Mayakovsky’s poetry and the GPO Film Unit’s ‘Night Mail’ with W H Auden’s closing poem owes a good deal to these Russian experimentalists. Starting at the unlikely site of the studio where scenes from ‘Night Mail’ were shot and recorded eighty years ago, Matthew establishes this iconic film as an important blueprint for poets and film-makers since.

In recent times, the poets Tony Harrison and Simon Armitage have both made documentary films where their poems replaced conventional commentaries. Matthew hosts a reunion between Tony Harrison and his collaborator, the film director Peter Symes, as they relive the powerful moment of filming of the exhumation of a body in a Neapolitan necropolis. This moment poses core questions about film poems: what does the viewer hear and see, how do word and image relate to each other? With Simon Armitage, Matthew learns how his poetry on film gives a voice to the marginalized. Now, a burgeoning movement of experimental film-makers are creating a new space for the production, curation and distribution of film poems in festivals and in digital media, so as the mainstream media fragment, film poetry is returning to its avant garde roots as was exemplified by early film poem makers such as Germaine Dulac and Maya Deren.

Producer: Emma-Louise Williams
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3.

For those who haven’t seen Night Mail, here’s a YouTube upload.

Zata Kitowski interviewed at A Younger Theatre and Write Out Loud

Two recent interviews with the founder and curator of the UK-based PoetryFilm project together serve as a good introduction to Zata Kitowski’s basic philosophy and priorities. In an interview with Frances Spurrier for Write Out Loud, “‘Separating and combining the senses’: the art of the poetry film,” she shows herself to have very broad tastes, while expressing a preference for what has become almost an orthodoxy in poetry-film, filmpoem and videopoetry circles:

How would you define the relation of the poem to the film and vice versa?

The question implies that there is a separation between the poem and the film. Some poetry films are created from the outset as a cohesive poetry film so in this way there is no separation. If the artwork did begin with a poem at the start of the creative process, or with a film, then there are various integration approaches. Duplicating the visual, verbal and aural content is a popular obvious interpretation; however, in my opinion, contrasting different elements is more powerful, playing with the presence and or absence of words, images and sounds. The poetry film art form is a fertile and creative area to explore, and the project celebrates many different approaches, both separating the senses and combining the senses.

A feature article by Heather Kincaid in A Younger Theatre takes the long view, “Celebrating Creativity – Twelve Years of PoetryFilm.” I was especially interested in what Kitowski had to say about the audience for PoetryFilm events:

“We have a really diverse audience,” said Kitowksi. “People come from poetic and literary spheres, as well as from film and artistic circles. I think this diversity is partly influenced by where we hold events – so we might exhibit work at a cinema or film festival, in an art gallery, or at a literary festival. The response from audiences has been very positive both in the UK and abroad.”

Judging by the fact that her latest event, PoetryFilm Solstice at the ICA in London, sold out a day in advance, I’d say the response is very positive indeed. Even though my own approach at Moving Poems is to pull in fans of film and poetry with the lure of free web videos, I recognize that seeing films in a theater or art gallery is a wholly different—and generally much more immersive—experience, and having a knowledgeable guide to interpret each film really adds value as well. And as a poet, I love the idea of getting people to pay real money to go hear and see poetry. So here’s wishing PoetryFilm many more years of success.

New book on poetry film by Stefanie Orphal

Cover of PoesiefilmeAcademic publisher De Gruyter has just published a 310-page monograph titled Poesiefilm: Lyrik im audiovisuellen Medium [Poetry Film: Poetry in the Audiovisual Medium] by German literary scholar Stefanie Orphal. It’s probably a good thing I don’t know German, because if I did, I’d be feeling pretty frustrated by the astronomical price tag: US$126.00 for either the hardcover or the eBook — or $196.00 for both together! But perhaps one could talk one’s local university library into buying a copy. The publisher’s description is certainly enticing:

Unlike film presentations of narrative or dramatic literature, the audiovisual depiction of poetry has received little attention from researchers. This volume traces the history of the poetry film genre and subjects it to systematic examination. It thereby fills a gap in research on the relations between films and literature but also develops key categories for understanding ways of dealing with poetry in the audiovisual medium.

There’s a brief review (in German) at Fixpoetry. One can also get a sense of Orphal’s research interests from her page at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies:

Stefanie Orphal was born 1982 in Halle (Saale). From 2002 to 2008 she studied literature, media studies, and business studies at the University of Potsdam and Université Paris XII. She completed her Magister Artium (Master of Arts) in 2008 with a thesis on Stimme und Bild im Poetryfilm (Voice and Image in Poetryfilm) in which she analysed the connection and interference of voice and image in short films based on poems. Her research interests include the relation of literature and other media, literary adaptation, and 20th century poetry. From 2009 to 2012 she has been a doctoral candidate at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary studies, where she finished her dissertation “Poetry Film”: On the History, Poetics and Practice of an Intermedial Genre.

In her dissertation project on “poetry film’, she examines the emergence of poetry in film and the poetic dimension of film as an art form. The “tradition of the cinema as poetry”, as Susan Sontag calls it, appears particularly in the avant-garde films of the 1920s and in experimental cinema. At the same time, poetry itself has strived for connections with other media or for recognition as a performance art throughout the 20th century. Futurism, Dada, Beat Poetry, Spoken Word, and Konkrete Poesie feature prominent examples. Unlike literary adaptations, most poetryfilms do not present a ‘translation’ of literary text into filmic text, but keep the poetry present in vocal performance or writing. Her analysis of various poetryfilms therefore concentrates on rhythmic features of film and verse, the sound of voices and spoken language, iconic qualities of writing, and the interplay of poetic and filmic imagery.