~ Poet: Robert Hass ~

River Bicycle Peony (from August Notebook: A Death) by Robert Hass

This is a kind of metaphor, a stop-motion animation by Paige Speight of Robert Hass‘s “River Bicycle Peony.” Evan Montilla provided the voiceover.

Envy of Other People’s Poems by Robert Hass

This is The Sirens Couldn’t Sing, produced and directed by Nicolas Leither. Leither’s notes on Vimeo are fascinating:

Shot at Inglenook Vineyards in the Napa Valley, this film features a Mutoscope, an early motion picture device (1895-1909) with a series of rotating photographs, like a flip book. Mutoscopes quickly became scandalous as developers used them for peep shows (“penny-in-the-slot peep shows”) featuring naked or nearly naked women.

Watching a Mutoscope film is intimate, eerie, and interactive (you have to crank the handle yourself). I found an important metaphor about silence, sexuality, and the oppression of women between the Mutoscope experience in the film and Robert Hass’s enchanting meta-poem, which I had the pleasure of hearing him read at the Studio One Reading Series in Oakland (2010).