~ Poet: Wallace Stevens ~

Tattoo by Wallace Stevens

Belgian composer and artist Marc Neys (A.K.A. Swoon) is back making videopoems after a lengthy hiatus, with a new website for all his output. For a sense of just how prolific he used to be, and how central his lyrical, idiosyncratic approach to filmmaking has been to the development of contemporary poetry film, this recent adaptation of a Wallace Stevens poem appears to be the 159th video of his we’ve shared at Moving Poems. Here are the credits:

film, voice & music: Marc Neys
Footage: Jan Eerala
translation: Peter Nijmeijer


Lebensweisheitspielerei by Wallace Stevens

A film by the Greek composer, musician, filmmaker and video artist Makis Faros, who writes in the Vimeo description:

The project is based on a poem of Wallace Stevens titled “LEBENSWEISHEITSPIELEREI”.
The lyrics : “The proud and the strong Have departed” marks a huge portion of the history of the African states calling for their independency at the decades of 60 and after. People who were cut off from their land, used to be dependent on slave labor and within a culture imposed on them, had to stay stool when their invaders departed. These mechanisms can also be found at the contemporary consumer societies of the western world. The video focuses on the endless vicious game of them: those who remain, between desire and the “grandeur of annihilation”

This was uploaded by Vital Space Projects, who have a number of other interesting experimental films on Vimeo.

Lulu Gay by Wallace Stevens

Othniel Smith used a reading by Alan Davis Drake for Librivox and public-domain images from the Prelinger Archive to make this short film.

Bill Murray reads Wallace Stevens: The Planet on the Table and A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts

Actor Bill Murray reads two poems by Wallace Stevens at Bubby’s Brooklyn, as part of Poets House’s 17th Annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge, Monday June 11, 2012

Poets, take note. This is how a proper poetry reading is done.

Peter Quince at the Clavier by Wallace Stevens

A new film by the indefatigable Swoon (which he blogged about here). The inspiration and reading came once again from Nic S.’s new site Pizzicati of Hosanna… which takes its title from a line in this very poem.

Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock by Wallace Stevens


A visually arresting, silent watercolor animation by Lilli Carré. The poem has its own Wikipedia page. (Hat-tip: Hannah Stephenson)

Large Red Man Reading by Wallace Stevens


This has to be one of my favorite found footage-poem match-ups ever. It’s one of Nic S.’s first solo efforts at videopoem-making (though she doesn’t appear to have blogged it). Here’s the text of the poem.

The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

Another of Josep Porcar’s videopoems for the Catalan literary site Blocs de Lletres. Stevens’ poem is now in the public domain, so here’s the text:

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
and, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.