Lyrikline.org, an international audiopoetry site, is celebrating World Poetry Day with a feature on Poetry & Film at their blog. Since their parent organization, Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, also sponsors the ZEBRA poetry film festival, they were in a good position to solicit statements from a number of practitioners of the art. Begin with their own statement:
Diverse as the entries might be, there’s one thing that all the good ones have in common: they succeed if one can experience in some way a clever and maybe even poetic relationship and correspondence between the words and images. When poetic principles and features, such as rhythm, tempo, meter, imagery, denseness, and tone unfold, poetry and film together can reach another level and merge into something unique.
I particularly liked the statement by Wolf, a German poet and past member of the ZEBRA film jury, for its concision and gnomic quality:
Like a translation, and like poetry itself, or perhaps like prose poetry, or the prose poem—already we see the problem here—a poetry film exists in a between-space, a Zwischenraum. It can not be named. It can only be invented with each attempt; its inability to occupy a name or a space or a genre is what generates these attempts to create something that is true to its name. It will fail every time.
But I think the most interesting thing about the feature is the extent to which these diverse filmmakers agree about what makes a good videopoem or filmpoem. There’s far less disagreement among them than one might have supposed.