Robert Peake: Ten of My Favourite Animated Videopoems

This is the first of a projected series of “top ten” lists from a variety of contributors, intended to help new or occasional visitors to Moving Poems discover the best videopoems and poetry films. —Ed.

In animation, as in poetry, anything is possible. Both media also have a similar range, sweeping up everything from the surreal to the hyper-real, comedic to sublime. In this, they are well suited to collaboration. Here are ten videopoems that work as closely together as a practiced tango duet.

Homage to the Mineral of Cabbage by Stephanie Dudley, poem by Erín Moure (2011)

Simply gorgeous stop-motion animation, as dark and mysterious as the heart of a cabbage.

“Balada Catalana” (with English subtitles) by Laen Sanches, poem by Vicente Balaguet (2010)

A musical and imaginative bacchanal, I had to remember to shut my jaw after I first saw this.

Old Astronauts by Motionpoems, poem by Tim Nolan (2009)

Image and text perfectly tempered to the poet’s delivery.

“Of Care” by Ruah Edelstein (2011)

A deceptively simple poem unfolds through repetition, music, and imagery, drawing out the archetypal wisdom of a fable.

“Why do you Stay Up So Late?” by Ernesto Lavandera, poem by Marvin Bell (2004)

(Interactive, click here to begin)

An experimental interactive piece that beautifully matches the mood and timbre of this fine poem.

“Streamschool” („Patakiskola”) by Péter Vácz (2012)

Fluidity, beauty, and grace are evoked through stop-motion animation from this traditional Hungarian rhyme.

“Square Pears, Rare Bears” by Sharon Keighley, poem by Ed Barton (2009)

Deliberately low production values and literal depiction of this fast-paced linguistic romp heighten the delight.

“About Bigmouse” by Constantin Arephyeff, poem by Ludmila Ulanova (2008)

In this piece, music plays a central character around which the words and images dance.

“Brother” by HBO Family, poem by Mary Ann Hoberman (2011)

The story told through the animation gently enfolds and unfolds this simple poem. Read by Carrie Fisher.

“Four Years From Now Walking With My Daughter” by Liam Owen (2013)

A piece that bears re-viewing, as no attention to detail is spared, giving this touching poem a sense of familial care.

Robert Peake

Robert Peake is a British-American poet living near London. He created the Transatlantic Poetry on Air reading series. His video poem “Buttons” won the children’s category at the Southbank Centre in London, and his video poetry work has screened at the Zebra, Liberated Words, Filmpoem, International Film Poetry Festival, PoetryFilm, and O Miami festivals. His full-length collection The Knowledge is forthcoming April 2015 from Nine Arches Press.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *