One of my favourite of all films, Cinema Paradiso, inspired my eponymous poem recently published in The Spectator. Film can be a prism for ideas and emotions in much the same way as poetry: an admix of the visual and the visceral. How to capture, in a few lines, the essence of a film which has affected you deeply? As so often in poetry, it’s what you leave out that matters.
Thank you to Hugo Williams for selecting my poem to appear in the 10th July issue of the magazine. You can read it on-line at: https://www.spectator.co.uk/poem/cinema-paradiso
Other poets recently published there include Fleur Adcock, John Levett, Richie McCaffery and Claudine Toutoungi.
If you’d like to submit your poems to Hugo for consideration, send them c/o Arts & Books editor Claire Asquith at The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP. Hard copies + SAE required.
Another, more surreal, cinematic poem of mine, My Night as a 50-Foot Woman, is featured in the New York based anthology, Poetry Inspired by Film, edited by Jennifer Maloney and Bart White; a fantastic bunch of poets and cinema enthusiasts, gravitating around The Little Theatre of Moving Images. They organised six Trans-Atlantic video launches for the anthology (it’s a big book!) so all contributors had the opportunity to perform their work live.
“Years before I identified and pursued my love of poetry, I was in love with movies,” writes Bart White in his foreword. “The filmmaker explores qualities of storytelling and of time, slowing time down or speeding it up . . . and now we might be speaking of the poet who looks in wonder at the world, absorbs light and sound, then shapes a form to hold an experience. . . or are we speaking again of the filmmaker? Between them there is a deep resonance”
“A community of artists was the impetus behind this anthology,” writes Jennifer Maloney. “Watching movies, during this pandemic year, soothed me, distracted and uplifted me.”
The anthology includes images of specially commissioned paintings by David James Delaney, including ‘And Toto Too’.
You can purchase a copy of the anthology for $11 (warning: postal charges from the US are astronomical!) by emailing Kenneth Kelbaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in exploring the rich heritage of film, I can thoroughly recommend Alan Price’s regular blog (vastland) where he puts his erudition to work on all manner of creative questions. Here he writes about films which have influenced him: https://alanprice69.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/blessay-4-three-films-that-shaped-me/