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Multimedia Poetry

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Here’s a novel idea: using an audiovisual slideshow as a medium for poetry. Journalists at the Knight Digital Media Center created a project for the Oakland School for the Arts, featuring a student’s poem, The Eternal Sea. Check it out here.

The project is strikingly simple: ambient music, neatly stylized text, and an abstract Creative Commons photo in the background, all compiled and presented using the simple program, Soundslides.

It is so clean that I am surprised I don’t see it more often. YouTube and Vimeo is so friendly to short-form art, but naturally, most people post video clips or simple audio of recited poetry.

Youtube does have some interesting examples of animated poetry, which combines recited poetry with some amusing and slightly eerie edited visuals, such as Forgetfulness by Billy Collins:

And there are also videos that use some text, visuals and narration, such as Don’t Be Flip by Todd Boss:

However, the animated poems on YouTube lack the static allure and literary simplicity of The Eternal Sea.

In any case, blending written word, photography, and music with multimedia technology looks like a brilliant new approach to poetry — and a neat project to try out.

Photo Credit: Underwater by Shockmotion

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