I began my December videopoem accidentally. I did one, enjoyed the process and wanted to push myself to work out how different elements functioned, so I made another. And then I invited a few people to send me their poems. That was a different kind of challenge, as taking liberties with your own poem is one thing, translating other people’s poems into a video, is quite another. I decided to stop on the 20th, rather than 24th because I felt I was getting into a rut that could only be solved by accessing better technology (or a bit of a break).

You can watch all 20 videopoems here in order of creation.

Here are 5 of the videopoems I’m proudest of:

  1. Catherine Ayres’ Leaving at Day Break

I’m really proud of how this one turned out, and it’s evidently been the one most people have been attracted to – it’s had over 1,300 views on Facebook, and been featured in Moving Poems as their own standout.

The challenge of this one is that I kept second guessing myself: is it too on the nose? If I were writing a poem, I wouldn’t include the sound of birds chirping to illustrate the presence of a bird, but with videos, you can take liberties with this kind of layering, as they all work to help you take in the words flashing up on the page.

2. Lynn Pedersen’s How to Speak Nineteenth Century

My general rule when asking for poems to turn into videos, was to ask that they be under 12 lines long, to make it more achievable. I made an exception for this poem, which is not simply longer, but also packed full of brilliant images and terms. Translating it was quite the challenge and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

3. Charles Baudelaire’s Enivrez-Vous

This one is a bit of a wildcard in this top 5 list. I did it very rapidly whilst heavily hungover, and there’s all sorts of things I’d like to correct now – a new voice recording, better audio control, etc. Yet I’m really quite fond of its simplicity, and I think my hungover voice adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

4. Pam Thompson’s Gibbous Sonnet

This was the first video where I tried out some new text techniques, and I love the way the words ally to the music here to create something quite whimsical and hypnotic.

5. Susie Campbell’s Tennis Ball Maker

This was another challenging one to transform – so many elements in this tennis-ball shaped poem. I wanted to somehow bring forward the factory side, the pregnancy, and the tennis balls themselves without feeling preachy. The result is this contraption, mixing together various footage and sound effects.