The Force of Poetry
Technology provides new ways to enjoy poetry. Film makes it possible for poetry to have a visual face. "The Force of Poetry" is a poetry reading and talk on the meaning, mechanics and significance of poetry. In an hour long program, poet Timothy Victor Richardson whose work impressed Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky, starting in 1986, reads from his collection, "Afflicted Love". The film goes far beyond a poetry reading. It uses the visual medium of television to put poetry on the screen, line by line, as it is being read. Further, as Richardson reads, lines appear on the screen allowing the viewer to watch the poem grow and the shape of its stanzas emerge and when the poet explains the complexities of formal forms, lines are highlighted to explain rhythm and rhyme.
Richardson enjoys using verse forms like sonnets and odes. As he explains different forms, lines are color coated to show rhymes or other aspects of the poetry he is describing. Meter is discussed in a segment in which Richardson uses a jazz practice pad to tap out rhythms.
Asked why poetry is so important, Richardson quotes Joseph Brodsky: "...verse writing is an extraordinary accelerator of consciousness, of thinking, of comprehending the universe." Then, he relates a story of how one of Brodsky's poems gave a prisoner in the Gulag the strength to survive. "We shouldn't take our freedoms for granted or confuse art with entertainment. Great art can possess the moral force to save lives. In the aggregate, art can keep the mental life of a culture sane and alive," says Richardson.
Excerpts from "The Force of Poetry" have appeared on eight different web sites to raving responses and the film has aired on cable stations across the country. Please preview "The Force of Poetry" at https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1052756.
Your feedback is welcomed.
Produced and directed by award winning film maker, Toni Seger, "The Force of Poetry" was strongly endorsed by Maine Public Broadcasting which wrote, in part: "The effect is to inject life and heartbeat into what is often thought of as an inert, hard-to-read art form, and the result is educational and entertaining."
You can see Richardson's penchant for strong rhythms in his earlier work like his novel, "Ceremony of Innocence", www.CreateSpace.com/3346042
The main character, Mr. Wamblie, is a former success story who has lost everything in a mid-life crisis that includes a year in a psychiatric hospital. Not only is his descent into madness a literary tour de force, but the powerful intersecting rhythms presage a poet in the making.
Amazon Reviewer: Stephen Pletko said:
"I found this to be an unforgettable and unique novel where the reader actually enters the mind of a psychiatric patient!! I've never read something so extraordinary!!! "
Amazon Reviewer: William Timothy Lukeman said:
"Not only is the prose crafted with skill, shaped with an inner music & cadence that reveals a remarkably gifted ear, but it speaks in a voice that many readers will recognize as their own at times... If you give yourself over to it, you won't soon forget it!"
For the earliest look at Richardson's extraordinary development, "Morning Song", a child's story for adults; again displays both potent and effective rhythm in the breathless tale of a six year old after the harrowing weeks of his first camp experience. Overwhelmed by feelings, he wants to reach his father who isn't listening. Humorous and deeply poignant, "Morning Song conveys the funny and frightening initiation rites of childhood with superb interpretation by Jeff Flint. www.CreateSpace.com/1737557.
You can review a Preview of Jeff Flint's incredible rendition of "Morning Song" at https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1056341
"Morning Song is also available as an illustrated chapbook with illustrations by noted artist, Patricia Chandler at www.CreateSpace.com/3367084
This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
Top customer reviews
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The poetry Tim selected for this DVD is emotional and a great selection from his work. His poignant description of a struggling dog in "A Country Dog" touches your heart. "On November 22nd", reflects on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. "Wrongful Life" tells of Johnny Cochran's frustration with the legal system, and "Pearl Harbor" focuses on the men trapped beneath the sea in the Arizona after the bombing, just to name a few.
This program is wonderfully produced, filmed, and edited by Toni Seger who had the foresight to include the visual references of Tim's work.
This would be an excellent DVD for a literature class or a poetry club meeting.
Where the DVD falls a bit short is the rather monotone reading of the poetry by the man who wrote the words. While it is a pleasure to see and hear the poet himself (archival significance being one reason to record this), Richardson's delivery hardly gives his poems the ability to take flight. One is left wishing he had selected an actor to read the poems, leaving the discussion and the philosophy to Richardson. For example, one of his better poems, 'Narcissus in the Mall' has the potential of being tragically beautiful, yet here it sounds somewhat like a monotone grocery list.
Other poets are now reading their poetry on the various sites available on the computer - sites with such gentle dignity as [...] - it is another, more easily available method of hearing poetry read aloud. But the act of creating this DVD is a sound idea. This DVD can be transported to the classroom or the book club with ease and gives more insight into the art of writing poetry than many books of similar content. Grady Harp, September 09