Jack Myers / poetry / reading / Saeed Jones / The Portable Poetry Workshop Project / writing

The Portable Poetry Workshop: Connecting Content – Cinematic Techniques

“Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing.” – James Tate

In this section, Jack Myers uses film as a metaphor for poetry, and through identification and explanation of various cinematic techniques such as cuts, visual transitions, alternate views, angles, and movements, one can see how a poem can be a film in its own right and in accordance with Tate’s quote above.

I recently read “Jasper, 1998,” a trilogy of poems by Saeed Jones. The poems employs a staggering of views from low-angle to bird’s eye then returning to low-angle. The movement of these poems are that of a moving shot, “creating a sense of action to, through, and away from a scene.” Hear Jones read this poignant and heart-breaking collection of poems.  (And I highly recommend purchasing his chapbook When the Only Light is Fire at that same link. It was an incredible read, one still haunting me days after I’ve read it and I’m sure will continue throughout the year.)

Jack concludes the section by stating that poetry is “one of the most eclectic forms of art since it contains many aspects of the other arts…” What other art do you see most in poetry? What are your favorite techniques to employ?

In closing, here is one of the exercises offered at the end of this section, and since I am heavy into revisions lately, I am going to try this myself tonight:

“Cut shot – Crosscut technique: Next to an event in a poem of yours, juxtapose a simultaneous event that parallels or enhances the original event.”

Happy writing! Andrea

P.S. If you like what you’ve heard from Saeed Jones, please read Jonterri Gadson’s interview with him for Eclectica Magazine.

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5 thoughts on “The Portable Poetry Workshop: Connecting Content – Cinematic Techniques

  1. It's very interesting, the way the arts sync together. In a similar vein to the cut shot – crosscut technique, I always use a visual (photograph) that parallels or enhances the content of my blog posts. I'm very inspired by the visual, and my post ideas usually start with them.

  2. Wow! I love this post (even before the mention of my name lol…thanks!) I use film metaphors in class but only so far as saying a poem is cinematic as it zooms in closer to the subject, but I never thought to take that further until I read this post. I'm gonna look into this more as I'm also heavily revising at the moment. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Joanne – I do love your photographs on your site…they definitely enhance your content. And I just saw the cover for your book – amazing! Makes me want to dive right in. :)Jonterri – Thanks! This section inspired me and made me want to write a poem for employing all the techniques. Definitely worth exploring further and I'm sure your students would have fun with it. Good luck with your revisions. 🙂

  4. How fascinating. I love poetry but still feel quite the novice. I've been trying to read more to learn more. I have a friend who has a little publishing company and she has published some new poets that I have enjoyed. Do you visit L.L. Barkat's blog Seedlings in Stone? Her poetry site is called TS Poetry. I have subscribed to a poem a day through it and it has been lovely. But I find that I do have to work at the poetry to make it interesting. I like this exercise and may give it a try! I also looked over your list of 52 poetry books and was greatly humbled. I have not read any of them! So, you have given me some good titles to explore. And, I am going to go have a listen to your link too. Thank you, Andee, and thank you for your kind words over at the Wellspring. Love to you.

  5. Laura, thank you for the recommendations on the Seedlings blog! Also, are there any poetry books you read that you'd recommend?I'm happy you were able to glean some titles for your reading list and I do hope you give the exercise a try. You write beautifully! Writing Dangerous Poetry by Michael C. Smith is an excellent read and provides lots of writing exercises.Love to you as well! Andrea

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