The Poetry Video

Lesson Introduction

There is a great tradition of combining poetry and film: the twentieth-century French poet, artist, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau was particularly interested in using the medium of the moving image to explore new ways to create and celebrate poetry. His films, especially Blood of a Poet and Orphée, feature striking examples of visual poetry and often include recitations of written poetry at the centre of key scenes.

Poetry videos have become increasingly popular as technology has become more accessible. It’s now possible to make short films with a sophisticated cell phone or computer.

Learning Objectives

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • See how poems lend themselves to visual interpretation and representation.
  • Create a short video backdrop for a poem the student has chosen to memorize and recite,

Materials and Resources

To teach this lesson, you will need:
  • computer access to You Tube, Vimeo, PBS, Video Surf, and other video web sites
  • access to video recording equipment and editing software
  • access to the Poetry In Voice online anthology

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