Sunday, 16 October 2011

In Place of an Introduction

'The Little Poetry Project' is an idea that has been brewing on and off for about a year now. As a final year English Literature student at Bath Spa University, I plan to transform the art of poetry into the art of film, using local poets, businesses and a lot of help from my friends to create nothing short of an advert.

At this stage and as an academic I need to justify my sources for the idea of this project. Studying Poetry in second year I was presented with the book 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem by Ruth Padel. This book is a collection of her readings and responses to poems she enjoyed, published in The Independent on Sunday about 10 years ago. Within her fascinating introduction she discusses how poetry is seen to be difficult, when it's not at all and how that compares to other art forms:

For all art forms move forward, and many twenty-first-century films are far more 'difficult' that films of twenty years ago. They use more shorthand, move faster, imply more. They would have been incomprehensible in the twenties. We understand how they operate without realising how much work we are doing to understand, how much experience film convention, tricks of the trade,goes into our response. Most people have not evolved their ways of reading a poem in the same way, or kept pace with poetry as it developed.1

From this an idea sprouted; if film had become so easy to understand for the masses, with its subtleties and complexities, then poetry should be likewise. Why not combine the two to place poetry in the forefront of the public eye once again?

This advertisement will be bringing across the ideas within the poem through film to the public. I plan to have to the poet closely involved in this process, giving the poet more 'P.R' as it were as well as advertising the University itself. The final stage of this project will be laying down the fundamental agreement to have it shown before a popular film in a local cinema within Bath.

As this is in the early stages, as in I don't even have a dissertation tutor yet to say this is okay, I am jumping the gun somewhat and anything I've said above could change. However, because of this, I have began this blog to track the process of the project as whole. It's a useful medium where a lot of sources can become a central point of reference. It will also be where I will be hosting an ideas ground; such as if I have trouble choosing a poet/poem; where I will place videos or photos of the process and where I hope that the general public will post their ideas, to see if we can infuse them too. I want this to be a fun project where the product at the end reflects the poet, poem and shows how much love and care will go into this.

I hope to incorporate a lot of social networking and technology within this project, so keep an eye out for a Twitter account and possibly a Facebook group within the next couple of months.

The schedule will be tight, so hold on to your hats folks.


1. Padel, R., 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem: A Poem for Every Week of the Year, Vintage Publishing, London, 2004 pg.4