Friday 10 May 2013

The Shipwright's Love Song (Jo Bell)

The Bristol Poetry festival has a nice spot for videopoetry: Liberated Words.
Their open call this year has 2 separate categories.
One of them is "Four by Four"
Videopoems of three minutes or less are invited as a response to a printed poem by four poets.
The poets and poems are:
Philip Gross: Heaps      
Lucy English: from 'Take Me to the City'
Jo Bell: The Shipwright’s Love Song
Johnny Fluffypunk: Bill Blake’s Birthday Cake for Adrian Mitchell

I picked out Jo Bell's 'The Shipwright's Love Song'

Oh, but the lines of her!
The curve and glinting swell –
the smell, as sweet as pitch pine,
thick and hot as tar.
Oh, I was launched and splashing in the slipway,
happy to be rudderless
and yawing, mast head
touching to the foam.

Oh, but her skin was salt,
was starred with gasping salt beneath my tongue,
and slowly
she came round to me –
bucking and slipping at my touch,
making way in fits and starts
to reach me and be calm.

Later, long before she rocked me into sleep
I saw the seas, saw all of them in one blue ache:
unlandmarked, vast; horizonless.

Reading this poem I immediately knew (felt) what I wanted for this video.
I had images made last year (visiting old boats with Alastair Cook) in Antwerp (left screen) and  earlier this year on St. Andrew's beach (right screen)
The images were 'tested' on several tracks.
'Maximum Suspicion' worked the best with the images, but I still needed a voice.

Nic Sebastian (still the most spot-on reader I know) was willing to participate and she provided me with a great recording almost the same day.
That reading steered me in the direction of another track. So I combined the intro and outro
of 'Maximum Suspicion' with this one:

All the elements now fitted perfectly.
Have a look and listen...

words: Jo Bell
Voice: Nic Sebastian
Concept, camera, editing & music: Swoon
Thanks: Katrijn Clemer

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