Adaptation

Today is the “official” release date of the short film adapted from my poem, “How Not To Need Resurrection,” first published in Poetry in 2003, then again in my book Resurrection Party (Silver Birch Press, 2014). In the supplementary interviews included with the film and the text of the poem at Motionpoems’ website here: http://www.motionpoems.com/resurrection/, one of the things I talk about is the challenge of the adaptation process, of the importance of letting go of your work and not developing preconceptions or expectations that will make it harder for you to open up to the filmmaker’s vision.  Because poetry is less typically adapted than fiction, I think this can be more of a leap for us (poets), but a worthwhile one.

I think one of the most interesting parts of this process was the way it caused me to reflect on the poem more as a reader might than as its writer.  One of the things the filmmakers mentioned when first talking to me was that they had been especially intrigued by its last line, which is the one line that I had the hardest time with when first writing the poem and the only one I really changed from the first draft (the title also had a few iterations).  That conversation and then seeing the film several months later helped me to feel like I really understood the meaning of that line and how it “completed” the rest of the poem in a new way.

In the same way that reading good poems can make people interested in writing poems themselves, this whole experience has also revived some of my own interest in making short films, which is something I’ve dabbled in before.  I’m hoping to eventually make my poem, “Tonight, the Clouds,” which can be read here: http://dailydoseoflit.com/2014/09/26/excerpt-michalle-gould/ into an animated film itself one day!

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