Poetry as Word, Sound, and Image

I’m curious what you think. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you probably know that Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. I love the simplicity of language and imagery, the unpretentiousness of his poems and person, his ability to evoke emotion and insight through succinct use of language, and the reliable good humor he employs (just read To My Favorite 17 Year-Old High School Girl or  Litany for stellar examples).

In the TED Talk below, he shares a description of an invitation he received to allow some of his poetry to be illustrated in short films. And here’s where my question come: do you think the videos add to the poetry? Do they bring it alive, add another dimension, help you enter his poetry differently? Or do they distract? I’ve got my own feelings, but am still a little ambivalent and so am curious about your thoughts as well. If nothing else, in the space of 15 minutes you get to hear Collins read some of his own poetry, and that alone is worth the price of admission.

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