Friday, October 5, 2012

Process Video: Flourless

Happy Multimedia Friday! Time for another process video. This video takes you behind the scenes (OOH! SCANDALOUS!) of my poem "Flourless."

As a new experiment, I've added some "asides" for you--I narrated my thinking process in additional text file for your "pleasure" (more like your added neuroses--my apologies for my scattered brain!).

Process Video (with Asides)--Flourless from Hannah Stephenson on Vimeo.

I've noticed a few changes in how I work, certainly....more certainty and trust that I can write SOMETHING, but less of a plan or strategy going into my writing sessions (for instance, I thought for sure I'd write something rhymed when I wrote this poem, and then I didn't--or recently, I've though, ok, today I want to write a LONG poem, and then I write a little 8-line ditty).

What's new in your process these days? Any changes you're noticing?

10 comments:

  1. I've never seen a video like this, never conceived there could be a "making-of" movie for a poem--applause, truly! I, too, rely on the Internet to confirm that any references I make are factual.

    I recently saved a document of words I'll never again use on my site (up to sixty-four now). Repetition can be the devil.

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  2. Thanks, Jack! You should publish that document of words...I'd be curious to read them.

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  3. Man, that video is weird. I'm with Jack in that I had no idea such a thing could be done. I encourage others to give the video at least a couple of minutes.

    Do your students ask about, or simply protest, the whole prospect of revision after revision? My favorite examples (forgive me if I've mentioned them here before): poet Linda Pastan once said she never considered sending a batch to magazines till she'd gone back to them at least 50 times; Kurt Vonnegut said his original manuscript of Slaughterhouse-5 was about 1,400 pages long; Faulkner's "kill your darlings."

    Take that, Hollywood, with your notorious cutting room floor . . . . Actually, we and Hollywood should be allies in this. We seem to agree that not everything can or should survive.

    (H, I hope that someday soon you'll dump the "prove you're not a robot" gadget . . . . I've never had a problem in the year or two since I dumped mine.)

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  4. ha! i am only half way through and have to go to work:) but i laugh at your question, it is going somewhere, but where? it is alive. even its cursor does not sit still while it is waiting to become:)))

    i come back for more action later. i mean this.

    (i am away for a few days and so i will delight in this over time.)

    xo
    erin

    (i laugh at banjo52, man, that video is weird. it is. and brilliant.)

    xo
    erin

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  5. I feel like I've just been told the most wonderful secret.

    Thank you for posting this, Hannah.

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  6. I love these things! The new post-modern asides are not only illuminating but hilarious! This “without a net” exercise permits us voyeurs to peer into the blend of logic and magic that goes into making a poem, making it, like a poem itself, not necessary understandable but at least tangible. I can relate to a lot of things here: the way poems get birthed kinda without our knowing or willing it – it’s all a measuring distances twice and then leaping in faith; the waiting on the ending and its promise of some recognizable resolution; the stumbling back and forth between our mind’s “confections” and the official names and narratives. Mr. B52 makes an excellent point but one could equally go for the opposite side: how much is lost by the jettisoning of “dr pepper chapstick,” “gas station restroom,” “all recipes are stories,” and, best of all, “grandma’s war cookies.” But, hey, that’s part of what makes us all so unique, how we choose to present the flowers that appear along our way.

    Watching this makes me reflect upon my own process, of which I am usually unconscious. I suspect I am always writing distinct two kinds of poems, ones where collected words and lines are miraculously and omnipotently combined through the process of stringing them together with sweat, or ones where an idea burns for expression, and words are summoned as servants. When I was younger, I thought one needed to do both of these things (cull and thematize), but I realize now that so much integrity is lost by honing the writing to some imagined standard of acceptability. At the end of the day, it’s really like what you show here, Hannah, the continual practice of making myself comfortable with the void.

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  7. John/Banjo52 (or B52, your new nickname)--So glad you liked this. It's funny--my students seem to want MORE revisions (rather than just one round per paper, like the semester allows for). Re: the robot--I didn't think I had that enabled!!! I will have to tinker (it is super annoying).

    Erin, thank you for liking the weirdness :). That cursor is like the Energizer Bunny!


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  8. I love this, I love this, I love this!

    There's is something so comforting to me about that blinking cursor - a shared symbol for writers, isn't it?

    ...and now I want no bake cookies.

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  9. So glad you liked it, Jes :).

    Bill, the void is our mutual friend! The asides were weird, so I'm happy that you thought they were interesting/funny. I almost also recorded myself while writing, but I felt too awkward to do that....maybe next time.

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  10. Chrissy, I am reading the book you recommended a couple of weeks back, Landscape and Memory.....just in the intro, but I know I'm going to love it!! You and I have such similar taste in books--thank you so much for your recommendation!

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