This is not the video I intended to make. When I contacted Nic S. on Tuesday to ask if she’d be willing to record a reading of Dickinson’s poem, I’d just seen the one hundredth example of someone trying to illustrate the poem with a video of a goddamn bird, for christsake. I’d just shot some good footage of a toad that afternoon, and I thought, why not use that? Then this morning, I got some further inspiration and shot a dandelion sead head (that’s “dandelion clock,” for you Brits) blowing in the wind. It was gorgeous. It had “thing with feathers” written all over it.
The problem is, when I went ahead and made a videopoem with Nic’s reading over-top a recording of a wood thrush with the toad and dandelion clips, it was just too… you know. Too pretty. Dickinson wrote the poem in 1862. 1862! Hope was in pretty short supply that year.
So I took an hour’s nap, and when I got up, the solution was clear. Fortunately, the Prelinger Archives obliged. God, I love the internet! But not as much as I love Emily Dickinson.