Watch and Listen to Poetry

By Sharon Weinberg

Enjoy these selections of movies and audiobooks.

  • Blindspotting


    Longtime friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal wrote and star in this under-the-radar poetic gem. It is the best use of verse in film ever.

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  • The Garden of Words


    A tanka, a genre of Japanese poetry, unites two strangers in unexpected ways in this beautifully crafted anime drama. Be sure to watch past the credits for one final scene. It’s perfect.

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  • Bright Star


    Based on the last three years of John Keats' life, when the struggling poet has a passionate and difficult romantic relationship with the girl next door, Fanny Brawne. Their intense liaison comes to a tragic end with his untimely death at age 25. Filmmaker Jane Campion masterfully conveys this tender story and the emotional impact of star-crossed love.

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  • Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

    2018 by Alexander, Kwame

    Ideal for family listening, Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth pay tribute to some of their favorite poets with original poetry of their own. It’s full of celebration for the creators and their writings and certain to rouse your inner poet. This is also available as a charmingly animated Read Along DVD on Hoopla.

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  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise


    Aptly titled, this is an excellent overview of Angelou’s life and work. The archival footage along with audio of Angelou performing her poetry is impactful. If you haven’t watched this yet, check it out now! Also available on Hoopla and Kanopy.

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  • N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear


    Momaday says that he always considered poetry the crown of literature. He is a storyteller through and through, and this is a wonderful profile with several interviews, photos and reenactments. Hearing Momaday recite some of his writing, including excerpts from various poems, is a joy.

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  • The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection

    2002 by Giovanni, Nikki

    Published in 2002, this Grammy-nominated audio is a great introduction to Giovanni's poetry. She reads each poem, sometimes sharing context for the piece, her voice always finding the right beat and feeling.

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  • Orphée


    Filmmaker Jean Cocteau reworked the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, casting Orpheus as a famous poet in 1950 Paris. Filmed in gorgeous black and white, with stylish production and a twisty plot, this movie has a dream-like vibe, as the poet searches for his true inspiration. In French with English subtitles.

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  • Il Postino


    A surprise hit in 1994, Il Postino is definitely a go-to feature movie for those in the mood for poetry and Kleenex. Every day Mario delivers mail to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, exiled on a small island in Italy. One thing leads to another, and soon the famous writer is helping Mario woo the woman of his dreams via metaphors and poetry. This received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. In Italian with English subtitles.

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