TED talk by Billy Collins

I was watching TED talks on Netflix this weekend and just happened to come across one by Billy Collins. I thought that the things he talked about related perfectly to some of the things we have been talking about in class. He shares a project that involved putting a few of his poems together with animation and art. Several of these poems we discussed as a group, such as “Forgetfulness” and “Some Days”. These illustrations reminded me of the book to go along with “Questions About Angels” that Margaret shared with us in class.

I thought that it was interesting how, for me, some of the poems were enhanced by the animation and some fell a little flat. My favorite, by far, was “The Country” (the one about the mouse lighting a house on fire), which I thought was absolutely hilarious. I thought that the image of all the mice gathering to watch the house burn was really, really funny, and the cartoon just made it even better! I think that part of this is due to the fact that the poem is very descriptive and easy to illustrate, there isn’t really anything abstract to deal with. However, I thought that the animation of “Forgetfulness” took away from the poem a little bit. When I read the poem, I thought it was really upbeat and funny. The animation was still neat to look at, but that combined with the serious tone the reader used just took all of the humor out of it for me. ┬áThat being said, I loved the overall effect that the animation had on the impact of the poems, and I think this idea might be fun to explore as a future project.


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