Forgetfulness, by Billy Collins

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Poetry meets animation…

Forgetfulness is a poem by the former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and is featured in AVA’s Animation title, Re-Imagining Animation, as part of a discussion about some of the similarities between poetry and animation. An animated film of the poem was commissioned by the advertising agency, J Walter Thompson, on behalf of the Sundance Channel for its Action Poetry Series. Here you can see the animated film, created by Julian Grey of Head Gear Animation. The poem is read by the author, and his voice and tone remind me of Kevin Spacey’s voiceover at the beginning of American Beauty. I love the video and it’s 1 of 11 in the award-winning Action Poetry Series – see the rest here. Grey made 3 of the titles and says he wanted the imagery to be “at once mundane, beautiful and whimsical.” Enjoy!


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay…(read the rest here)

Re-imagining Animation SP

Re-imagining Animation SP2

Re-Imagining Animation: The Changing Face of the Moving Image by Paul Wells and Johnny Hardstaff