Poems as Short Films: Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda and More

A few years ago, the geniuses over at Four Seasons Productions began shooting evocative short films set to classic poetry. 21 finished pieces, a long list of festival prizes and a full DVD later, many of their best “poem videos” are now available to watch for free on their YouTube channel.

These short pieces capture the mood, rhythms and meaning of a wide range of poetic voices and styles in imaginative ways. Our favorite is the above interpretation of Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues,” but there are several other exceptional shorts, including “Only Breath” by the great 13th century sufi poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi and “100 Love Sonnets IX” by Pablo Neruda. Note: The Neruda poems are read in the original Spanish.

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.

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