BWEJ Poetry Frames
Welcome to our Poetry Frames website! I am Brian W.E. Johnson; BWEJ. I live on Vancouver Island on the West Coast of Canada.
We have been reading English literature, mainly Shakespeare and James Joyce, for more than a decade. In 2019 we began to produce digital “poetry frames”; a combination of close scrolling, MP4 video, and recorded audio. We were pleased that these digital frames were very well received, and there seemed to be a genuine interest and appreciation in this type of digital format. This website has been developed to showcase some of our favourite poetry frames.
These are unusual times, complicated by massive global over-population, climate change, and, in addition, a global pandemic resulting in millions of deaths due to the COVID infection. Attempting to navigate these hazards is fraught with difficulty because they are occurring simultaneously…every way you turn may lead to complications. And all of this is compounded and made worse by Ignorance and division.
Poetry is in no way a solution to these problems. However, some of these poetry moments are a reflection of a different time and place, and these moments offer a window into a separate reality. As such, the poems, by recreating these often distant moments in time, offer a change of perspective, and this may provide some escape and relief during these trying, (and possibly overwhelming) external circumstances. Like a trace vitamin, absorbing one or two of these poems each day will provide some “essential perspective” that may soften these rather hard times.
I acknowledge and support Wikipedia; I have used Wikipedia as my source for all linked information on this website.
I have posted selections in four categories; “James Joyce”, “Gitanjali”, “William Blake”, and “Miscellaneous Readings”. To access these categories Click on one of the four associated images below:
Click on the image above to access works related to James Joyce.
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernistavant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer‘s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, his published letters and occasional journalism.
Most of the works highlighted here are related to Finnegans Wake and a selection of early poems, including a 12 poem sequence from “Pomes Penyeach”. These are beautiful poems with my humble readings elevated and given carriage by the brilliance of James Joyce, articulated and brought forward by the art and hand of Robert Amos.
Click on the image above to access the Gitanjali readings. Written by Tagore in the early part of the last century; Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. The readings are accompanied with works by artist Henri van Bentum from his “Organiverse” set of 100 paintings in pointillism.
One advantage of this Poetry Frame format is that the close scrolling delivers a beautiful rolling image of Blake’s painting (s) “up close” and slow enough to allow a luxurious viewing of these fabulous works. An opportunity for art appreciation! We have posted William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence“ and “Songs of Experience”, two of his most accessible and popular works.
William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northropo Frye to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC‘s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
Click on the image above to access Miscellaneous Readings!