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Video — Falling Lessons: Erasure One, a poem by Beth Copeland


Director Anh Vu, working with the organization Motionpoems, created this video of Beth Copeland’s poem which interweaves images of the natural world with books, papers and other evidence of academia — a combination of her father’s passions, Copeland says.

[Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video and listen to the audio.]

As a contrast to Anh Vu’s film, here’s an audio recording of the poet reading her poem:


And here’s the text:


Falling Lessons: Erasure One

My father steps into a field of lost
sensation, sunflowers, a yellow star.

He lives in the garden without maps.

My father dreams through
what he feels and believes is real.

He loses his memory, his flesh,
his child with seawater eyes.

He forgets the fog.

We forgot to speak and snow was falling
on blue mountains, a vein

of childhood, blood, and sorrow.

I walk into this memory when my thoughts
start falling into a funnel, when I’m failing

to love, falling into a freeze-frame
where time fades like the flurry

of furious wings. I fall.

Copyright 2018 Beth Copeland. The video and audio are included here by permission of PBS. The text of the poem is included by permission of the author.

Beth Copeland’s first book Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her most recent book is Blue Honey published by Broadkill River Press. Copeland teaches at Methodist University in Fayetteville, and she lives in a log cabin with her husband.


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