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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"In Extremis" from THE THRONE OF PSYCHE: the Digby video

A reminder:
I am reading from The Throne of Psyche--

7 p.m. May 26, Thursday
The Green Toad Bookstore
198 Main, Oneonta NY

This does have something to do with the poem...
Well, it's another wacky morning at the Miller-Youmans residence. Already racked up seventy facebook suggestions--they're zooming up fast, all witty or silly or now-and-then helpful--on how to get the teeny forest mice (mountain mice from Cullowhee) out of my Toyota Corolla. Yes, you people think this is funny, don't you! I parked in my mother's garage while I was in Wales, and she had a Subaru with filters full of soon-to-be-expensive mouse nests about the same time, alas. Many colorful and occasionally sensible suggestions: mothballs, mint, sonic devices, cats, more cats, new car, sticky traps, vacuuming, etc. I can say that neither traps nor Bounce dryer sheets work!

I am pleased to announce that the wonderful Paul Digby has made another movie for The Throne of Psyche. Here is "In Extremis": I love the way Paul just takes a recording of a poem and runs with it, dreaming his own version of my dream. In fact, I love the whole laziness of the thing for me: I toss him a poem, and poof! there's a movie. Not quite that fast, though... I really like the soundtrack here, and the way he used the fan and the Bible, ruffling slightly as though breathing.

Here's the youtube description of the poem:  "This poem is about a visionary experience that flooded in during a harrowing passage in my life. The timing was a bit difficult; I had given birth to a third child and then immediately moved to South Carolina. Not long after we arrived, our eldest, a little boy of 8, was struck with meningitis. The short blank verse poem begins at a point where he had been immobile for a week: still and unresponsive, and was about to be moved from St. Francis Children's Hospital to a larger hospital with an Infectious Diseases specialist. Soundtrack and film by the ever-generous Paul Digby."

Copies of The Throne of Psyche are available in hardcover or paperback from your local independent bookstore or by order from Mercer University Press, or by Barnes and Noble and Amazon and all the usual suspects.

That picture above was Benjamin, the little boy
in the poem, before his senior prom. Here he is
on stage in a Chekov play at college, 2011.


  1. So this is the lad!
    While working with this poem I wondered many times, Marly.
    Such a personal poem this. I barely knew where to start with it because you described in magical words the indescribable, somehow. Oh... but I love this poem so and had to have a go!

    (The captcha I have just been offered is 'subpar'. HAHA! The movie degraded as I worked through it, so the quality of image is reduced enormously. I really must get into that new movie editing program now!)

  2. Paul,

    Just watched.

    I actually thought that some of the artifacts in the video were put in on purpose. I actually thinks it helps. Like this one a lot!

    Serendipity is great in art. Ummm... I MEANT to put that mistake there! :-)



  3. Paul,

    There he is, a rising senior and history major, as alive as alive is!

    I look forward to your fancy new editing program, but I quite like this...

    And Gary is right, you were very careful about what is in the frame. Like the way so many are subtle... the barely-seen bunny ears, for example. And I do really like the way that there is a kind of utter stillness, and yet there is movement and breath pushing in from the fan, from the book.

  4. P. S. to Paul

    Your Facebook page is such a maniacal riot! I can't believe there wet trousers and Lego historical re-creations and slapfests and so on all jumped into the thread on the movie--high and low all tossing about.

    Come to think of it, I can believe it. My thread is much more Southern ladydom, though I am pleased at the confessions of tears. Yes, let them cry!

  5. They're a rum lot, Marly - but I think they know how to doff their hats to the more elegant where appropriate.
    HOW they know how to do that is a mystery, but they do.
    Gary- thank you! I shall take your hint and run with it. All the artifacts were intended.
    I really like that! : D

  6. Yes, even the time on the clock...

    Rebecca told me this one is her favorite.

    Your gang is a great deal of fun, Paul!

  7. Marly,
    Ben is a lovely boy, very handsome, and quite perfect for Chekhov, I think.
    I like this little film very much, whatever your protestations of bad quality effects. I think they fit quite perfectly.

  8. Robbi,

    Just back from track meet and dinner-on-the-way-home with my youngest... and glad that you find the eldest satisfactory! Thanks.

    Paul has a brand new extravagent editing thing (I know not what--software or hardware or both) that he is eager to try.

  9. such a beautiful boy.

  10. Thank you, zephyr... I'm glad he stayed.

  11. A moving poem and film and a beautiful boy!

  12. Hello there, marja-leena, and thanks! I am pleased that you like the poem...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.