GV6 THE ODYSSEY-
Poets, Passion and Poetry
A Bob Bryan Film
Bryan World Productions, LLC
P.O. Box 74033, Los Angles, CA 90004
A Review by David Fraser
Bob Bryan’s documentary
film, GV6 THE
ODYSSEY – Poets, Passion and Poetry is a monumental achievement.
Thirty-one contemporary American poets candidly open their souls with their
comments and the sharing of their work. Bob Bryan takes the material filmed
with each poet and creatively edits the footage into a cohesive presentation
interspersed with text, graphics and visual images to produce a stunning
film depicting the universality of poetry, full of messages that can be
applied to any form of creative endeavor.
Poets such as Wanda
Coleman, Kamau Daaood, Brendan
Constantine, Victoria Chang,
Steve Goldman, Chungmi
Kim, FrancEye, Lynne
Thompson and all the rest explore what poetry is about, the relationship
between the writer and the reader/listener, taboos and fears, the power
of poetry, and the relationship with truth and self-discovery. In the process
they reveal their personalities, expose their struggles, give us their
poetic voice and show us how their ideas evolve and how others can learn
to write poetry. There is an openness that is full of eclectic ideas that
never even closely approaches the pedantic. Bob Bryan clearly manipulates
the infrastructure in his editing process but this does not detract from
the cohesive messages that are both bombarding and calming. Opposite feelings
and ideas are expressed by the various poets and these ideas are often
juxtaposed to produce an enlightening, revealing sense of what poetry is,
what passions are involved and how poetry is created. The messages are
so real and down to earth that they appeal to everyone; established, emerging,
or beginning poets and to students who are still hesitant to wade into
The poets in various
comments and readings show what poetry is about and their passion for the
spoken word and in the process, they expose their raw feelings. Some talk
of the searching for self, of being honest, of writing as a form of therapy.
One poet (Wanda
Coleman) says “I am in constant dialogue with myself” and explains
how poems emerge. Jennifer Tseng speaks
about getting creations out of herself as if she is getting rid of toxins.
When asked about taboos many felt that the writer is obligated to write
about them (Shahe Mankerian).
Others talked about suffering and traumas, and phantoms (Chungmi
Kim), while others spoke of being sometimes too afraid of making wrong
moves even though they know it is important to let go and be more fearless
In the process of
the film the audience is brought toward an understanding of the process
as each poet opens up bits of him or herself in genuine and truthful ways.
We get ideas about what poetry is – “poetry is a second use of language”,
“it translates the velocity of expression to the stillness of art”
Constantine), “poetry is hell, a kick in the gut, an emotional
reaction” (Dr. Thea Iberall)
, “interaction, dance, song, meaning and sound and sometimes a tightened
ball of reality" (Marcielle
Brandler), and “a process of reshaping a feeling’.
Through each poet’s
passion we see the power of poetry to “lift the spirit, address the
agonies of life, and to bring us together to make sense of this life” (Rod
Bradley) . The writers reminisce about their youth and how they
came to poetry. Parts of the film focus on bringing poetry into the classroom
and how students need to write about things for which they have passion
(Johnny Masuda). There is
a sense of the sacred here where the students are not taught poetry but
are a part of a genuine process that evokes poetry and helps them to hear
language, and see images and emotions as raw material for making poetry.
The poets speak of helping themselves and others to look inward and outward
and to try to see how these two connect (Kamau
Daaood). Advice is given to find your voice, to write and write until
you find your voice, in the process of reviewing everyday life and getting
it all out (Johnny Masuda)!
We are reminded to be courageous when we write even though the open truthfulness
involves some fear and discomfort.
The ideas are a buffet
from which we can all feast. Some feel poetry is born within them; others
feel we can all learn to write poetry; most however see the teaching of
poetry more as a process of guiding, of standing at the crossroads and
pointing the way (Nika Hoffman).
In terms of where ideas come from, some allude to the imagery of dreams
others prefer the muses and acknowledge the need to stay in touch and not
neglect them, one poet (Catherine
Daly) doesn’t believe in gods or muses and knows the treads come from
within, another feels a big silence that comes from different places, places
of joy and places of turmoil. Kamau
Daaood in his deep baritone saxophone voice says, “it comes like
water; it just flows as if you are channeling the stuff”.
The film is a great
accomplishment that is deeply, insightful, entertaining and functionally
practical for anyone interested in any creative art form, and especially
poetry. Doors are opened through the raw honesty of the responses. Veils
of mystery are peeled way exposing the human condition and the efforts
and struggles to make sense of the life around us. Poets, writers, artists,
teachers, and students will find this film a must-see experience. You will
return to it time and again for inspiration, motivation and entertainment.
Ascent Aspirations Publishing
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