World Poetry Day 2021 – inVERSE Poetry Reimagined

World Poetry Day 2021 – inVERSE Poetry Reimagined

Today on the blog we are celebrating World Poetry Day 2021 by sharing with you some short films from inVERSE poetry reimagined for the 21st century.

world poetry day inverse logo

inVERSE is a collection of five of the world’s oldest surviving poems which have been re-imagined for the 21st century through the medium of film, by the award-winning filmmaker Jack Jewers and released for World Poetry Day 2021.

With historical poems ranging from the 1st Century Italy to 1500 BCE Mesopotamia, these five short films explore time and the human condition using the language of the ancients and the modern filmmaking techniques of the 21st century. Each poem chosen for the collection feels like it could have been written yesterday.

The five poems chosen include:

Love Song – An Egyptian love poem written in 1400 BCE reveals a meditation on the meaning of relationship and gender in 2021.

Long Wall – A poem about loss and suffering from the Han Dynasty in China, opens up a conversation about Europe’s refugee crisis.

My Heart – Originating from ancient Mesopotamia, “My Heart Flutters Hastily” is a delightful reminder that those giddy, dizzy feelings you can get when you really like somebody are nothing new.

The Look – A first century poem taken from Ovid’s Ars Amarosa is reimagined as a celebration of inclusivity and tolerance.

The Dawn – The ancient Indian poet Kālidāsa’s Salutation to the Dawn transforms into a rallying cry for a better tomorrow led by young street protestors.

Below you can find a couple of the films to watch.


Love Song

Love’s voice as being like the taste of sweet wine; or wishing they were her very her clothes, so that they could forever be close to her body. It’s passionate, erotic, and quite beautiful.

inVERSE: Love Song from Jack Jewers on Vimeo.

Production Notes: None of the couples you see in the film had met before they came into the studio on the bright, spring day on which it was filmed – with one exception. The older couple are Alfred and Leila Hoffman, who were 92 and 83 at the time of filming, who have been together for over 60 years. The velvet-voiced narration is provided by Adam Roche, host of the Secret History of Hollywood podcast – required listening for all classic movie fans.


The Dawn

Considered the greatest poet of ancient India, Kālidāsa is a founding figure of world literature. And yet, a lot of mystery surrounds Kālidāsa. Some scholars even question whether he was a real person, suggesting instead that his work a kind of collected greatest hits of the ancient Sanskrit world. And perhaps it’s appropriate that such an inspiring poem was written by a semi-mythical figure. It sounds to me like a rallying cry for a better tomorrow. And who better to get that across than young street protestors?

inVERSE: The Dawn from Jack Jewers on Vimeo.

Production Notes: ‘Bullet time’ is an effect that makes objects and people look like they are frozen in thin air. Creating true bullet time requires two things we did not have – time and money. So instead, Jack took a low-fi approach. Aside from a few simple computer-generated touches to enhance the overall effect, everything you see is done for real. The protestors are all professional dancers, who had the strength and balance necessary to be able to keep still for extended periods of time – often in difficult and uncomfortable poses.


You can watch all five poems on the inverse website here: www.inversefilm.uk/the-poems

About Jack Jewers

Jack Jewers

Jack Jewers is a filmmaker and writer. Passionate about telling stories in all media, his body of work crosses film, TV, and digital. His short films and web series have been shown in and out of competition at dozens of film and web festivals, including Cannes, New York, Washington D.C., Marseille, Dublin, and London’s FrightFest.

In 2014 he developed and directed Night School, a web series based on the popular young adult novels of the same name. It quickly grew from a couple of low-budget short films to become one of the highest-profile British web series to date. Jack’s numerous short films as director include the critically-acclaimed Shalom Kabul, a dark comedy based on the true story of the last two Jews of Afghanistan.

Jack has won several accolades for his film work, including an award from the Royal Television Society and a nomination for Best Short Film by BAFTA Wales. He has been invited to speak about his work at several major film and TV industry events, including Series Mania in Paris. Jack has also worked in advertising.

Through his production company, Queen Anne’s Revenge, Jack is currently in development on the fantasy TV series Whatever After, featuring Jessica Brown Findlay. He is also working on a small slate of feature film projects, including a thriller set in the international protest movement, entitled Generation Revolution.

Away from the cinema in all its forms, Jack has a deep interest in literature and history. He writes historical fiction, and is the co-founder of the publishing company Moonflower Books.

He lives near London with his wife, the author Christi Daugherty, a small menagerie of pets, and a friendly ghost. But that’s another story.

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Share your thoughts on ‘World Poetry Day 2021 – inVERSE poetry reimagined’ in the comment section below!


Film Credits
Love Song Poem: The Flower Song Anon. Egypt, c.1400 BCE. (Abridged).
Directed, Produced & Edited by: JACK JEWERS
Director of Photography: TOM BLOUNT
Narrator: ADAM ROCHE
The Lovers: YASMINE ALICE | MARGARET DANE | JOSEPH SIMPSON-BUSHELL | NATASHA GREEN | ALFRED HOFFMAN & LEILA HOFFMAN | ASHLEY ROSE-KAPLAN | MARLON KAMEKA | ANA MCMORROW | TONY RICHARDSON
Colourist: PAUL FALLON
Camera Assistant: EMILY TAIT
Makeup Artist: EMILY COLLINS
Production Assistant: JUSTINE DUHART
Filmed at Mowlam Studios, Bethnal Green, London
©2021 Queen Anne’s Revenge Ltd.

The Dawn Poem: Salutation to the Dawn by Kālidāsa (attributed) – India, c.400 CE
Directed, Produced & Edited by: JACK JEWERS
Director of Photography: TOM BLOUNT
Narrated by EMMA KNIEBE
The Protestors: YASMIN COGAN DE ABREU | CELESTINA BANJO | WILLIAM JOHN BANKS
LEWIS CHANCE | MARIAH LEANNE COLLINS | JUSTINE DUHART | BLANCA NINWEN | JOE PARTRIDGE | JASMINE POOLE
VFX: LUKE RUSHWORTH | BIG YELLOW FEET
Colourist: PAUL FALLON
Makeup Artist: EMILY COLLINS
Camera Assistant: EMILY TAIT
Production Assistant: JUSTINE DUHART
Music: ‘Wake the Stars’ by Philip Guyler Published by Audio Network
©2021 Queen Anne’s Revenge Ltd.

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10 Responses

  1. DJ Sakata says:

    Wow, that was lovely!

  2. Maiyah says:

    Such a lovely post. I’m not a big fan of poetry but always enjoy a poem every now and again

  3. What a timely read! April is national poetry month, at least here in the US.

  4. vidya says:

    Thank you for this Stacey! Given my love for all things verse, I totally enjoyed it and also loved that reference to Kalidasa.
    I am going to check out more about this.

  5. Robin Loves Reading says:

    I appreciate your post but am not a fan of poetry.

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