HBO 5 Latin Video Poems

HBO recently ran a series of five Latin video poems, featuring the work of poets Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Vinicius de Moraes, Andres Eloy Blanco. The Spanish and Portuguese language video poems were aired on HBO and Cinemax channels Latin America, in the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. Tales of children playing in South America’s natural environments were used to remind the Latin audience of the great inner force that poetry can be. The goal was not to recreate what the poems said, but to interpret the poetry through the eyes of children.

Girl with orange in HBO Libro de las Preguntas

Chile poet Pablo Neruda, also known as Neftalí Ricardo Reyes, received the Nobel Literature prize in 1971. His poem, “El Libro de las Preguntas” (The Book of Questions) has several references to oranges. Click on the image below to play the video.

Andrés Eloy Blanco (Venezuela) wrote about what happens when you have a child in “Los Hijos Infinitos” (Infinite Children). Click on the image below to play the video.

Cuando se tiene un hijo,
se tiene al hijo de la casa y al de la calle entera,
se tiene al que cabalga en el cuadril de la mendiga,
y al del coche que empuja la institutriz inglesa,
y al niño gringo que carga la criolla.
y al niño blanco que carga la negra,
y al niño indio que carga la india,
y al niño negro que carga la tierra.

“Los niños aprenden de lo qui viven”, (Children learn what they live), is a well known reflection (author unknown) on how children pick up their values from what they see. Click on the image below to play the video.

Los Niños Aprenden lo que Viven
Si un niño vive criticado,aprende a condenar.
Si un niño vive en un ambiente hostil,aprende a pelear.
Si un niño vive ridiculizado,aprende a ser tímido.
Si un niño vive avergonzado,aprende a sentirse culpable.
Si un niño vive con tolerancia,aprende a ser paciente.

Vinicius de Moraes (Brazil) wrote the Portuguese Christmas poem, “Poema de Natale”. Click on the image below to play the video.

Para isso fomos feitos:
Para lembrar e ser lembrados
Para chorar e fazer chorar
Para enterrar os nossos mortos —
Por isso temos braços longos para os adeuses
Mãos para colher o que foi dado
Dedos para cavar a terra.

Octavio Paz (Mexico) “Niña” (Girl) Click on the image below to play the video.

Nombras el árbol, niña.
Y el árbol crece, lento,
alto deslumbramiento,
hasta volvernos verde la mirada.


The Cinco Video-Poemas series was developed at Angostura Films, Caracas, by creative director/copywriter Romulo Guardia, creative director Gustavo Grossman, copywriter Jorge Olavarría, copywriter/director Romulo Guardia, executive producer Carlos Guardia, director of photography Raoul Held, art director Magally Meda, production coordiantor Veronica Hernández.

Post production was done at Angostura Post EFX, Caracas, by post director Vicente Mejias, VFX supervisor Luis Artigas, colorist Ricardo Ricardo. Sound was by Amaury Cedeño, Alan Gonzalez AGP. Music was composed by Oswaldo Suels and recorded at Telearte, RCTV, Caracas.

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