Chapter 14 – Poetry

Great art can communicate
before it is understood.
— T.S. Eliot

Introduction

What is the relationship between poetry and Simple Reality? Both depend on unconventional insights, that is to say, seeing the uncommon in an uncommon way and expressing it in an uncommon not a prosaic way. “It is a way of looking at things, a desire to compress thoughts and feelings into images, a certain kind of insight.” So you see the two, poetry and Simple Reality, seek to transcend the common, the ordinary, the illusion of P-B.

Poetry, like the truth of Oneness, is not friendly to the intellect of the animal that reasons. “The factual and the scientific are, as we would expect, not the common ground of poetic material.” Like Simple Reality, understanding poetry requires a paradigm shift, entering into another and less familiar context. “The English critic A. Alvarez says that any careful reader could tell what Hart Crane’s poem “Voyages: II” is about—love, death, desire, the sea—but no one could give a logical prose paraphrase.”

Like poetry, entering the present moment is understood at the level of “feelings” or “heartfelt” images rather than intellectual understanding. “An image takes the place of pages and pages of explanation. When the image works, you are in the presence of the miracle of poetic language.” If we can let go of the need to make sense of our prosaic lives, then infinite possibilities present themselves in the process of awakening to the beauty that surrounds us.

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Poetry – Table of Contents

Introduction

 

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References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

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