By Gil Dekel.
Freud acknowledged that poets have explored the unconscious much before he himself developed it into his psychological theories (Jay, 1984: 23). Visionary poets such as Blake and William Wordsworth suggested the psychoanalytic process much before Freud himself practised it (see also Shengold, 2004: 28). In my research I propose to direct this psychoanalytic inquiry, which I suggest to term ‘Psychopoetry’, towards making explicit and visualising the creative process that visionary poets undergo before they put words down to paper.
‘Visionary poetry’ is defined as a form of poetry written as a result of experiences that provide a strong sense of the beauty of life (Raine, 1975: 36-37). Within those experiences, I am interested in the process of poetic inspiration, and less in the ‘final product’, the poem itself. The process of inspiration is visualised, turned inside out in my research – visible for all to see.
Drawing on my own experiences as a researcher and a poet/filmmaker, I create films, poetry, installations, performances and graphic designs that act as case study, combining a ‘diary’ form of documentation of experiences with critical analysis. Observing every step of the poetic experience through means of technology (creating stills and moving images) allows me to distance myself and enable as objective an analysis as possible. In doing so I invite others to be critical of the creative self and to be conscious and active participants in the process.
The academic literature tends to discuss poetry to its final form while disregarding the process, thus methods of poetic experiences are not shared and not developed. In my ongoing interviews with poets I observe that poets often argue that they flow within a creative power which is ‘larger’ than themselves, but cannot critically reflect on it and share it with others.
This article deals with three elements of the process of poetrymaking: Word, Image and Channeling. These elements are exemplified with short films.
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3 August 2010. Gil Dekel.