Principles of Poetry

Right now I’m working on something about my experience with poetry and Jung’s ideas on active imagination, a creative way of building a bridge between conscious and unconscious.  Can’t talk much about it now, but it’ll be published by the 1st Nov (or it should be, lol), but I thought I’d share these “principles of poetry” , which I wrote a few years ago, early on in my poetic days. Further down are four principles written by Jung about the relationship between conscious and unconscious.

–          Poetry is created by the formless ore of Universal Inspiration, which is filtered and forged through Personal Experience.

–          Inspired poetry is an organic product that is made intuitively, instinctively and spontaneously, so the most inspired poetry cannot be forced nor rationalized.

–          It doesn’t matter whether a poem is good or bad; as long as it’s expressed that’s enough to make it good.

–          Because part of poetry is from Personal Experience it remains to some degree a subjective experience. Therefore let each person find their own interpretations.

–          There are traditions and practices that help inspire and structure poetry in different ways. Whilst these are not essential to write good poetry they do exist as powerful tools to enhance the poetic experience.

–          Being a poet is not about being able to write poetry all the time. It’s about accepting that inspiration is irregular.

(1)    Consciousness possesses a threshold intensity which its contents must have attained, so that all elements that are too weak remain in the unconscious.

(2)    Consciousness, because of its directed function, exercises an inhibition (which Freud calls censorship) on all incompatible material, with the result that it sinks into the unconscious.

(3)    Consciousness constitutes the momentary process of adaption, whereas the unconscious contains not only the forgotten material of the individual’s own past, but all the inherited behaviour traces constituting the structure of the mind.

(4)    The unconscious contains all the fantasy combinations which have not yet attained the threshold intensity, but which in the course of time and under suitable conditions will enter the light of consciousness.

C.G. Jung, The transcendent function

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