Exploring the Mind—part 2: The
I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
discussion of the mind focused
on the types of “minds” needed for success
in today’s world and in the future. This month
we explore the “mind” needed for joy and
celebration — the poetic mind. This is a primitive
mind, but a mind flying from the human soul more than
ever in today’s techno world. Like graffiti on
an urban wall it is a call for identity, a call for
love and often a shout of indignation. It seeks connection;
it is designed to be a group experience as well as
a personal one.
The poetic mind is perhaps the
first mind developed purely for spiritual survival.
When stomachs were filled from the hunt or baskets
filled for a new day, songs of thanksgiving or stories
for entertainment and group identity were sung. The
purpose of song is to imbue meaning with music, to
unify emotions, to overcome fear, to be transported
beyond the here and now. Primitive poems were societal
songs. Today’s poems are
in a more individual voice but still affirm a person’s
sense of self in relation to the whole.
Poetry is the messenger of the
universal, using a language of empathy, of symbol,
of image, of sound. The poet is the sense organ of
humanity and nature calling the listener to observe—to
be awake and to live life. The poem is a call to
unity, at least unity with the poet if not with something
greater. The poet beckons in verse to enter his or
her mind to see, smell, taste, and feel with the
same acuteness of spirit.
What is left out of the poem
is also important. The poet wants its readers to
put themselves into the experience of the poem. Symbols
and images evoke the mind that touches the abstract,
the place wherein resides meaning beyond the material
world — formless, spiritual, personal.
Poetry is the bridge between emotion and intuition;
that space where knowledge is achieved without reasoning.
Many people write a first poem
when an experience akin to a first love makes them
feel that they have to describe the indescribable.
It matures from there as an individual begins to
seek self-expression as a tool of transformation
and deals with the contrasts of life that produce
the conflicts forcing change, growth and realization.
Other poems are purely the aesthetic desire to share
beauty. Like pure music or painting, they say, “listen,
Richard V. Sidy