I think the goal of poetry is to evoke a common experience among readers. I think that the power of the written words when used for the purposes of arresting the body, mind, is to alter our consciousness. Poetic rapture is really more like a trance. It’s a place you go, it’s a hypnotic state, it’s a fusion of cognition and dream and the poetic trance is very interesting to me. It’s not just when we read poetry, it’s also when we get caught up in a beautiful song. When we lose ourselves in a movie or when we find ourselves tumbling down the rabbit hole in some kind of mediated environment and all of a sudden, we experience what in VR terms is called ‘presence’. It’s that sense of immersion, that sense of moving into a different world, a threshold state, the word for threshold is actually liminality.
We go into this luminal trance, a mythopoetic, which blends the terms mythology and poetry to this idea of a mythopoetic state. A missile poetic place in the mind, a mythopoetic perception that makes you be here. It makes you be now but it actually also curls or rather like impregnates the now with a cosmic wink and during those moments of poetic rhapsody, wherever we are and whatever you’re doing, becomes re-enchanted. If the aesthetics, the mood you enter into, radiance you walk into, the light and I think these mystical states are the ones that shamans and wise men and spiritualists have been talking about since the beginning of time.
I think even the origins of the world’s religions lie in these mythopoetic trances that were catalyzed, that were staged either by psychotropic or by painting in the caves or by dancing around the fire. We had early psychoactive technologies to alter our perceptions and enter into radiance and during radiance, during these immersive mythopoetic trance states, during the poetic trance, we become like William Blake. We see the world in a grain of sand. We see heaven in a wild flower. We hold infinity in the palms of our hands and we hold eternity in an hour.
We go outside ourselves and beyond ourselves to connect with something greater than ourselves and again, that’s the common experience that poetry seeks to evoke. Because, it’s connected to what can be born in the human heart. It’s sort of the deeper picture of what we think we are and why we’re here and what we’re here to do. The poetic trance is a glimpse of what lies just beyond the ordinary and every day and I think, therein, lies the answer to the mystery of being and I think that’s why we keep going back there into these blissful mind-body states of ecstasy of the poetic trance.