I have always had an interest in
psychology, in particular, psychoanalysis. I've been reading many case
studies from actual sessions, some famous, some not so famous, and have
been composing poems based on those or taking on the form of the case
study. These poems are what I imagine as notes of psychoanalysts, but
not limited to the therapist only. Aphorisms of the mad I'd like to
think, each line its own little poem/story.
Carl Jung said that a symbol "has a wider 'unconscious' aspect that is
never precisely defined or fully explained. Nor can one hope to define
or explain it. As the mind explores the symbol, it is led to ideas that
lie beyond the grasp of reason." Do you think of these lines, or these
poems, as symbolic in this way?
I do think it is interesting to think of the lines as "symbols,"
and the symbol in psychoanalytic terms is, of course, more interesting
than the standard question of what lies between the symbol and what's
symbolized. Freud defines it, basically, as an association with
unconscious desire/fear. Moreover, there eventually becomes an
inherent disjunct between the symbol and the emotion/idea it elicits.
Meaning, we begin to react to the symbol, forgetting the origin of our
association to it. I would argue that all poetry operates in this
way. In terms of the lines in my poems here, I'd like to think
they operate along those lines as well. I love Ernest Jones'
definition of the symbol: "Only that which is repressed is symbolized
and only that which is repressed requires symbolization." Needless to say, I repress much.