Hillman, poetry man

Hello, let me turn up the heat and stir the pot.


I am going to post a link to a youtube video of  Phoebe Snow singing Poetry Man and I want to dedicate it to the memory-imagination of James Hillman.  Hillman turned me on to poetry and the power of language and metaphor.  After he died I remember listening to that song and it was painful.  I say that because I notice it is not as painful now, you know that raw feeling.  I mostly knew Hillman through his writing but just knowing there was someone like him in the world made it easier to be in the world.




Charlotte Knoflicek



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  • ...and how big is the set of the stuff? On Amazon "poetry books" yields 585,476 results, 431,742 results after I filter for English.

    That excludes journals, magazines, everyone not lucky enough to get published, and anything Amazon doesn't consider "poetry." If Jeff Bezos is calling the shots on what "poetry" is, is that cool?

    Yes I'm being nit picky. ;)
  • How would I know whether I have soul imaginal awareness?"
    • If I don't see "soul imaginal awareness" around me is it because there is none or I lack it?
  • Was never on that board. But would like to be. I often feel starved for community (vessel) to share these interests. 
    I am film maker and although I have been studying spirituality and mysticism for 30 years...and soul for maybe 10... this is just getting to the point of being like a door opening.
    my study is layered on my art and so I think about all this for my own soul making but also for how it would apply to an audience in a film. 

  • Thanks Charlotte. 

    It occurred to me that if you want to help a general audience reclaim soul that 
    we would need to understand poetic language. 
    Most westerns no longer do. Soul is communicated about academically, and in 

    dreams, and in poetry... all languages most people do not speak any more. 
    So again it occurred to me that if I want to learn about soul and reclaiming

    the imaginal that I will need to lean about poetry and also learn about it in a way

    that I can communicate about what it is to most people who do not get it.
    So I am currently studying poetry and reading 
    which is written specifically with Hillman's approach in mind and I am learning a lot. 
    I highly recommend it. :)

    Could you provide any specific references to where Hillman gave you material 

    that really communicated to you about poetry and turned you on to it?
    Cheers. :)

    • How do you mean "learn" about poetry?
    • oh that's an on the spot question.

      Basically: Go from being the kind of person who picks up most poetry and stares at it baffled not feeling any connection or understanding to 90% of the stuff ... 
      and finding a way to going to being a person who can get a feeling or understanding from at least 50% of the stuff. 
      That would suffice. 

      Maybe if you already "get" poetry this might seem weird ... but since most people don't, believe me it isn't weird at all. And it speaks to the mass loss of soul imaginal awareness in western culture since it was wiped out by the time of the reformation. :)

  • here is a poem of mine from a chapbook - take this medicine twice a day

    poems from Embodied Imagination dreams

    a new world

    in the park with a white wolfy dog

    I see horses walking along a path ahead.

    they’re white with rainbow colors,

    merry-go-round horses.

    as they walk along the path I feel a nausea in their belly, a heaviness,

    like when you’re little

    spinning and twirling on the front lawn and then stopping, wavering, settling.

    they have been on a merry-go-round!

    seeing the same scene for god knows how long.

    they stop, and turn.

    I turn.

    the white dog is buried halfway inside a horses ass.

    now it’s on the ground, released from the tight sphincter holding on at it’s diaphragm

    slight panting, with a happy dog smile

    and a touch of crimson in the middle of it’s white furred back.


    • The Wit

      "Wait. Let me think a minute," you said.
      And in the minute we saw
      Eve and Newton with an apple apiece,
      and Moses with the Law,
      Socrates, who scratched his curly head,
      and many more from Greece,
      all coming hurrying up to now,
      bid by your crinkled brow.

      But then you made a brilliant pun.
      We gave a thunderclap of laughter.
      Flustered, your helpers vanished one by one;
      and through the conversational spaces, after,
      we caught,—back, back, far, far,—
      the glinting birthday of a fractious star.

      --Elizabeth Bishop

  • For no particular reason. :)

    Ars Poetica

    It happens as we set down one story
    and take up another. We see it--the car,

    the skid, the panic, the woman's body, a stain
    on snow like blood in a dancer's shoe.

    People bend over, afraid to touch her
    in case she might rise, a bird startled to find

    there wasn't more light on the other side
    of the window. The body in so much pain

    the soul can no longer keep it. This is how
    it happens--something in the earth awakens

    and summons us. You feel fingers on your neck
    and say, Take me to the snow, and it takes you.

    -- Traci Brimhall
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