organic fact

ego — fiction — fact
— who can fathom the divine
interplay of these
co-ordinates? — blindly, we
embody all three at once

I dreamed last night of the poet Robert Graves. He was saying that nobody has ever properly analysed the statement: ‘Fiction has the power to alter fact’. The exact wording of the statement was actually rather vague, but that was the gist. Last Christmas I asked my mother to give me Clive James’ translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy as a xmas gift. I did read the first section — the Inferno — but it was a struggle and I have now officially given up the ambition to read the rest of it. I’m positive if I could read it in the original Italian I would adore it. This Christmas she is giving me Yuval Noah Harari’s SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND. Harari’s idea is that what distinguishes humans from animals is the ability to co-operate based on collective belief in a story. It’s astonishing how consistently and frequently this notion — this vision — of Harari’s keeps coming back to me in the process of blogging my dreams every morning. Hopefully the book won’t disappoint. Below is an extract from the Foreword to Robert Graves’ Poems 1970-72. When I first came across this paragraph in 1982, it was a revelation, and has stayed with me ever since:

Little need be added to my Foreword in the Green Sailed Vessel. I wrote there that, now well into my seventy-sixth year, I had been increasingly concerned with hidden powers of poetic thought, which raise and solve problems of advanced mathematics and physics. The word “poetry” meant in Greek the “act of making” — a sense that has survived in the old Scottish word for poet, namely “Maker”….The poetic power to make things happen, as understood for instance by the early mediaeval Irish master-poets, and by their Middle Eastern sufic contemporaries, raises simple love alliances to a point where physical absence supplies living presence. These experiences occur not only in the fourth dimension, where prison walls are easily cheated…..but in the fifth, where time proves as manipulable as is vertical or lateral space in the usual third dimension, and where seemingly impossible coincidences and so-called ‘Acts of God’ occur almost as a matter of course. In poetry, the fifth dimensional co-identification of lovers is truth rather than idealistic fancy….

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