Dreams and Poetry: Making Sense Through Art

While recently researching dreams and how they effect the writing of poetry, I have found a lamentably small amount of material on the subject – in an expostulatory, scholarly sense. Sure, many poets have written about the theme of dreams in general, though only a handful of well-known authors have successfully melded their individual dreams (or nightmares) into various works, John Berryman, Michael Collier, and Lynn Emanuel come to mind as latter-day examples. DeChirico, Chagall, Dali and some of the other Fauvists and Surrealists have expressed it supremely well visually (the visual medium being perhaps far more accommodating to the dreaming artist/interpreter).

You see, I have a Facebook poetry group called “Whambolist Poets of the 21stC,” and for the month of July I have chosen the theme of “Dreams and Their Influence on Writing Poetry,” which has garnered little feedback, surprisingly, though now I see that it is ground that has only been tenuously tilled, if not left to permafrost. My goal regarding this is to break through that layer and probe far deeper into the relationship between dreaming and making poetry and art. Maybe I am being presumptuous in my tacit assessment of this strange-yet-obvious marriage. I am going on Internet research I have done in the last week or so, and have not seen a preponderance of anything academic or authoritative at all on the subject, but please turn me on to germane sources if you can find any links to articles on the subject. as it would be greatly appreciated.

In the meantime, here is a poem I composed just today, representing my attempt to meld dreaming and the composition of poetry in a spirit of dream analysis. Feel free to leave me your constructive or sympathetic feedback:


Through the Chaopticon


The chaos of my brain dreams the wildest things;
It is rare if I can make hide or hair
Of the Vaudevillian panoply in my brain stirring:
The recurring mega-malls and false hometown lairs;
And last night – scavenger-hunt golfing
On an indoor course in hospital-complex,
A struggle with younger brother to share
Time, meaning, life, but thrown from leisurely
Care, to run through future antiseptic corridors
Split apart in some Logan’s Run-Brave New World
Casual nightmare errand-running fugue,
Logic-bare. “We left our clubs against the wall
On the course…we must get back at once lest
Thieves get there” was my cry, but material
Things fell away, and the “course” became
A far greater game than waking life could say.

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