"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Further Notes on Turkish Poetry

In an earlier post (here) I mentioned Murat Nemet-Nejat’s 2004 volume Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry (Talisman, 2004).

There is an interview with Nemet-Nejat in Jacket 37:

EDA, Turkish Poetry, and the Vicissitudes of Translation

Among other items of considerable interest, we find this:

"My relation to [Jack] Spicer is not that of influence — only rarely did I take something directly from him — but of belonging to the same poetic river, sharing a correspondence, a commonality of purpose. I regard Spicer as the creator of Gnostic poetry and poetics in American literature in the 20th century. I think his calls to Mars or for a language against the grain are attempts to evoke a suppressed, forbidden language. Until the 15th century, Byzantium was the center of Gnostic practice. My EDA of “godless Sufism” is an Eastern version of the same heretical sensibility. The progress of the Turkish poetry in the EDA anthology involves an explosion of suppressed voices, those of gays, of women, of social and ethnic outcasts."

Spicer, a close friend of Robert Duncan & Robin Blaser, has left a body of work recently published as My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer.

Also see Turkish Poetry in Translation.

Calligraphy: Mehmet Sefik Bey. Piece of a poem, arranged in the form of a flower.

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