"...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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Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Sleep, to whom Keats partly owes his "worthy rhymes," has long been kin to poetry. Saint-Pol Roux affixing a sign that reads "poet at work" to his bedchamber is the most playful example of this alliance. Both sleep and poetry open a passage to the unconscious, one by nature, the other by artifice. Both create memories of astonishing wakefulness, one through dream, the other through imagination. It is almost impossible to reproduce or transmit such experiences by other means."

by Jennifer Moxley
from Chicago Review, Spring 2010

(once again i am lifting from Silliman's blog - and from Pierre Joris, who also linked to this piece)


  1. I think of poetry as dreaming on paper. I also love the statement by a young Moroccan poet to Stefania Pandolfo that "all poetry is the result of flooding." I retell the story of the dream of a flood that turned a gun-happy tribal shaikh into the foremost poet in a rural Moroccan community that reveres poets here: http://mossdreams.blogspot.com/2009/03/poetry-comes-from-flooding_23.html

  2. Ah! Robert! — "Impasse of the Angels" has been one of the most essential books for me ever since it came out.