Acquainted with the Night. Psychoanalysis and the Poetic by Hamish Canham, Carole Satyamurti

By Hamish Canham, Carole Satyamurti

A part of the Tavistock sanatorium sequence. This publication explores a number of the ways that an figuring out of poetry, and the poetic impulse, may be fruitfully proficient through psychoanalytic principles. it may be argued that there's a specific affinity among poetry and psychoanalysis, in that either pay shut realization to the correct meanings of linguistic expression, and either, notwithstanding in numerous methods, are centrally fascinated by subconscious strategies. The participants to this quantity, the vast majority of them clinicians with a robust curiosity in literature, discover this connection in various methods, targeting the paintings of specific poets, from the prophet Ezekiel to Seamus Heaney.

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237-243] Such a relationship could be described as providing the prototype, or model, for the creation of emotional meaning. To the basic developmental axes of love and hate (L and H), Bion added “K”, signifying what he regarded as the inherent need, or desire, for the kind of knowledge which links feeling with thinking and brings together experience of the internal and external worlds. Carole Satyamurti’s poem, “Passed On” (1998), both in content and in form, describes the process of the formation of a container of meaning a bit later on in life, while also, in itself, as in “Between the Lines”, providing one.

Echoing Coleridge (“the chameleon darkens in the shade of him who bends over to ascertain its colours” [1839, p. 80]), Bion was quite clear that the thing itself is altered by being observed, and particularly by being articulated. The constraining and camouflaging function of words, how they can reduce rather than enhance experience, is beautifully caught in two short, contemporary poems which, with extraordinary simplicity and clarity, evoke, respectively, a child and a young girl’s sense of words being substituted for the immediacy of passionate involvement (limiting or foreclosing development), and of words being used to dissimulate, and so to confuse, mystify, and distort (also limiting and foreclosing development).

Eliot. Throughout his life, and perhaps more than most psychoanalysts, or at least more explicitly than most, Bion struggled to find language for his clinical insights; some way of conveying the immediacy of experience without reducing its impact and significance and without de-limiting the relationship and shared perceptions which were precariously in the process of becoming. He, like many others, was acutely aware that words, indeed, “are not bottles”, that words belong in the particularities of the analytic relationship, itself highly structured by the setting.

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