Why is poetry important, even essential, for us now ? And what part does it have to play in the wider culture of our time ?
Answering this question is what has given rise to this anthology at this time.
Poetry has always held both the stories and the consciousness of the tribe, reaching deep into what we know as the Oral Tradition—and as Julian Jaynes suggests in his extraordinary book The Origins of the Bicameral Mind about language and prophecy, for longer than prose. Poetry and music both speak to the same part of the brain, which actually (as recent neuroscientific research has indicated) is a different part of the brain that prose speaks to. It is the lyrical, of course, and also the imaginal. It is the imagination, which gives rises to vision, which is central and a stake here. As the saying goes-
‘Without a vision, the people perish’
May you find its secret song, its light and fire, in these pages. Fulcrum of diamond, balancing between each thing and thing, space each thing must evince, we cannot track you, but infer you, since you are the means by which all things are seen, pouring now, overbrimming, into this measuring this, this, on your weightlessness.
Andrew Harvey has written and edited over 30 books. Among Andrew’s most well-known titles are: The Way of Passion, The Celebration of Rumi, andPerfume of the Desert. Andrew has taught at Oxford University, Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, The California Institute of Integral Studies, and the University of Creation Spirituality as well as the at various spiritual centers throughout the United States. Andrew is Founder Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective, and practical agents of institutional and systemic change.
Jay Ramsay is the author of 35 books of poetry, non-fiction, and classic Chinese translation including Alchemy, Crucible of Love–the alchemy of passionate relationships, Tao Te Ching, I Ching—the shamanic oracle of change, The Poet in You (his correspondence course, since 1990), Kingdom of the Edge—Selected Poems 1980-1998, Out of Time—1998-2008. His latest collections are Monuments (Waterloo Press, 2014), and the Shu Jing—the Book of Historyfrom Penguin Classics (2014). He is also poetry editor of Caduceus magazine, and works in private practice as a UKCP accredited psychosynthesis psychotherapist and healer.