In my last blog , I wrote,
“The work of a Scientific Conversation, my term for present-day Psychoanalysis, is to take thoughts that are unthinkable and to give them a language. Psychoanalysis does not have exclusive rights to this enterprise.There are many venues, a musician’s notes, a painter’s pigments.”
So also the metaphors of poetry. Listen to Hagiwara Sakutaro. First he lays out the work poetry intends and then gives a terrifying realization.
“The fact that we are alive means our feelings are animated. Feelings alone are true. Everything else is false: a mere delusion. Only works that feature sentiment are true poetry, the art among arts. We create poetry so that we can deal with feelings. There is no ideology in our art. In our art are only feelings. Sentiment is our all.”
Wilfred remarked more than once that if one engages in Psychoanalysis, also an enterprise created so that one can deal with feelings, there should be two rather frightened people in the room together. He considered courage the single most important element if one undertakes such an enterprise
Intending to reveal the workings of his mind through the language of poetry, Sakutaro experiences, to his horror,
“This convalescent’s breathing becomes an agony; rats’ nests have honey-combed the attic of his cell. Rats making nests. Rats making nests. The gloomy area above my ceiling swarms with ash-hued house rats. They’ve built their nests there. Entangled woven nests, entangled nests. Yes, rip off my ceiling boards and you’ll find rats’ nests here, there – everywhere.”
Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf. But rats!
Terrified poet, stay the course! Many brave men lived before Agamemnon. Listen to the finale of The Appassionata, Beethoven hammering the concert grand. “Rip off the ceiling boards of my mind,” he thunders. “I will not only endure. I will prevail.” The fury of indomitable courage.
Sakutaro stays the course. With matchless poetry, he makes thinkable deeds ripe with damnation.
“I strolled the dry channel of the river that flows by Maebashi feeling unimaginably downcast. Directly in front of me, a skylark nest concealed in the yomogi! The parent larks called from the sky: piyo, piyo, piyo, piyo. I had the clear sense of being charmed by the love of something tenderly cared for. Four gray skylark eggs glistened cheerlessly in the nest’s dim light. I reached out and picked one up. Life’s warm throb tingled the tip of my thumb. When I held the egg gently to the sunlight and looked through it, I noticed a pale red shape vaguely resembling a clot. Then I sensed something like juice cooling my skin – a raw smelling fluid trickled between my fingers. The egg was broken! Merciless human fingers had crushed the delicate shell.
“I’d broken the egg. I’d slain love and joy, a deed ripe with distress and damnation, an act both dismal and disagreeable. I became absorbed in things I find loathsome. People who detest the smell of others. People who find the genitals repulsive. Those who hate others. I adore yet dread people. I confess. I confess my sin. How compassionately I had picked up the lark’s egg.”
As noted, Psychoanalysis is not the only enterprise taking unthinkable thoughts and making them thinkable.