Rollo May on imagination and form

  
 
 
“When you write a poem, you discover that the very necessity of fitting your meaning into such and such a form requires you to search in your imagination for new meanings. You reject certain ways of saying it; you select others, always trying to form the poem again. In your forming, you arrive at new and more profound meanings than you had even dreamed of. Form is not a mere lopping off of meaning that you don’t have room to put into your poem; it is an aid to finding new meaning, a stimulus to condensing your meaning, to simplifying and purifying it, and to discovering on a more universal dimension the essence you wish to express.”
 
 
 
“Imagination is the outreaching of mind. It is the individual’s capacity to accept the bombardment of the conscious mind with ideas, impulses, images, and every other sort of psychic phenomena welling up from the preconscious. It is the capacity to “dream dreams and see visions”, to consider diverse possibilities, and to endure the tension involved in holding these possibilities before one’s attention. Imagination is casting off mooring ropes, taking one’s chances that there will be new mooring posts in the vastness ahead.”
 
 
 
from The Courage to Create (1975)
 
 

One thought on “Rollo May on imagination and form

  1. elly

    Two good quotes. I agree with both. And they give me hope. You’re reminding me that a few years ago I read Rollo May’s “The Cry for Myth” and enjoyed it very much. I’ll add this book to my To Read list. Thanks.

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