Illuminating the Word: Visualisation of Poetic Experiences Through Filmmaking

By Gil Dekel.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Freud acknowledged that poets have explored the unconscious much before he himself developed it into his psychological theories (Jay, 1984: 23). Visionary poets such as Blake and William Wordsworth suggested the psychoanalytic process much before Freud himself practised it (see also Shengold, 2004: 28). In my research I propose to direct this psychoanalytic inquiry, which I suggest to term ‘Psychopoetry’, towards making explicit and visualising the creative process that visionary poets undergo before they put words down to paper. ‘Visionary poetry’ is defined as a form of poetry written as a result of experiences that provide a strong sense of the beauty of life (Raine, 1975: 36-37). Within those experiences, I am interested in the process of poetic inspiration, and less in the ‘final product’, the poem itself. The process of inspiration is visualised, turned inside out in my research – visible for all to see. Drawing on my own experiences as a researcher and a poet/filmmaker, I create films, poetry, installations, performances and graphic designs that act as case study, combining a ‘diary’ form of documentation of experiences with critical analysis. Observing every step of the poetic experience through means of technology (creating stills and moving images) allows me to distance myself and enable as objective an analysis as possible. In doing so I invite others to be critical of the creative self and to be conscious and active participants in the process.
The academic literature tends to discuss poetry to its final form while disregarding the process, thus methods of poetic experiences are not shared and not developed. In my ongoing interviews with poets I observe that poets often argue that they flow within a creative power ‘larger’ than themselves, but cannot critically reflect on it and share it with others.

This article deals with three elements of the process of poetrymaking: Word, Image and Channeling. These elements are exemplified with short films, which can be viewed online (links are provided in this article).

Keywords: Words, Thought, Inspiration, Vision, Image, Self Reflexivity, Films, Creativity, Channel, Emotion

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.39-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.274MB).

Dr. Gil Dekel

PhD student, School of Art, Desing and Media, Portsmouth University, Southampton, Hampshire, UK Gil Dekel was born and raised in Israel, and lived in Greece and The Caribbean, before embarking on a research at Portsmouth University, UK, exploring the creative process of poetry-making. Gil is a Reiki Master, visionary poet, graphic designer and filmmaker. His films and visual poetry are shown in Mexico, USA and Britain, and aim at exploring the correlation between artistic creativity and scientific/psychology understandings. Gil describes his field as “psychopoetry”. Gil’s experiments in automatic-speech, together with wife and researcher Natalie, seek to inquire the stages of poetic creativity where an Idea is seemingly noticed through a Feeling, turns to meaning through Reflection, and then undergoes Choice of Words, which become a poem.


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