From intuition to the unconscious : poetry and assemblage

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This paper considers poetic practice which emphasises an intuitive approach, through the poetry of Sylvia Plath, poetics and assemblage theory. Poets tend to write intuitively, attempting to say, despite the limitations of our use of language and of language in general, what we barely understand about life and ourselves. This is sometimes achieved by accessing the unconscious, a method which is characterised by putting analytical faculties to one side and trying to surrender to what is deep within the individual. Assemblage holds that the unconscious is not fixed, and that it is constructed in process; schizoanalysis, which is a development of the idea of the unconscious, emphasises multiplicity and the indefinable, even as Plath’s writing reflects on the multiple and the uncertainty of the self. The assemblage method is not a model for producing poetry, and authors may be unaware of its conception of the unconscious whilst in practice exemplifying it. Assemblage is one way in which to enhance understanding of the poetic process to assist the reader’s enjoyment. This paper concludes with poetic responses to the example of Plath’s work, and as Plath becomes a focus of imagination, inspiring further writing which looks to the unconscious for new reference points.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAxon: Creative Explorations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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