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Meditation and Poetry


Lee Ann Brown is a poet, curator, editor, teacher and singer of neo-hymns and ballads. She has published over six books of poetry and established Tender Buttons Press in 1989. She just completed a year at the University of Cambridge as the 2017-2018 Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellow and lives with her partner and collaborator, the actor and director Tony Torn and their teen, Emrys Torn, in New York City, and North Carolina.

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I don’t really have regular meditation practice, but as a poet I am very involved in getting into different states of consciousness that are conducive to an associative or expansive spatial thinking. The closest I come to it is that I love getting acupuncture, body and energy work like Reiki when my body can get very relaxed and I see pulses of purple healing light in back of my eyelids in closed eye vision. My mind free associates and visually travels. After one of these sessions I am much clearer and usually feel like writing something. Sometimes phrases arise when I am face down in an acupuncture session and I can record them afterwards. Versions of this kind of consciousness-shifting also happens when I am listening to certain music (usually ambient), memory travel during sex, or doing certain psychedelics. Dream work is important to me as well and I love to dwell in the space between waking and sleeping, and to try and set down the dream in words, not only its narrative elements but its rhythm, its shape, its force, its speed or flow. Swimming or yoga can help alter my mind-body relationship in a good way as well, as endorphins help relax my very active mind so that new thoughts can arise. Sleep is my workshop.


Promise to yourself
to not always say Yes

You wake up from a dream
And borrow a little more time
To draw one more dream
From the well of your sleep

Maybe sideways write down
Upon waking again
The dream as it flows
Or out of that place
A new song

As you to sleep fall
This night on the hill
You will consciously feel
The dream’s thread again

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Pour citer l'article:

Lee Ann BROWN, « Meditation and Poetry » in Poésie moderne et méditations, Actes des journées d’étude organisées à l’Université de Rouen les 21 mars 2017 et 19 mars 2018, publiés par Christophe Lamiot (ÉRIAC) et Thierry Roger (CÉRÉdI).
(c) Publications numériques du CÉRÉdI, "Actes de colloques et journées d'étude (ISSN 1775-4054)", n° 21, 2018.


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