While we were researching how we often don’t know just how big the leaps we take are, we came across poet Robert Bly’s theory of leaping poetry. He says that leaps are inherent in many works of art.

…That leap can be described as a leap from the conscious to the unconscious and back again, a leap from the known part of the mind to the unknown part and back to the known.

The real joy of poetry is to experience this leaping inside a poem. A poet who is “leaping” makes a jump from an object soaked in unconscious substance to an object or idea soaked in conscious psychic substance. 

Bly gives, as one example, the brief, potent poem Potato by Shinkichi Takahashi:


             Inside of one potato
             there are mountains and rivers.

Like Takahashi’s poem, this photograph Maria Robledo gave us years ago makes us experience way more than simple potato.

Bly got us thinking about leaps in our daily, creative lives: how we move from unconscious substance to conscious, and back.

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One thought on “Leaping in Poetry, Art and Life (Robert Bly + Maria Robledo)

  1. Thank you.
    ,…eating this bag of potatoe chips,
    right now;
    has taken on a greater meaning. ?

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