Institutional construction

Elements of an academy for the training of poets

(by extension, preliminary characteristics for any institution holding and propagating the Embedded Primal)

Generalities – the philosophy, pedagogy, organizational structure, purpose – are embedded in and across the elements. Premature generalization would abstract from their reality.

  • Candles and soft lights to light the rooms
    • ‘True night’, minimization of artificial lighting
  • Plants in the classrooms
  • Craft furniture (not mass-produced), non-homogenous, not arranged in lines
  • Some classes in the forest, ideally next to a stream
  • Emphasis on being penetrated by a poet’s soul
  • Occasional collective use of substances (but not excessive)
  • History of the English language, going back to Proto-Indo-European
    • Learning basic phonetics on the way
    • Physical movement to familiarize with the sounds and their transitions; exaggerating the mouth and breath movements into whole-body movement
  • Heavy integration with other forms of art
    • Eg frequent museum visits, extensive contemplation of pieces, basic workshops in sculpture, drawing, painting, and dance (designed specifically for the transfer to poetics)
  • Heavy emphasis on music: music history, basic music theory, sharing music casually, improv singing circles (making sound induced by the collective sound, not limited to explicit singing)
  • Freestyle rapping – learning by doing (no class instruction)
  • Bulk of the poetic work: going through the canon (pre-contemporary poetry) via imitation (rewriting verbatim then analyzing), in small, intimate groups (2-3) primarily, with exchanges in a full-group context (but remaining informal)
  • 1-min-dance, 1-min-freewrite activity: in pairs, one person freestyle dances, the other freewrites while looking at the dancer, switch every minute
  • Watching certain choreographers and Cirque du Soleil, a different form of poetry
  • Daily group walks in a specific natural area in mostly silence (except commenting directly on the natural features)
  • Practices to strengthen world-embedding and open receptivity
    • Daoist martial arts (Qi Gong, Tai Chi)
    • Attentional practices: exploring different ways of directing and engaging with our attention on the world and within ourselves
  • Classes, workshops, and well-designed party-esque journeys to understand and work through the toxicities of mainstream society which subtly penetrate us
    • Intellectual, physical, visceral, and emotional threads
  • Translation
    • Critically engaging with an existing translation of a beloved poet, using Google Translate (not necessary to fully know the language)
    • Translation from one English dialect to another
  • The Reality of Being reading and practice group
  • Contact Improv relational explorations (ie focused specifically on its use as an exploration of relational possibilities and relational patterns between people; not primarily as art form or as leisure)
  • Study of Aesthetic frames in the same meta-space as the Embedded Primal – ie tapping into similar types of forces even if manifesting differently (non-exhaustive sample list):
    • In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki
    • The Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand
    • Manifesto of Italian Futurism, Filippo Marinetti
    • In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
    • Romanticism
    • Surrealism

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