A Poem From the Collective Unconscious

Notices from the underworld
“Strident active imagination”
A psychoanalyst may call them
Visitations that come my way
As psychic forces with their energies.

They come at various moments
Meme-like images in many forms
Shapeshifters dangling in my memory
Saying: “Listen, take notice, pay attention.
We have some things to share with you.”

Though they are plural in number
They appear to me as singular
As a united entity
United in the cause to serve me
Without ever being themselves subservient.

They are everywhere.
 And yet nowhere in particular.
If you search for them, you may never find them.
It is they who must seek you out.
It is they who must court you.

Though I did not know it,
They made their first appearance at my birth
Emerging at my first breath of life
Ephemeral beings wanting to protect me
To share with me the bounty of their wisdom.

I do not know their names
Although they surely know mine
Not by the names you know me or call me
They know me in a different way
As a loyal member of their celestial kingdom.

Like twirling wisps of dancing energies
They dance with my imagination
Electrical charges firing in my mind
Indeed I’m privy to that secret world
That poets often speak of, yet fail to understand.

Philosophers have written of this world
Their eloquence though keen is dumb
They cannot comprehend the incomprehensible
They write in syntax without meaning
The underworld has no need of syntax.

They come to me without my invitation
But I must pay attention, I must care
So must anyone care who’d dare to listen
Do not feign to understand; just obey
These visitors are our advocates, not our foes.

About this poem

This poem came to me in the manner of free-form writing; as a message from the collective unconscious, with minimum participation from the personal conscious that seemed reticent to participate, choosing instead to take a pause and let the poet’s writing hand be inner directed by some hidden unknown agency. And so it is that this composition has come to be. Brought back now to the world of full consciousness, I am required to label this poem, which I call simply “A Poem From the Collective Unconscious.  

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Written on August 25, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on August 25, 2022

Modified on April 18, 2023

1:34 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,648
Words 315
Stanzas 9
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem A Poem From the Collective Unconscious with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    Doug, thanks for your candid ‘literalist’ response which I do not find objectionable, and even personally appreciate. The field of psychology and philosophy employ their own metaphorical language to examine the same phenomena of the divine oneness of God in all human experience. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • dougb.19255
    Here we go again. Saying that every one has a way into the favour of God and His smiling approach. Not true. Jesus said the very contrary in John chapter 14. Jesus talking there and not our old wive’s tales of supposed equity and mercy. One Way Jesus.
    Yeah I am just that sort of cranky literalist, Karl. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • teril
    I am impressed by your ability to move aside and let these "united entities" speak through you.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • rnadc
    I wrote 2 poems in the last month that, when finished, I thought "man, that came from somewhere else. I was just a vessel". Excuse the horrific cliche. But, reading your poem made me wonder if that is what you are referring to.
    When I finished these 2 poems, both times I thought "huh, this might be good". Reading through your poem, I see there is another level of depth and quality out there. And then one more level.
    I feel like this can stand alone, as a poem, or could be inserted into the text of a good novel, memoir, or whatever.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
    • dougb.19255
      creative people respond to the urgings of Holy Spirit, whether or not they discern the Source. All else is the shifting mush of the advertised standard. Easy place to go, but less than second best…Wayne Blair 
      LikeReply1 year ago


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"A Poem From the Collective Unconscious" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Apr. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/134824/a-poem-from-the-collective-unconscious>.

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