Poetry and Consciousness

1. The essence of Consciousness is the integration of information.

2 A key feature of consciousness is the ability to correlate multiple

experiences (and multiple aspects of experience) into a single

perception. For example: red petals and a (hopefully) pleasant

scent and prickly thorns = a Rose.

3. It is the interconnection, and concurrent reactivity of multiple

areas of the brain that permits this ability. (If one part of the brain

is shut off from others (as it appears to be during sleep) that seems

to cause a Loss of consciousness.)*

4. Poetry takes advantage of this integrative process. Thus the mention

of a wing can mean flight or inspiration, or inventiveness. And a

prickly thorn can imply either the color and scent of a rose bush

or, on the other hand, bitterness and pain.

* An older concept, one that still has a lot to say for it, is that of the
Ascending Reticular Activating System, wherein sensory impulses from Outside the central nervous system (the prick of a thorn, the warmth of a tub of water, a sudden loud sound) go up and into the brain where they are then spread around to many areas, arousing the brain to some sort of action.