The DNA of Poetry

Ilias Tsagas

Years ago, I woke to a poem revealed in my dream: the chaos of subconscious, the palace and bunker this is, with the infinite number of rooms, had dictated a poem in my sleep and I woke up glad I had a new piece of work acquired effortlessly.

But the dream that revealed the poem had a dark side. The plot was about someone who achieves extraordinary things in his sleep but loses them each time he wakes up. The catastrophe was irreversible and before I could write the idea down on paper I was so much immersed in the poem that I felt the need to sleep to preserve it. For a while, the line between my idea, the dream and the poem was blurred. 

I’m used to blurred lines now. Growing older means all the more puzzling about remnants of memory and what resurfaces it. My looking into new things mixes with shards of the past triggered in random ways. Remember that poem I read a few days ago? My interpretation of it has entered my poetry today, and my writing will no doubt find a corner in the readers’ palaces and bunkers. Readers, writers and poems are doing no more, no less than adding new pieces into the ancient DNA of poetry that will keep evolving with us and without us for as long as there is time.

Poetry has a long history and its DNA keeps evolving. My micro-essay aims to vibrate your e-book device and trigger you to think of this history and add into it.  

Ilias Tsagas is a Greek poet writing in English and in Greek. He works in the energy policy sector as a journalist and an academic.