Friday, July 8, 2016



            Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.
                                    ~Dante, Canto III, line 9

"Our earth in which we take root is faith. The water
by which we are nourished is hope. The air by which
we grow is love. And the light is aquaintance (gnosis),
by which we ripen to maturity"

Gospel of Philip, 79:25-32

Wretched apart in the art—fall
heaped like an ab-sensed hope
(t)racing the hoop of heaven 

©2016 Verloren Hoop stephanie pope
Prompt 136 #SenseWrds @SemperSum @PromptAttn


1. Dante senses in Canto III, line 9 the kind of hope one has must deepen in/to a new mode of seeing the world: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” This awareness becomes a little clearer in the next few lines of Canto III.

Qui si convien lasciare ogni sospetto;
ogni viltà convien che qui sia morta.
Lines 14-15

Here must all distrust be left behind;
all cowardice must be ended.

Variant translation: Here one must leave behind every image of hope for such images double as a defense against a pneumatic experience  or “knowing”of divine nature or what Derrida calls “metaphysics of pure presence”. Avoiding this leave-taking amounts to an act of cowardice; such defense must meet its death Dante’s poem says.

So a deepening inward means first an imaginal act whereby all images have no outer reference and secondly, to achieve an entirely new way of seeing, at the same time one is crossing over the inner threshold, one must accept a specific death by fantasy.  Death by fantasy means from here onward Dante will be soul or psyche lead.

And yet, Dante is carrying a kind of negative hope, a forlorn hope, a verloren hoop, as he begins his inner journey toward a poetic mode of seeing. This mode of seeing is the always and already “first way” and the always already forgotten and/or abandoned and/or lost world of the infant soul yet to ignite in Dante’s own heart. The image, "infant soul" signs a kind of present yet to presence or reveal itself.

To understand this poetic insight one must understand what it means to be forlorn.  One way to look more deeply is to consider the etymology of the word, “forlorn”.  It is here you will find the image of the verloren hoop.

2.  For the notion of the trace racing the design, see the writings of Jacques Derrida. Wiki provides the following picture of what is meant by (t)race: “ ‘the always-already hidden’ contradiction”

Trace can be seen as an always contingent term for a "mark of the absence of a presence, an always-already absent present", of the ‘originary lack’ that seems to be "the condition of thought and experience". Trace is a contingent unit of the critique of language always-already present: “language bears within itself the necessity of its own critique”.[3] Deconstruction, unlike analysis or interpretation, tries to lay the inner contradictions of a text bare, and, in turn, build a different meaning from that: it is at once a process of destruction and construction. Derrida claims that these contradictions are neither accidental nor exceptions; they are the exposure of certain “metaphysics of pure presence”, an exposure of the “transcendental signified” always-already hidden inside language. This “always-already hidden” contradiction is trace.

3.  More lines from Dante

4. More on the discourse between psyche and pneuma, faith and gnosis

5.  The fantasy image that helped write this poem is never mentioned in the poem; it is that of  a forlorn wing. This is the same image in active imagination that helped write the poem, Ad Mortuos. (2010)  This poem was made into song and incorporated into dance in a Brainwave Performance April 26, 2015