This work is not only a general inquiry into ecstatic states of consciousness and an historical outline of the ecstatic poetic tradition but also an intensive study of five representative poets--Rumi, Wordsworth, Whitman, Dickinson, and Tagore. In a refreshingly original, wide-ranging engagement with concepts in psychology, religion, philosophy, aesthetics, sociology and history, this book demonstrates that the poetics and aesthetics of ecstasy represent an ancient, ubiquitous theory of poetry that continues to influence writers in the current century.
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