Robert is an Emeritus Professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Author of seven books including his most recent Leaning toward the Poet: Eavesdropping on the Poetry of Everyday Life, numerous book chapters and journal articles, he has given keynote addresses at conferences around the world and is available to speak and lead workshops on various subjects.
Leaning Toward the Poet: Eavesdropping on the Poetry of Everyday Life
Leaning Toward the Poet: Eavesdropping on the Poetry of Everyday Life is one part of a memoir about becoming and un-becoming a psychologist. In the Introduction I tell the story of how dreams and poetry have escorted me through the world of academic psychology in search of a poetic sensibility to craft a style of
writing in service to the subtle epiphanies of experience. The light of a summer morning, the appeals of an empty bench, the surprise of a spider’s web framed by rain drops, the smile on the face of a stranger at the threshold of a door, the tableau of a porch on a Sunday morning with cups and plates displayed on a table attesting to the expected visit of a friend, the passing glimpse of a stranger standing in a doorway that unfolds as a story: such moments among many others are the stuff at the heart of the poetry of everyday life. Rising from the depths of soul, these epiphanies require one to be a witness who, through a whispered allusion, might be responsive to their elusive presence.
The poems in this small volume accompanied in places by images celebrate the splendor of the simple, attest to the miracle in the mundane, and explore both the shadows and the stray lines of experience that undo our map making minds. They are gifts I have gathered along the way while travelling in the company of the poets.
In an age of information overload and diminishing time spent on the simple things in life, Leaning Toward the Poet is an invitation to slow down and pause to attend to those occasions when memory and imagination lead one to unexpected occurrences that wake us to what is happening around us and allow us to appreciate that, as John Keats, said, the world is indeed the vale of soul making.
You can purchase this book here as well as my other titles.