Christian Conceptual Poetry: Divine Authorship or Appropriation?
Several Christian poets invented conceptual poetry long before Kenny G. All four claim to have composed--with the help of divine inspiration--a popular Christian poem called "Footprints" and all "have memories of the precise moment when they dreamed up these lines." Rachel Aviv first reported on this "accidental plagiarism" here.
Carl Jung first coined the term “Cryptomnesia” to describe this phenomenon. In a 1905 paper by that name he argues, according to Aviv, "that it’s impossible to know for certain which ideas are one’s own. 'Our unconsciousness . . . swarms with strange intruders,' he writes. He accuses Nietzsche of unwittingly copying another’s work, and urges all writers to sift through their memories and locate the origin of every idea before putting it to paper: " 'Ask each thought: Do I know you, or are you new?'
Last week the Washington Post, citing Aviv's story, reported that the authors are now suing one another.
Emily Warn was born in San Francisco and grew up in California and Detroit. She earned degrees from Kalamazoo College and the University of Washington. Her full-length collections of poetry include The Leaf Path (1982), The Novice Insomniac (1996), and Shadow Architect (2008). She has published two chapbooks: The Book...