The Schmooze

'The Imagination Is the Body of God'

This piece is crossposted from The Best American Poetry, where poet Eve Grubin is guest blogging this week. Read Grubin’s previous post here and her poetry on The Arty Semite here.

Yesterday I wrote that the biblical Eve lived in, as Goethe called it, “the poet’s trance.” But then the snake seduced her out of that place of passionate clarity.

Rabbi Moses ben Naḥman, otherwise known as the Ramban or Nachmanides, the leading Medieval Spanish scholar who later settled in Israel, commented on the following language from the text: “Let us make humans in Our image and in Our likeness” (1:26). He wrote that the word which means “Our likeness” in Hebrew, “kidmutanu,” finds its root in the word “dimyon,” which means “imagination.” Ramban suggests that human beings are defined by the power of broad imagination — God’s imagination was transferred to humanity, and Eve’s “poet’s trance” included what Keats called “the truth of the imagination.” Blake intuited Ramban’s insight when he wrote that “the imagination is the body of God” and “Imagination is evidence of the Divine.”

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'The Imagination Is the Body of God'

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