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The mystic's moment of illumination shares with great poetry the liberating power of the deepest levels of consciousness. In the words of William Blake, "If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to a man as it is, infinite." Poetry, Wilson argues, is a contradiction of the habitual prison of daily life and shows the way to transcend the ordinary world through an act of intense attention-and intention. The poet, like the mystic, is subject to sudden ""peak experiences"" when ""everything we look ...

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