“So As To Taste Sleep”

Erica Meraz created “So As To Taste Sleep” from On Dreams by Synesios of Cyrene (c. 370-413), translated by Isaac Myer in 1888. Please click here to read.

About the poem and the process of composing it, Erica Meraz writes:

In his essay, which details the mantic quality of dreams and their use as personal oracles, Synesios suggests that the distinct languages of animals can be clearly understood within dreams. This proposal inspired me to harvest words and phrases from his text as if they were messages spoken by birds in my sleep. I was also encouraged by a remark Synesios makes on the relationship between the terms soulintellectabsolute, and contingent: “We will invert the order of the terms. We will join the first to the third, the second to the fourth: the proportions will still remain true, as knowledge demonstrates to us.” I adopted his instruction as an attitude with which to approach the text as a whole, inverting, shuffling, and marrying his words as they spoke to each other. I retained the linear placement of the words as they appear in Myer’s translation with the hope of imbuing the poem with the off-kilter air peculiar to dreams.