Why is the Course written in such poetic language?

The Course was said by Helen's inner Voice to have taken the form of its language from both Helen and Bill. Helen was a lover of literature, in particular of Shakespeare and iambic pentameter. Much of the Course is in blank verse. The Text begins to break in and out of iambic pentameter around Chapter 15; the last six chapters (Chapters 26-31) are entirely in this form, as is the Workbook from about Lesson 99 on. Many have voiced the opinion that the rich language of the Course permits it to carry much deeper, multileveled meanings.

At a talk in 1976, Helen Schucman answered a similar question by saying:

I do agree with you that it is quite a literary thing and it does require a certain background, but, you know, people with literary backgrounds should have a break too. Let's not be prejudiced against them. There are many things that I have subsequently seen that say exactly the same thing in a much simpler way. I happen to like this stuff from a literary viewpoint. I'm kind of a snob, but there are many of us…You know, salvation shouldn't cut us out simply because we're snobs. (quoted in Miracles Magazine, Summer 1992)

In our opinion, a major reason for the Course's poetic style is that the author intended it to be not only a course of instruction, but also a great work of art. He imbued it with the power not just to inform us through teaching intellectual concepts, but to transform us through touching our hearts with depth and beauty as only a great work of art can.

For more on the topic of the Course as a work of art, see the following articles by Greg Mackie: Appreciating the Masterpiece and Artistic Techniques Used in the Course.

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