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1940s

Dreams from 1940-1949. World War II dominates the decade. The era's still largely Freudian, but Jung's ideas are starting to make headway; and the first really extensive published dream-diary by a woman, Nancy Price, is more shamanic than Freudian or Jungian (and seems quite modern in consequence!)

NEXT: the 1950s -
RELATED TOPICS: Nancy Price
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1940s



PYLONS: by Louis MacNeice; Jan. 1940. A surreal political dream.
I was on a steamer run amok, in a boiling yellow incredible sea out of which great pylons rose...
THE M9: by David Parkinson, 1940; a dream-designed invention.
Parkinson dreamed his new telephone device got added to an anti-aircraft gun. He told his dream;
guns with M9 units turned out to be so accurate it gave the British hope against the Luftwaffe...
KELLY FIELD: by an air cadet, 1941; an almost-lifesaving dream.
I dreamed a plane took off northeast, and flipped by the main hangar, killing two men. I forgot the dream until...
TERRIBLE HORSE: by Louise Bogan; 1941, poem of a healing dream
A stallion reared to strike me. He was all the fear and rage I'd repressed for 35 years. I cowered til a woman said "offer him...
BEETLE: by Daniel Quinn; spring 1941; a life-defining shamanic dream
A black beetle insists I'm not needed or at home in the human world; my lifework is elsewhere...
BUTLER'S CROSSING: by David's father; 1941/8/24, a (heeded or unheeded?) warning dream
He saw a vehicle coming toward him at great speed. The light was so bright it blinded him. He screamed...
JUST KNOWING: by a St Louis woman; summer 1934 and 1941/11/20, two very pure ESP experiences
I suddenly knew I had to get off the bus and wait for the next. We passed the first bus, on fire...
I was at Thanksgiving dinner when I felt my mother dying two thousand miles away...
HEADLINES: by "Anonymous #21"; 1942/8/4, 1954/1/1, and 1958/8/16, a set of psychic newsflashes
All my life I've had sudden visions showing violent deaths accompanied by headlines naming the victims...
THE LESSON: by W.H. Auden; 1942, a poem on three linked nightmares
I'm told "Your lives are not in order." The golden crown's too heavy. And
I win my lover's hand--only the hand. What are my dreams accusing me of?
CAUTION: SEVERED HAND, SUBTLE GUILT
MOM ON THE WING: by a tail gunner; 1942-45, a lifesaving warning dream
I saw my mother standing on the tip of one wing of our plane. She was
dressed in white flowing robes and calling my name, warning me of danger...
DANCING WITH EMILY BRONTE: by Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree; 1943?, a literary love-dream
Alli/Tip could only imagine loving the strange, intense, and unavailable--and Bronte was all three..
CHESTERFIELD MOVER: by an Oregon woman, 1943, a "meaningless yet profound" predictive dream
I helped my aunt and uncle move upstairs from their rented downstairs flat. Absurd! They own a one-story house they love...
MERLOO'S BROTHERS: by Joost Merloo, two apparent psychic nightmares, 1943 and c.1946
Joost Merloo escaped the Nazis, but had two neurologically impaired brothers who couldn't flee.
On a troopship, he dreamed the Nazis burst into their ward...
PETE: by Norman, a soldier on Guam; 1944, either a ghost or hallucination with a lifesaving warning.
Pete told me to skip the shortcut. Only after I'd turned the truck around did I realize Pete had died weeks ago...
SCORCH: by a California woman; 1944, a lifesaving olfactory hallucination (clairsniffance?)
I smelled scorching paint; my heater was about to burn the house. But I'd moved--my old house was six blocks away...
JACK IN THE DITCH: by Jack's mom; 1944/6/6, 6/7 & 6/8, three apparently telepathic dreams
Jack was a parachutist on D-Day. His mom dreamt of the strafings, the ditch he hid in, the deaths of his comrades...
BIGAMIST: by a Carolina waitress; 1945, a telepathic dream
A sad, frail, very pregnant woman with dark brown hair told me she was my boyfriend's wife. The next day...
FLIGHT: by Denise Levertov; 1945; a dream poem
I meet William Blake! He says "The will is given us that we
may know the delights of surrender." While in my bedroom...
6-MONTH TOMBSTONE, 17-YEAR CABINET:
(by a California model, pre-1961, and by a Texas maid, 1945; two predictive dreams compared)
Predictive dreams rarely hint how far they've peered ahead; they just place you in their foreseen future...
THE RAPTURE OF MY DARK DREAM: by Edna St Vincent Millay; 1945?, a nightmare in free verse
Millay dreams her lover's attacked in the street, and wakes to realize it's already happened; he's lost.
BILLIE: by Billie's Mom; 1945/1/20, a psychic warning dream
My son Billie, his Navy uniform soaking wet, cried "Oh, Mom--it's so terrible!"
and shrank into a baby again as I held him...
CAUTION: EXPLOSION
BAYONNE: by a precognitive Floridian; 1945/8/6, a predictive dream
"There is going to be an explosion of two or three million gallons of oil or gasoline..."
TWO DEATH NOTICES: by Vladimir Nabokov; 1939/6/9 & Oct. 1945, two apparently predictive dreamlets
Khodasevich (1939): I dreamt a call announced my friend was dead. Really he was still alive--but not for long...
Sergey (1945): My brother died in January but the news took months to reach us. Just before it did, I dreamed...
GRAVESTONE: by "Miss S."; late 1930s-1946, a recurring clairvoyant/predictive nightmare
I'm walking up a churchyard path. My hair clings to me, damp. Horses wander. I'm drawn to one graveside...
THE WEED: by Elizabeth Bishop; before 1946, a dream-poem on death/rebirth
I was dead. A weed grew from my heart; then two streams poured out--not
water or blood but experiences. I asked the weed what it was doing, and it said...
MERLOO'S BROTHERS: by Joost Merloo, two apparent psychic nightmares, 1943 and c.1946
Joost Merloo escaped the Nazis, but had two neurologically impaired brothers who couldn't flee.
On a troopship, he dreamed the Nazis burst into their ward...
DON'T DO THAT, MARION: by Marion; 1947, a two-way telepathic intervention?
I planned suicide. Then my friend 1000 miles away said in my ear "Don't do that, Marion." Next day an airmail...
SUICIDAL NARRATOR
F.I.P: by Dr A (c.1947), a Cambridge man (1960?), a London girl (c.1916) and a Midlands mum (July 1958)
Examples of inexplicable moods that appear (after the fact) to be reactions to future events...
INSURANCE: by a young widow; 1947, a dream of lucrative ghost advice
After my husband's death, I dreamed he pointed at a small black bag I hadn't opened. It held insurance policies...
PAT'S WARNING: by Pat, Allen and Gerry; 1947, a ghostlike warning from a living person's unconscious
In occupied Germany, Pat flags down two friends just before a truck crash. Except...
Pat was in England at the time. She sensed they were in danger, but...
AVENUE OF TREES: by Anonymous #34; July 1911?, early 1924?, 1934/3/30, & Jan. 1947;
four death-omen dreamlets, one predictive
Every decade or so, I dream a loved one says farewell and walks
down an avenue of trees. I wake to find that person's dying...
HAIL AND FAREWELL by Nancy Price; 1947/6/6, a revenant dream-message
A dying colleague haunts me all night. He says "crossings are often unpleasant" but death's not bad...
PIANOS IN THE SKY: by an Illinois woman; before 1948, a happy recurrent dream come true
My heart's desire was a new piano, as hopeless as owning a yacht. The dream: a huge space in the air, full of wonderful...
SOME THINGS ARE DARK: by Edna St Vincent Millay; 1948??, a poem narrated by Nightmare
Millay, suffering from nightmares, decides to speak from Nightmare's point of view...
BROKEN GLASS by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of working to death.
Helping out talking animals until I'm exhausted, I suffer a fatal accident. What am I being warned of?
BUT AS YESTERDAY by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of being sacrificed
Our gods demand sacrifices. I let Mother mutilate me so I'd be unfit. But the priests turn out to be blind...
CAUTION: YOU CAN FEEL PAIN IN DREAMS
CHASM by Nancy Price; 1948, a telepathic nightmare.
The scenery's so lovely my mother walks off a cliff! As I wake, a neighbor falls out a high window...
DEAD OR ALIVE? by Nancy Price; 1948, a surreal, poetic dream from the borderzone
Troutmet the moon-pigeon, Burtra the blackbird, a talking acacia,
my dead father and my dead gardener all give me afterlife-advice...
EXPERIMENT WITH TIME by Nancy Price; 1948, a shamanic-initiation dream declined?
I meet a girl who's 16 and 61, who tells me dreams are lives, not messages.
But then I must fly over a sinister parade...
THE EYE by Nancy Price; 1948, a nightmare of resisting torture
A staring Eye tries to break me; his cats & robots flay me. Yet his birds rebel in sympathy, & I refuse to die...
THE FEARFUL INSECT by Nancy Price; 1948, an episodic circular nightmare unified by a leitmotif
A bug with a horse-skull face reappears all through this nightmare of betrayal. I only know I feared it...
FILM STARS by Nancy Price; 1948, a surreal predictive/diagnostic dream
I'm a film actress, but the producer isn’t happy with my legs, so make-up takes them away to be redone...
FOUR WHO COULD ONLY GET HALF-WAY by Nancy Price; 1948, a frustration-dream with deep advice
I'm one of four mediocrities: all our efforts come to nought. Mum says "You're netted, but you can fray the ropes...
I AM A BIRD by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of another life... well, two.
I live as a small falcon, glad I'm no longer human. But when that life ends...
JUMBLE by Nancy Price; 1948, a comically exaggerated predictive dream
A bewildering dream of a boy's borrowed bath, absconding renters' furniture and fly-eating turns real a few weeks later...
LET THERE BE LIGHT by Nancy Price; 1948, a nightmare of helplessness
Snakebite! I'm hooked to a health-monitor. If a red light comes on, I'm doomed. But voices start whispering...
THE OTHER ROOM by Nancy Price; 1948, a predictive dream
A writer I haven't seen for 40 years gives me a drink, but all I want is to find my mom in The Other Room...
RED LIGHT by Nancy Price; 1948, a predictive dream of the past!
I'm in my home town, but at two times at once! Murderous boys explain why: I died here in 1861...
SNOW by Nancy Price; 1948, a false-waking dream about living vs survival
Lost in the snow, I must give my baby to a stranger or let my dad put him in a box, safe, forever...
STRANGE AUDITION: by Nancy Price; 1948, a predictive theatre-dream
I dream the actors auditioning for George Bernard Shaw’s play are blends of human, avian, and lion.
Next morning I find a card from Shaw asking if I'd fancy playing a lion in his...
TENNIS UNDER STRANGE CIRCUMSTANCES by Nancy Price; 1948,
(A comic frustration dream hiding a warning)
Our tennis game's spoiled by rubber rackets, fierce grandmas,
Good and Evil (those identical twins) and a bully on stilts...
WINGS by Nancy Price; 1948, two bird-people dreams, one psychic
I have a long chat with two songbirds. Next I'm a parrot, living in rainforest. Then the mail comes...
THE WHEEL by Nancy Price; 1948, an early, intense dream of Future Shock.
Lost in an industrial maze, my memories hopelessly outdated, I resign myself to the Wheel...
NO TRAVELER RETURNS by Nancy Price; 1948/2/2, a predictive dream
I don't love my husband, so I'm stranded in the hotel between life & death, from which...
TAWNY OWL by Nancy Price; April 1948, a dream of muses
On the road with a poet and a philosopher, I insist we rescue an owl.
But we get lost, and the poet turns into...
NEWS AT ELEVEN: by a widow-in-process; 1948/10/27, a somatized empathic waking nightmare
My heart began beating like a sledge hammer. I couldn't imagine what was happening, and got frightened...
SONG by Nancy Price; Nov. or Dec. 1948, a transcendent music dream
Numb, sunk in a trance, I only woke when I broke through a wall to light and magical birdsong...
FLIGHTS AND CATS: by Colette; before 1949, a sketch of her dreamscape
Colette flies, sees a birdheaded turtle, wrestles a great playful cat, debates a snake, holds hands with a shy dog...
GOSHEN: by Percy Konqobe; 1940s-1960s?, a lifelong recurring psychic dream
I hear voices: "The road to success is in Kafkat, in a place called Goshen." I look back, and see seven male shadows...


NEXT: the 1950s

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