15 January 2008

Gaston Bachelard

[from Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space: The Classic Look at How We Experience Intimate Places, 1994]

Like friendship, words sometimes swell, at the dreamer's will, in the loop of a syllable. While in other words, everything is calm, tight. . . . Words -- I often imagine this -- are little houses, each with its cellar and garret. Common-sense lives on the ground floor, always ready to engage in "foreign commerce," on the same level as the others, as the passers-by, who are never dreamers. To go upstairs in the word house, is to withdraw, step by step; while to go down to the cellar is to dream, it is losing oneself in the distant corridors of an obscure etymology, looking for treasures that cannot be found in words. To mount and descend in the words themselves -- this is a poet's life. To mount too high or descend too low, is allowed in the case of poets, who bring earth and sky together.

The Poetics of Space

1 comment:

  1. this is rather glorious....

    My mind also immediately hopped to that statistic of suicides among poets.