poetry as becoming

Posted by Daniela Elza on Mar 16 2007

I am reading Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. I am full of admiration for this man who undertook to deal with such topics as imagination, the image, the poet, poetic imagination, reverie, poetic language. I am rediscovering poetry through the mind and eyes of Gaston Bachelard. I find that sometimes reading something other than poetry inspires more poetry. In fact, I suspect that Bachelard was a poet, one that employed the tools of the philosopher.

”The image offered us by reading the poem now becomes really our own. It takes root in us. It has been given us by another, but we begin to have the impression that we could have created it, that we should have created it. It becomes a new being in our language, expressing us by making us what it expresses; in other words, it is at once a becoming of expression, and a becoming of our being.”
–Gaston Bachelard

I agree that is an amazing act. When it works. When within the first two three lines I am there, and moving along with the poem, and at the same time not with it, because the image has now made me follow my own path tangential to the poem.

Yet, I am still left wondering what happens when we feel shut out of a poem? When the writer is so much in the poem there is no room for the reader? When we could not have created the image?

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