Friday, February 13, 2009

Reflections on Poetics of Space

I read the two prefaces, introduction, and chapter one.  It took me several attempts to get through the introduction while I became accustomed to Gaston Bachelard’s writing style.  I am trying to wrap my brain around what a poetic moment is really.  Also, I am wondering why it takes 40 pages to attempt to define a poetic moment (the moment has long passed, buddy!  Just joking...).  I understand that a poetic moment has no past or future and does not evoke a response that is associated with the past experiences of the responder.  It is a fleeting moment in time when an image captures an unexpected emotional response.  Maybe I am completely off base here, but that is what I perceived from the reading.

Anyway, I enjoyed Chapter One because the author touched a chord inside me when he talked about how a home can shape the way we define safety, security, etc. and how objects can evoke images from the past.  I definitely get what he says about daydreaming.  As a child, I was a very accomplished daydreamer, as my teacher's can probably attest.  

By the way, Chapter One is now stained with my tears.  While reading Chapter One, I began to daydream about all the homes I have lived in through my life, which are about 13.  This process evoked some bittersweet emotions from me, especially thinking about my Grandparents’ home, because they are no longer living.  When I daydream about their home, I think about the sun porch with Florida windows that leads to the kitchen.  The kitchen door and doorknob represent the anticipation of walking into the kitchen and being hugged---- by my Grandmother and by the warmth and aroma from the oven.  The door has a frosted glass window and those large, old brass metal doorknobs that have a wonderful patina.  When the door opens, the vibration of the window makes a rattling sound that I associate with the arrival of someone special, such as my Grandfather from the farm, my Grandmother from the garden, or the arrival of a favorite Aunt.  The bedroom that I slept in as a child visiting there is a simple yet magical place.  The image I have of waking up in the morning with the sun shining through the white curtains and hearing the birds singing and cows moo-ing in the pasture is so symbolic of love, innocence and the carefree time of a childhood summer.  I remember, as a child, waking up from that heavy sleep when it takes a moment to remember where you are, and as soon as I saw the curtains on the closet in that bedroom, I thought, “yeah, I am at Grandmother’s house!”

If I can stop daydreaming, I might be able to finish the book.

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