For [the poetic imagination] the cultural past doesn’t count. The long day-in, day-out effort of putting together and constructing his thoughts is ineffectual. One must be receptive, receptive to the image at the moment it appears: if there be a philosophy of poetry, it must appear and re-appear through a significant verse, in total adherence to an isolated image; to be exact, in the very ecstasy of the newness of the image. The poetic image is a sudden salience on the surface of the psyche, the lesser psychological causes of which have not been sufficiently investigated. Nor can anything general and coordinated serve as as a basis for a philosophy of poetry. The idea of principle or “basis” in this case would be disastrous, for it would interfere with the essential psychic actuality, the essential novelty of the poem. [T]he philosophy of poetry must acknowledge that the poetic act has no past, at least no recent past, in which its preparation and appearance could be followed.

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Introduction

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