poetic space

found story

I have this dream. Sometimes it is a house I have inherited. Grandma's house perhaps. I'm upstairs. I walk into a forgotten room. A corner room. Lots of glass. Small panes. Looking into the woods. (Grandma didn't have a woods, or this house.) I'm going to live there. It's a happy dream. See View Between Rooms

end found story

Vilhelm Hammershoi, "White Doors" 1905

Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space ("A Classic Look At How We Experience Intimate Places") was first published in French in 1958, translated into English in 1964, and is most well known from its paperback publication in 1969. It was reissued with a new introduction in 1994.

Bachelard's book includes extensive reflection on the idea of houses that we dream about, and that contain our dreams. In dreams the fact of the house and the navigation of the house become inseparable. It's common to dream of a house that extends as you move through it, passing through rooms that you didn't know were there, and that you sometimes can't find your way back to.

Quote from Bachelard

To give an object poetic space is to give it more space than it has objectivity; or, better still, it is following the expansion of its intimate space. For the sake of homogeneity, I shall recall how Joe Bousquet expressed the intimate space of a tree. "Space is nowhere. Space is inside it like honey in a hive." In the realm of images, honey in a hive does not conform to the elementary dialectics of contained and container. Metaphorical honey will not be shut up, and here, in the intimate space of a tree, honey is anything but a form of marrow. It is the "honey of the tree" that will give perfume to the flower. It is also the inner sun of the tree. And the dreamer who dreams of honey knows that it is a force that concentrates and radiates, by turns. If the int erior space of a tree is a form of honey, it gives the tree "expansion of infinite things."

end quote

I have the same dream. I'm in a house I know, and suddenly there are forgotten rooms, often with a couple of pieces of slightly worn furniture. If I can make my way outside, sometimes there are old glasshouses and overgrown garden structures in need of repair. I have the same sense of anticipation that I'm going to live there: a mixture of curiosity and surprise.