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 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 cast of poets, who bring earth and sky together. Must the philosopher alone be condemned by his peers always to live on the ground floor?
–Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space