Patterns in Creativity
Scholars and artists thrown together are annoyed at the puzzle of where they differ. Both work from knowledge; but I suspect they differ most importantly in the way their knowledge is come by. Scholars get theirs with conscientious thoroughness along projected lines of logic; poets theirs cavalierly and as it happens in and out of books. They stick to nothing deliberately, but let what will stick to them like burrs where they walk in the fields. . . . The artist must value himself as he snatches a thing from some previous order with not so much as a ligature clinging to it of the old place where it was organic. . . . There must have been the greatest freedom of the material to move about in it and to establish relations in it regardless of time and space, previous relation, and everything but affinity.
Robert Frost, "The Figure a Poem Makes," Complete Poems
Some years ago, a young researcher in biochemistry was performing a procedure devised to destroy DNA, the molecular blueprint for self-replication carried in all living cells. She was annoyed, however, at not being able to make the procedure work as intended. Each time she measured the results of her work, she came up with more DNA than she had started with rather than less.
The researcher tried again and again. But each time she was disappointed to discover that she had more DNA than she had originally introduced.