Poetry. OK, we were explaining it, right.
Seems to me I've been explicating it hereabouts at great leennngggth for many a year now! Heavens, yes.
Two things come to mind when I think the p word (no, besides that thing!...):
1. Poetry is... uh... simply put, an exploitation of the innate music of language. Thus, the grand & middling poets of all times & eras with whom we is acquainted, are thems that are fluent in a particklar manner of transmuting the regular matters of language inta something beautiful.
2. & it follows, then (if they are beautiful), that poems are, as I've enunciated at other times & places, in some sense, complete, finished, satisfying, whole, integral... and, strictly in this here aesthetic sense at least, or from this here aesthetic angle, ends in themselves. In other words: the innate music of language - the music in particular, that is - finds its telos, or end, in poems.
But here we's approaching a mystery: what (in the world) is Beautiful?
Keats already answered that one, Hank!! TRUTH is Beauty! BEAUTY is TRUTH! an' he got that off some old greek clay mug!
It follows, that, in this tired old ugly world, this stupid unjust crazy old world, this sleeping half-dead ignorant old world, this weak blind mortal fleshly old world, this hungry starving & confused old world, the appearance of beautiful truthful beauty-truth will be a vital stupendous transfiguring event. An event the borders & substance of which we do not comprehend. An event for which Poetry simply is a symbolic representation or trial balloon improvisation.
In the book Stanza My Stone, a study of Wally Stevens, a conception of Wally's conception of poetry tended somewhat, very roughly, in this direction. The poetry of poetry & the poetry of life were 2 different but somehow analogous things.