...a difficult thing to discuss intelligently, I'll agree with Daniel Green there. Still not satisfied with my own remarks. Big mistake to focus narrowly on the "seriousness" of poetry, to forget about the ways that it delights & pleases & diverts with comedy & elegance & wit & all. This IS a kind of medicine we're talking about.
& yet poetry, no two ways about it, challenges its audience. For the same reason that more people watch TV than go to the ballet. It is a refined & intense form of art. But I will let my original arguments stand, I think. The poetry that does win for itself a large, lasting readership, is that through which the poet has stepped beyond the workshop and the technicalities : the poetry that applies its technique to expand - following the steps of the poet him- or herself, pushing the boundaries of the game, struggling to re-present the most fateful commitments of conscience, the most devoted, sustained explorations of consciousness.
Emily Dickinson : "My circuit is circumference -"