I guess my late-night comments of yesterday were pretty sub-literary, sub-critical. Good thing this is only a blog! (Some people keep blog diaries, some keep blog magazines. HG Poetics is a continuous digital blog-reading, or "bleading" - that is, something between a poetry reading, and bleeding, and bleating.)
What am I getting at with this "prophetic" bit? What in the world was "humble" about TS Eliot?
Perhaps in a way similar to philosophers, some poets attempt to design and formulate a common language of shared understanding, an ordinary speech, ordinate. They enfold the particular pleasures of literature within another level of creative intelligibility, of shaping truths. Sometimes these truths are ones that the public finds harsh or exaggerated (much of the Hebrew prophets & Jesus' commandments are in this tradition of sharp-edged hyperbole and irony). But a poet's capacity to formulate social and existential truths and unknowns is the substance of the bond between poetry and a general cultural audience or public. This capability shapes the thematic music which underlies the narrative interest of plot in drama and epic.