Somehow I think he may have missed the real point the novelists (through their characters) were making : which is that on some basic simple & essential level, we are all poets : we think poetically, we want words which work poetically, we read life itself poetically. I was reminded inevitably (by the fictions' plots) of the woman in Georgia a few weeks ago, taken hostage by a man who had just shot to death 3 people at the courthouse, who talked him into surrendering to the authorities, by reading to him from an inspirational book. Everyone is a poet on some level, it's a human trait.
The whole race is a poet that writes down
The eccentric propositions of its fate.
- Wallace Stevens, from "Men Made Out of Words"