Here is a long quote from one of the summary-transition paragraphs of RS Crane's book. I think even without the examples & evidence he offers, you can see how the kind of a priori -theoretical "discourse-application" method he describes, sounds very familiar to us. This relates very much, I think, to what A. Mlinko was getting at, with regard to the problem of reading poems as extrapolated "arguments".
On the other hand, Aristotle's notion of [& method of investigating] an intrinsic, special structure & form of poetry, as "imitation" rather than as verbal discourse, holds, as I have been saying, some serious potential for the reception & interpretation of present-day poetry.
RS Crane, The Languages of Criticism and the Structure of Poetry (U. Toronto Press, 1953), pp. 88-89:
"It is thus correct to say of these other critics, as not of Aristotle, that poetry exists for them primarily in a "verbal universe." And this fact has consequences of the greatest importance with respect both to the principles on which their criticism is based and to the method by which these principles are discovered and applied. The principles of poetics, for Aristotle, we have seen to be principles peculiar to the art of poetry, as the distinctive art of "making" or "imitating" human actions and other experiences in words, or to one or another of the various poetic species; they are identical with the necessary and sufficient internal causes, or principles of construction, that must operate in the writing of a given poem if it is to be a beautiful whole of the particular form desired; they vary accordingly from species to species; and they can be discovered only by reasoning a posteriori from the inductively known nature of any given kind of existing poems to the conditions of artistic success or failure in poems of that sort. For the critics in the second tradition, on the other hand, the principles of poetic criticism are necessarily specifications of principles operative throughout the field of writing as a whole. The basic principles of poetry are therefore identical with the principles basic to all varieties of verbal composition; and of these the most basic, as Quintilian long ago remarked, are the two elements without which purposive speech of any kind could not exist - res and verba, things and language, a subject and the words in which it is expressed, a content and a verbal form; after which the next most important, in any discourse that goes beyond a single utterance, is arrangement. If poetry is to be studied in terms of its character as discourse, in a context of other modes of verbal statement, these are indeed the primary elements to which the critic must refer and upon which he must build - as the modern critics I have quoted clearly do - in his efforts to say what poetry is as a special mode of speech, to discriminate its possible kinds, or to determine the standards upon which it is to be judged.
"They are, it will be noted, the elements which Aristotle distinguished for rhetoric rather than for poetics, and hence, as principles of poetry, they are essentially reductive, in the sense that, unlike the distinction of object, means, manner, and "power", which applies only to imitative poems, they tend to assimilate the structure of poetry to the structure of any discourse, however "unpoetic", in which we can discriminate aspects of content, language, and arrangement. It is necessary therefore to look for other principles through which the meanings of these basic terms (and especially of the first two) can be so specified as to give us a distinctive subject-matter for the criticism of poetry; and this is what the definitions of poetry I have quoted and the many others like them in this tradition are designed to do. They are based on the assumption that poetry has no intrinsic nature such as can be known sufficiently by an induction of the conditions essential to the production of poems as special kinds of wholes but is something that participates, with a difference, in the nature of discourse in general, or rather what is taken, hypothetically, as the characteristic of discourse in general which appears to illuminate most satisfactorily for the critic the problems and values of poetry. This characteristic once selected, the next step is the determination of appropriate differentiae; and from the hypothesis thus formed the critic can then derive, by dialectical necessity... all the more particular terms he needs for the discussion of poetry and poems."