What's an essay for? asks Jordan.
I'd like to write them in order to precipitate out some of the jumbled thoughts I have on these poetry/poetics conundra. & by putting them in more formal language, make them more accessible to those outside the day-to-day po-blog conversations.
For example, with regard to the string of rambling comments I made earlier here on the issue of poetry & its ideological/critical paraphrasement. It's possible the Andrew Ford book will provide me with a sort of background with which to come to terms with all that.
Ie., perhaps poetry's janus face - 1. self-standing art-form, craft; 2. social/civic performance, political occasion - can be re-interpreted, without favoring one side by dismissing the other. Perhaps its a more complicated, interesting symbiosis. That would be a topic to "essay".