What is poetry? Damian Rogers takes a stab at an answer:
I feel like poetry is an experiment with consciousness. And it’s funny, people who are very sophisticated about other areas of the arts feel very shut out of poetry. No one stands in front of a Mark Rothko and goes, What does it mean?!—actually, that’s not true, some people do. But people who would absolutely accept that painting on its own terms, or a Basquiat, something that is maybe somewhat figurative but moving into some kind of abstraction—it’s an experience. They accept the idea that, standing in front of this painting, you experience the painting. It’s not a Rubik’s cube.
Poetry is text, and we’re still very attached to the idea that language is supposed to communicate something clearly. But I do think all good poetry does communicate something clearly, it’s just that, for me—and there’s some narrative, very straightforward poetry that I really enjoy, but there’s a lot of poetry that I really enjoy because what it’s communicating to me very clearly is either an atmosphere, or a state of consciousness. A different degree of awake-ness to experience.