On some level poems can, of course, do good works and bind us together. Everybody will tell you about that, but I'm never very interested. I'm convinced, rather, that poems bind us apart. They disconnect us from that pestering illusion that we are almost connecting to the world.
Oh, what can that mean? Well, we are alone, and poems make us more alone. But wait, I don't mean "alone" in the bad way, what we feel when we know that spending all the money in the world isn't going to keep the shimmer on life; I mean "alone" in the good way.
Alone in the sense of experiencing inside yourself a cascading series of exquisite discriminations and connections which leave you in the fullest possible possession of your self while simultaneously providing the most intimate escape from self, as though the twisted double helixes of your secret code got some blessed breathing room from each other for a minute.
- Kay Ryan