When power leads man toward arrogance; poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern; poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts; poetry cleanses.
Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private.
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me; I know that is poetry.