". . . you can think of writing, or art generally, as a luxury. in a world of these sadnesses, what does a POEM do? the simple answer is that it does what it can. we can honour a poem for being a thing, a human made thing, that reacquaints us with language's intensity."
I like what Allen has said here, because it deflects some of anxiety of writing a poem, what some would call wasting time perhaps, or a luxury. It doesn't feel much like a luxury when one is doing it, though it does often feel pleasantly intense, like a striving for some purpose.
I imagine all people who make things (whatever they may be) enjoy their things in this way. The making of them is fulfilling in the way other work is not.
For instance, work from which one never sees the end results, as in a corporation. Or work resulting in shameful results, as in ditto. Or useless work, like busting rocks. Oh, I suppose there may be a physical pleasure and pride in even that.
But I am making poems sound too much like product. What I mean is that work-with-results is pleasurable in a way that work-without is not.
Also, I think Allen's "what it can" is the kind of permission readers give poems, the kind I give a poem. The writers in us worry about that much more than the readers in us.
I know I said this already, but do you know what's good? Folly is good. Nada Gordon has absconded with poetry, brainwashed it, taught it new dances, and returned it IMPROVED.
OK, back to "work" for me.