What this essay says, in case you don't feel like reading it:
1. Good poetry is pretty. Great poetry feels inevitable.
2. Good poetry can tell the story of an age; great poetry is for the ages, and lives on long after the poet and his culture have rotted away.
3. Great poetry makes us feel as if we've learned something new and, at the same time, as if we knew it all along.
4. Great poetry makes us feel as if we were just let out of prison.
5. Poetry is awesome, and it's for everybody. The idea that poetry can only be enjoyed by high-minded preshus snowflake-types is a load of hooey.
6. The idea that poets should be total drunkards and druggies? Also a load of hooey.
7. Poets shouldn't booze it up, but they should make their readers feel as if they
just had a beer or three.
8. You can lead an exciting life or you can write great poetry, but you can't do both. At least not at the same time.
9. Great poetry is its own reward, for both the reader and the writer.