I myself am not clear - despite the general prestige of the word - what, as a term, "poetry" with its entailed implication of "creativity" can now mean in the context of the actual human task. What obligations "poetry" requires. What benefit to the human world the obligation, privilege, or competence named "poetry" - the vocation to "poetic work" - implies or promises. Above all, what knowledge it contributes. Nor shall I answer that question to my own satisfaction. But the tendency of my thought is to consider the term "poetry," as it is now employed, as meaning "sanctioned making." That is to say: "poetry" is now a mystified term. And the mystification of the term is demanded by the social necessity (peculiar to our cultural moment) of concealing the violence of representation as such: eidetic violence.... [M]y avowed unclarity with respect to the "meaning" of the word "poetry" is not, I assure you, a claim of modesty on my part or a gesture of intellectual circumspection, but rather an expression of fear.
-- Allen Grossman, "On Communicative Difficulty," in True-Love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing (University of Chicago Press)