Checking out Stephen Dobyns’ Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry, 2nd Ed.
The words poetry and art are interchangeable, I believe. As both use material to create–one with words, the other with paint, or whatnot. Dobyns describes the role of the poet/artist as the conduit between two worlds–the spiritual and the corporal, or as he tries to avoid religious connotation, the “common reality and the other reality”(193). The poet finds the balance, the “sense of contrast” between the symbiotic worlds. “The poet’s task…is to recognize pattern. This requires looking into the world as well as into the self,” considering the self is a part of both worlds, equally. She is not saturated with the emotional life (“too etheral, too monkish, there is no meat on him,”) or the corporal (“more bestial and soulless”). She finds the links between the two, interprets through her own symbolism, and offers her unique vernacular to the collective Conversation on unity between Dobyns’ “common and uncommon” worlds. We all belong to both: here is why the artist/poet is invaluable.
She is a seer and a scientist of the existing, present unseen.