Why read poetry? Because unlike fiction, creative non-fiction or drama, poetry does not rely on human-to-human interaction. With a few rare exceptions (such as Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River"), poetry is about the persona of the poet, the single sensibility, the mindful metaphysic.

In my wallet, I carry around a laminated copy of Wallace Stevens' "The Snow Man." I can think of no other poem that better illustrates this point:

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.