It’s different from being persuasive

Lafayette Street (Why Great Poems Have So Few Arguments In Them) ©MAIERMOUL
Lafayette Street (Why Great Poems Have So Few Arguments In Them) ©MAIERMOUL

I’d say poetry wants to be contagious, to be a contagion.

Its syntax wants to pass something on to an other in the way that you can, for example, pass laughter on. It’s different from being persuasive and making an argument.

That’s why great poems have so few arguments in them. They don’t want to make the reader ‘agree’. They don’t want to move through the head that way. They want to go from body to body.

– Jorie Graham, The Paris Review, The Art of Poetry no 85