Who is poetry for? What is its purpose? If you like fist fights and barroom brawls, go ahead and ask poets and professors these questions. You’ll see two sides emerge: One will agree with “the noted American poet” who said “it is the responsibility of readers to educate themselves to a level that they can understand what the poet writes” (xvii). The other side will agree with Ted Kooser, who received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He’s editing a new series by poets who “make gifts to their readers” that are “open-handed and conversational,” including this book by Fleda Brown.
Kooser, Ted. Introduction. The Woods Are On Fire, by Fleda Brown. U of Nebraska P, 2017, p. xvii.