But first and foremost, I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple— or a green field— a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing— an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness— wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak— to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed. I remember the delicate, rumpled way into the woods, and the weight of the books in my pack. I remember the rambling, and the loafing— the wonderful days when, with Whitman, I tucked my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time.
Oliver, Mary (2016-10-11). Upstream: Selected Essays .
These are words from one of my favorite poets. She will be dead when you can finally read her and attempt to understand her words.
But understanding is not always what poetry is about, as she alludes to in the above. "...a place to enter...", that's what a poem can be.
I pray you take time to enter that place. I think it's even possible for that place to change your life.
Give it a try.