I like this quote from Michael Longley (a poet) – courtesy of Rob Walker’s Art of Noticing newsletter:
“One of the marvelous things about poetry is that it’s useless. It’s useless. ‘What use is poetry?’ people occasionally ask, in the butcher shop, say. They come up to me and they say, ‘What use is poetry?’ And the answer is, ‘No use.’
“But it doesn’t mean to say that it’s without value. It’s without use, but it has value. It is valuable.
“And the first people that dictators try to get rid of are the poets and the artists, the novelists and the playwrights. They burn their books. They’re terrified of what poetry can do. … Poetry encourages you to think for yourself.”
The picture is from the Drawn and Quarterly book by Anders Nilsen ‘Poetry is Useless’ – I’d like to read that one day!