Chomsky, one of our greatest minds, never managed to name all the rules, all the exceptions. It's not just poetry - when we speak in dialect, or prose, we find out just how informal our own grammars are, and how adaptive our ability to recognize new patterns we've never heard.

Poetry, though, is the sweetest hack. Not accidental like the dialects that emerge when people sit close together for generations and build new media of communication as unknown as their bonds and mores, not as practical-minded and absently chaotic as prose.

a random handful
lay out the black lines across the snowdrifts
climb from footline to beltline to headline
and fall down drunk on sense.

It hits you later, slow and acutely tactical. Maybe after years, when you stumble on some root across the easy path of a life, and find your self face-down in sudden meaning. Poetry is word bombs, sometimes atomic, sometimes the 'Pop-Its' you've had for fourth of July. A verbal MacGuyver, it makes impossible things from rubber cement and toothpicks and laundry soap.

Poetry doesn't need the rules. It is stronger with only its obstinate power of fiat.

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