'A Poem should not mean but be' the Poet here from the title is saying a poem should not be looked upon by people as just words on paper, seeing them as empty and meaningless, but experience the feeling and emotion that has been expressed in poems.
A poem is a verbal composition designed to convey experiences, ideas, or emotions in a vivid and imaginative way, characterized by the use of language chosen for its sound and suggestive power and by the use of literary techniques such as meter, metaphor, and rhyme. This is what the Poet is trying to get across to the reader of this poem
'Does it work when the word happiness is pronounced?' here right from the start of the poem the Poet asks the question 'Does it work when the word happiness is pronounced?' he is putting this question to the audience forcing them to think does it make it happen?, does it bring it to life?, happiness?. In this quote from the poem the Poet is asking the reader are they really feeling the feeling and emotion which is being expressed in poems when they read them rather than just seeing the words.
'Never is the happiness because orgasm and orgasm are worlds apart', in this quote from the Poet it shows him expressing his view when he says 'Never is the happiness' meaning not ever, on no occasion, at no time is it felt in the poem. The Poet uses the word orgasm to represent the strong feeling of emotional excitement which he obviously feels has been put in poems should be conveyed to the reader. The Poet does not feel that these feelings of emotional excitement expressed in Poems are being picked up by the reader, this is shown when he says 'orgasm and orgasm are worlds apart' this shows just how often the Poet feels the readers of poems are on the same wavelength, way of thinking as the one who wrote the poem.
'At times I see it - words that are pulled from the depths of unknowing', here the Poet is telling the reader on occasion he sees the words from Poems rely being fully felt for what he believes they should be, the true feeling and emotion 'from the depths of the unknowing' I quote from the Poet. Read also Critical appreciation of the poem “Old Ladies’ Home”.
'The secret of life in a sudden line of poetry through the washed rooms of the simple senses', here the poet is once again speaking about how he feels the readers are seeing the poems. 'The secret of life in a sudden line of poetry', here when the Poet says 'the secret of life' he is telling us just how much feeling he thinks is put into poems. 'The secret of life' refers to the feelings and emotions inside of the Poet who has written the poem . 'In a sudden line of poetry', in this quote the Poet uses the word 'sudden' to relate to the unforeseen feeling and emotion that has been put into any poem it is unforeseen by the reader because it is coming out of the Poet.
'Through the washed rooms of the simple senses' here the Poet once again tells us how he feels readers are not feeling the fullness of poems. This quote from the Poet tells us he feels that the feeling and emotions in poems are passing through the mind, as 'washed rooms' he refers to it in the poem. The Poet believes the reader is unaware of how to feel the of the depths of the poem by not seeing past the words on paper, using their 'simple senses' I quote from the Poet.
A Poem should not mean but be is an exceptionally well written composition which really conveys the feelings of the Poet onto the reader through by the literature used in the text. This Poem really shows the reader how much feeling and emotion is put into a poem and acknowledge the hidden depths of a poem. I found it a compelling ballad which causes much cerebration.