Certainly a poem is only a game.
Certainly a poem exists only at the moment of origin and at the moment of reading. And at best in the shadow-play of memory.
Certainly one can't enter the same poem twice.
Certainly a poet has the impression from the beginning that no purpose exists, as Henry Miller has said.
Certainly art becomes generally acceptable only when it declines into a mechanism and its order becomes a habit.
But in its aimlessness, in its desperate commitment to the word, in its primal order of birth and re-birth, a poem remains the most general guarantee that we can still do something, that we can still do something against emptiness, that we haven't given in but are giving ourselves to something.
The most general guarantee that we are not composed only of facts, of facts which, as Ernst Fischer says, are deeds withered into things.
Provided a poem, which is the poet's modest attempt to put off disintegration for a while, is not regarded as the philosopher's stone, bringing salvation and deliverance to stupefied mankind.
For art doesn't solve problems but only wears them out.
For art is fidelity to failure.
For a poem is when nothing else remains.
-- Miroslav Holub