To me, a poem is almost like someone whispering to another person, or you hear the whispering in your head. I hope with my own poems that the reader feels a connection, soul to soul, that'll help us all feel a little less alone on the planet. And it does have the power to direct change. A writer can make the word 'dark' be something positive. You can relieve a word like 'hysterical' of its misogynistic implications. You can make the language your own. That's what poetry is about.
In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.
The more closely the author thinks of why he wrote, the more he comes to regard his imagination as a kind of self-generating cement which glued his facts together, and his emotions as a kind of dark and obscure designer of those facts. Reluctantly, he comes to the conclusion that to account for his book is to account for his life.
Some things come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards. They would all learn more about punishments soon. That they came in different sizes. That some were so big they were like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. You could spend your whole life in them, wandering through dark shelving.