And why not, say, journalism? Why write poetry instead of a news article? Why write poetry instead of a novel?
Here are the best responses I have to the question: Why poetical activity?
1) Because all other genres come with a set of conventions that take away or degrade. Those genres have sly ways of allowing the writer a heightened sense of authority.
2) Poetical activity resists the artifice of narrative and closure and unity.
3) Poetical activity self-interrogates its own format.
4) (My favorite) Poetical activity makes the un-relatable perceptible by skirting codified forms of knowledge.
5) Poetical activity challenges authority.
6) Poetical activity challenges authoritative knowledge.
Explaining the “how” of many of these statements can be an exhausting exercise. If there is a particular number that is of interest, let me know, and I’ll be more than willing to engage further.