I was thinking today about non-literary art and the fact that you often see an accompanying artists statement of purpose with it. I thought about the application of the same to poetry. The irony of a written summation of another piece of "word art."
I suppose we do often see such a critter inside the flap of a poetry book where the reader is offered some general statement of purpose relative to the entire manuscript. Otherwise, we don't see this with individual poetry.
With more abstract work it would perhaps not be as odd. Still, there is a tendency by many poets, myself included to want let the reader experience the work themselves. Drawing from their own life experiences whatever it is that speaks to them in the poem. As MacLeish argues in Ars Poetica, [the] poem should not mean But be.