When a writer is engaged in the creation of a novel, there is an audience that he/she should have in mind. I've never quite accepted that premise where writing poetry is concerned.
It seems to me that when I am writing poetry I am having a conversation with myself. Quite frankly the process will rise and fall upon the very nature of internal conflict within this very conversation. I think it was Frost who said (and I am paraphrasing) that he never knew how a poem would end till it did. That underscores a good part of the conversation that takes place. This is true when in draft and it continues in rewrite.
I think the distance between poetry and philosophy can be placed on a pin head. It is during this creation process that some of my great philosophical battles with myself occur. Sometimes taking issue with long held notions. Sometimes standing something on end to see how it looks from a different view. This is true with the message but also is true with the form the message takes.
An example of the latter would be that sometimes I like to throw punctuation out the window and at other times I cannot convince myself that it works without it.
If someone were to ask me to describe poetry, my answer today, (and tomorrow this may be different) poetry is the sum of my parts jumbled. They may not look like me, or mirror my life experiences, but the product reflects an assemblage of who I am. My poetry is my biography.
This is different from "confessional poetry" in that it is not to say that what I write is about me or about my life. It is rather about what who I am can conger into image. This is what happens when I am in conversation mode with myself and a pen.