What kind of power, poetry?

What is the real power of poetry? The Poetry Foundation interviews Robert Hass, which in a neat turn of phrase the web site describes as a "tireless front man for poetry." I'll confess to not reading Hass or nearly as much poetry as I'd like, but his answer at the end of the interview as to why the form matters is thoughtful.

My shorthand goes like this—Wordsworth read a German philosopher who wrote about mountains, Thoreau read Wordsworth, Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and sowe got Yellowstone and Yosemite. It took 100 years—that’s the cycle of things.

Hass' Time and Materials has won the National Book Award for poetry.