Without question, my favorite poem is "The Bear" by Galway Kinnell (who also happens to be my favorite poet). Much of the greatest creative writing is steeped in metaphor, but here is metaphor at its absolute finest. The idea that one hunts down a poem in the same way this protagonist hunts down a wounded bear is not only elegant but wrought in such exquisite language -- it's almost unbearable delight. And the poet doesn't just leave it that simply. The protagonist literally hacks his way inside the bear and sleeps and dreams.
In this poem, as in most Kinnell poems, the poet uses visceral language of the real world to connect us to the abstract. He does it in such a way, I think, that the connection (the metaphor) feels inevitable, as if it were always there, and the poet was merely the explorer uncovering it for us.
was that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that
poetry, by which I lived?