poetic words = exciters of nearby symbols

In GEB Hofstadter mentions the complexity in building an isomorphism between two poems written in two languages.

"In ordinary language, the task of translation is more straightforward, since to each word or phrase in the original language, there can usually be found a corresponding word or phrase in the new language. By contrast, in a poem of this type, [Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll] many "words" do not carry ordinary meaning, but act purely as exciters of nearby symbols. However what is nearby in one language may be remote in another."

Reading that acted as an exciter for my own interest in poetry. I immediately think about some of the poetry I have read which had the most impact for me and it did exactly this. The ability of a good poet to draw scenes by exciting patterns of shared experience and perception is really amazing. Choosing those "words that excite nearby symbols" is a bit of a game and for me what makes trying to write poetry enjoyable. It becomes almost technical or like solving a problem.

I am often cynical that poetry can be really widely appealing if only because the most poignant and effective poems I've read require a familiarity with the writer and a shared experience that allows compact transfer of imagery. Then again, some of the power in the compression and lossy nature of these poetic images is that there is room for interpretation in the eye of the beholder.

In a field at dusk, trees made short by distance, a line of black on blacker at a horizon pulled ever closer by night...