R S Thomas - second of my "Thomas brothers" - is quoted on the Poetry Archive website (a fine source of audio recording of poets) as saying:
"My chief aim is to make a poem. You make it for yourself firstly, and then if other people want to join in, then there we are."
I think that's really interesting, hinting at the loneliness and isolation of the poem, if not of the poet; other people are necessary for the poem to have a complete existence, but are not the point during the agony or worry of creation. And there is plenty of agony and loneliness in the creation described here, in R S Thomas' Forest Dwellers:
from their posture in thewomb. Naked. Heads bowed, notin prayer, but in contemplationof the earth they came from,that suckled them on the brownmilk that builds bone not brain.
Who called them forth to walkin the green light, their thoughtson darkness? Their women,who are not Madonnas, have babesat the breast with the wise,time-ridden faces of the Christchild in a painting by a Florentine
master. The warriors prepare poisonwith love’s care for the Sebastiansof their arrows. They have noGod, but follow the contradictionsof a ritual that sayslife must die that lifemay go on. They wear flowers in their hair.