I believe that poems mean different things to different people. In fact I even believe they can mean different things to the same person at a different time in their life.
I’m reading “Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers”. T. S. Eliot is quoted with a few lines from his poem “Little Gidding,” from “Four Quartets”. It spoke to me as a writer, but you must draw your own conclusions. The poem is below.
“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
And every phrase and sentence that is right
(where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together.)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning.
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
T. S. Eliot,
I found that this is just an excerpt from the end of a much longer poem. I also found the following on Wikipedia when I looked up the poem to find out what others thought it meant. Wikipedia says, “The end of the poem describes how Eliot has attempted to help the world as a poet. He parallels his work in language with working on the soul or working on society.”