Nada Gordon comments (below):
"poetry is not a tribal code, it is a personal lighthouse on the edge of something wildly fascinating. "
Can't it be both?
and course poetry can be both tribal code and lighthouse. by tribal code I was thinking of something more minor, tribe of critics, or tribe of academics (not to mean all critics or academics, but the dullards, the non-progressive stones in the passway). poetry is very much a tribal thing, but a loss occurs when tribes put up boundaries.