What is joy? Well, it's not happiness, it's not pleasure. C.S. Lewis was close to Rilke when he called it, "unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction." He called it a "particular kind of unhappiness or grief.....but the kind we want." He explains that as a boy, he came across these lines:
I suspect everyone has examples like that. It was something like that when I was a boy and found myself sitting alone behind my uncle's white garage in wet new spring grass - a sensation of bliss - still one of my sweetest memories. It was like that for me when I first read Rilke's lines:
"And yet deep down within me
Joy is the fleeting prehension but never possession of God's love or truth or beauty. It isn't everything, not the end. It cannot be pursued the way we might pursue a career, a skill, or money. But it can come to anyone. And it is sometimes found in poetry. It is a divine spark that flies from the eternal Cosmic Dance.
Suddenly, what I had only dimly perceived became clear to me when I read: The Book of Hours, by Rainer Maria Rilke, followed by his Duino Elegies. It was then that I felt I had discovered the joy of poetry.
The poems I like are clearly expressive, not abstract although they may indeed be metaphorical; easy to read, easy to memorize. I agree with my poet friend, Dave McCartney (see link here.)