Will these books affect public policy? Will either poet be invited on The Daily Show? Will either book become a talking point on Daily Kos? Probably not. But, that's okay. There are any number of ways to change the world.
For Pablo Neruda in Chile in the 1930s, a poem was a more powerful vehicle than a newspaper, but in America in 2011, a prose piece in the Times gives not only a wider audience but a level of credibility a poem might not.