..Or maybe a poem is like a handmade pot?
By which I mean, if it isn't immediately obvious when you look at it, the idea behind that pot probably comes from somewhere really individual and personal within the artist who made it.
The artist has to make the thing regardless of how it will be understood. If life is an exploration for you in some artistic or just plain curious facet of your soul, then you know: You never really "get there". The exploration becomes what is meaningful. Along the way you make a fine whatever-thing-it-is you-hope-to-make: a poem, a cake, a bookcase, a painting, an iris you bred yourself; a handmade clay pot. And if you love the process, and you want to express some ideas, you try lots of ways to do it.
Some of my pottery that toys with the meaning of "functional":
Below is pair of conjoined vessels, viewed from four sides. They are a handbuilt duo, standing on four little dabby feet. They balance, but I visualize them interacting with some environmental element to remain standing, like a bed of sand, or else a passing mouse would knock them right over.
You can make a handmade pot anything your heart desires, almost, if you take that journey of exploration that plays with expression.
Sometimes a pot is a bowl or a tureen or a cake stand. Other times it...isn't.