The same reciprocity relation as between poet and patron existed between poet and the gods. We have the same eulogistic model: a good hymn of praise, saying something wholly traditional in a new and interesting way, is the gift of the poet to the god. This gift then obligates that deity to bestow as counter-gift that which is prayed for: prosperity, fecundity, long life. Poetry and poets were not a “frill” in Indo-European society but a necessity of life, a necessary condition for existence. The spoken word could produce a physical effect on the world, but only if properly formulated by the poet.
Watkins, How to Kill a Dragon. (P. 70)
See also: “reasons not to piss off a bard, or a poet.”
He might speak a satire of your line, at the crossroads, while standing on one leg.(via theheadlesshashasheen)