In the long central poem of the book, “Days Spent In One of The Other Worlds,” Albergotti paints a fantasy world of kingdoms and blind kings; beautiful princesses and pitied spiders; magisterial ministers and medieval scholarly priests; undecipherable language and the sufferings of love. But he ends with the knowledge that writing poems to impress a king or win the heart of his daughter is a fool’s errand, and that the poet must do it for himself:
As if to drive home the point, since the reader may still be thinking about these twelve poems in the middle of the book, six poems later, in “Couplet Found Wedged In The Doorway Between Two Worlds,” Albergotti gives us this single rhyming couplet: "But really, there's no other world, no king. / You want a song? Then teach yourself to sing." In what seemed to me, at first glance, to be a poem that is out of character with the rest of the book, Albergotti ends with “Years and Years and Years Later.” This is a poem that references and speaks to (and with) the poet Jack Gilbert. It includes lines from Gilbert’s poems “Tear It Down” and “A Stubborn Ode.” But after a closer reading, this poem became the perfect response and final comment on the title of the book. No matter that the world is a vale of tears, that there is no king, that we will all end up in the ground forever—we all must respond to the suffering and despair with wild beauty. And what if poetry itself is meaningless to change the world?:
Maybe poetry can have more purpose than just to give a reader pause or a nod in agreement. Perhaps poems can instruct, can present deep beauty and cause the heart to be “feral, too wild.” Perhaps poems are capable of sending a specific type of reader into a “saliva-frothing, torch and pitchfork rage,” as Albergotti says in an interview with storySouth. The poems in The Use of The World succeed on all counts.