Because, without it, the ruler has bad apples. Poetry allows him boil it down to produce apple jack, to the delight of the commoners. Case in point: Battle of Balaclava, Crimean War, when an artillery officer gives an errant order that dooms 600 common soldiers to their slaughter.
Thanks to Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the state’s cannon fodder ascend to the Elysian Fields of Imperial Eternity: The Charge of the Light Brigade.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Why free poetry?
Why are we citizens of the United States of America? So that we can be free of tyranny, having unburdened ourselves of English monarchy. Until the aftermath of the second world war, the freedom-loving people of the USA eschewed war at all cost, and when drawn into it, we kept it real and didn’t pretend to be any tyrant’s knob polishers. Randall Jarrell, who trained airmen during the war, provides a response to war that betrays a point of view antithetical to the English one, in:
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
(Source: The Complete Poems; Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1980)