The idea that there is a split between meaning (something deep) and craft (something superficial) is erroneous as any editor can tell you—or any poet who's done serious revision on their work. You can hardly fiddle with the language in a poem, or the line breaks, or the syntax, or even the simplest grammatical element, like pronouns, without turning the poem toward, if not into, something else. It's like the idea of a split between style and content--what could that be? How could that be? I have to smile when I hear commentators describing Obama's speeches as "just words" or "only words"--again, this idea that there's a "surface" of language that is somehow inferior to its "deep" meaning. How is such meaning attained if not through the surface, the words?
Longenbach's discussion of prose poems is particularly enlightening, and I like how he goes immediately to the one writer who most decisively demonstrates that there is no split between the two--James Joyce. How is Joyce's prose different from poetry? It's not lineated--overtly, that is. But is lineation the only way to finally define a poem? Longenbach quotes Mallarme's provocative, but finally, all-too-broad, remark:
There is no such thing as prose. There is the alphabet and then there are verses, which are more or less closely knit, more or less diffuse. So long as there is a straining toward style, there is versification.
I also appreciate Longenbach's discussion of poems that are "semantically incoherent and syntactically coherent"--a great way to describe elliptical poetry (yes, it all leads back to ellipticism ;-).