Fred Little wrote:
...whatever virtues Ueshiba's doka may have, few -- if any -- of them have to do with their quality as poetry.
That doesn't mean the doka don't have evidentiary value.
But I'm not about to pretend to hold the view that they have value as poetry or as a unique philosophical distillation and reformulation of old wisdom made new for our times.
Well, they beat Ginsberg all to hell, let's just say that ...
Their value (along with his lectures) is not in their success as art, but as guide to his other art. Whatever the marks for quality a modern critic of poetry may give, they are his considered effort to put his own mind into words about the art he gave us.
Interpreting meaning from them requires poetic imagination, and a willingness to explore levels of allusion and symbol, regardless of the level of art that they represent. They are myth, fairy-story, and alchemy. The prime criticism of them from the modernist standpoint is also the key to them -- you can only understand them by standing inside them.