You Machine

I recently looked up this passage from Williams' intro to The Wedge, and I thought to share:

"Let the metaphysical take care of itself, the arts have nothing to do with it. They will concern themselves with it if they please, among other things. To make two bald statements: A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words. When I say there's nothing sentimental about a poem I mean that there can be no part, as in any other machine, that is redundant."

1944. 2006. What has changed? I ask that question in recollection of Williams' opening gambit:

"The war is the first and only thing in the world today. // The arts generally are not, nor is this writing a diversion from that for relief, a turning away. It is the war or part of it, merely a different sector of the field."

What has happened to "the field"?