If we ask a vague question such as ‘What is poetry?’ we expect a vague answer such as ‘Poetry is the music of words’ or ‘Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.’
Probably all the attention to poetry results in some value though the attention is more often directed to lesser than to greater values.
I am grateful for – though I can’t keep up with – the flood of articles theses and textbooks that mean to share insight concerning the nature of poetry.
Once every five hundred years or so a summary statement about poetry comes along that we can’t imagine ourselves living without.
Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings to the unknown and returns us to our rational structured selves refreshed.
The poet exposes himself to the risk. All that has been said about poetry all that he has learned about poetry is only a partial assurance.
That’s a wonderful change that’s taken place and so most poetry today is published if not directly by the person certainly by the enterprise of the poet himself working with his friends.
Besides the actual reading in class of many poems I would suggest you do two things: first while teaching everything you can and keeping free of it teach that poetry is a mode of discourse that differs from logical exposition.