Ron Charles, a literary critic, writes in the Washington Post of his approach to modern poetry:
…I stopped demanding that every poem yield its concealed meaning… Instead I just read — often aloud — letting the words flow over me and affect me however they could.
…I found it takes a lot more discipline to withhold one’s judgment, to muzzle one’s consternation and simply let the lines work…
Gradually poets I’d once considered impenetrable filled me with awe instead of bafflement.
I believe it works better with poetry that is formally well-organized: try reading a traditional poem aloud in a language your know very superficially.
Charles quotes from The Lushness of It by Mary Szybist. It’s a well-made poem, as modern verse goes, and obviously not a bunch of pretentious nonsense but a remarkably intelligible text. It might work as a concise theological treatise. However, I feel it is related to my notion of poetry as octopuses are related to mammals and birds.