A lot of people already consider poetry as a waste of time, and literature overall seems to them as a waste of time for humans. I don’t disagree with them. Some poems are indeed just a waste of time, and some literature is just time consuming, but not all.
To me, or to someone with the same brainwave as me, poems need to fall in one or more of 4 categories in order to feel meaningful, and one of them will probably enrages any human who figures it out.
Training or skill shaping
Obviously every writer needs to start writer. Every poet, also needs to get into poetry. That being said, poems done in order to train your writing skills and shape your reaction speed, how fast you can determine the shape the poem is in, how the verses and their rhymes should be ordered, etc … This is how humans learn, by training and correcting their mistakes. This is more beneficial to the person doing it than the community that requires moral reshaping. This helps forward your current goal as a poet into writing for more important reasons.
Letting your emotions ponder
Some people use diaries, others use private blogs. Some may prefer writing whole books and some might enjoy rhyming the words to better show their feelings. It is pretty obvious that a human can write in order to be his own psychiatrist. How useful is this ? It’s : free, easy, accessible, and effective. Although not to the extreme point of writing poems, usually people just stick with blogging or writing in diaries. But giving your sentences some jewelry from time to time isn’t a bad thing.
Don’t be mistaken by the word you got used to hear when speaking of prison, it isn’t aimed mainly at just criminals as you may think if is, it’s pretty much like teaching a kid how to behave. Yes, it’s pretty obvious I suppose. Some societies require partial reshaping, or rehabilitation to some of it’s individuals in order to fix the way people approach moral issues or how humans behave. Poetry is a un-ignoreable tool if you want to reshape society. My native country for example, Tunisia, got a boost of motivation to regain it’s independence from France due to a poet who wrote about his love for his country. People might think music can do this better, but Poetry is still on the live side of changing society. It’s quick to say, not so hard to understand, and it’s catchy rhyming and rational structure allows it to spread in a relatively faster manner than the normal way of writing. This isn’t a generally up-voted reason to write poetry, and this does also apply to other literature forms, formally : story telling, article writing. It even applies to media and the net in general, hence why Blogs are such powerful tools.
I can’t say I’m sad to say it, because money is deeply related to most human that involves shareable activities, “free” was it or not. Poetry can be written in order to gain money. I remember one french teacher of mine who didn’t like Balzac so much due to the fact that he writes a book every month (normal literature). And I kind of agree with her, that feels like it’s a source of money rather than try to change society, although I haven’t read about Balzac. Nonetheless, there are people who write for money, whether we see them or not. It might feel infuriating for some, but remember that it’s a source of money for some, and they might not like to doing so and you can never know if it even suffices their living needs, so to them it may feel like half a job, although it is a hobby that you use for money.
There you go, [insert reader’s name here]. You seem to have read the whole post (or you skimmed some parts with your eyes, we all do that). Anyway, those are some useful ways why mainly poetry and generally literature can be useful in. But nowadays we should really speak of the internet and how media shapes society more than we should speak of old literature. Nonetheless, the media is the product of transitioning the ancient ways of spreading information to the age of the internet.