Billy Collins likens a poem to a window. A clean window, I assume. Accessible. Comprehensible. I thought of this after Merriam-Webster sent their word for the day: abstruse
Understanding poetry should be the opposite of abstruse. It should be struse. Since that’s not a word in the sense I’d like to use it, I want to go on record that poetry shouldn’t be confusing or puzzling for its own sake. If a reader ponders over a poem, it should be to probe the poem itself. Maybe to see the subject in a new way. Or to be introduced to an unfamiliar theme or feeling.
The only good thing about saying poetry is abstruse is that you pucker up. So kiss the idea that poetry should be confusing good-bye.