As much as possible, i do try to put myself into the poets situation, though it definitely is very hard to do. If not, i try to just understand as much as i can what the poet is trying to convey. I've always said that to me, a poets greatness is measured by how effective he/she is in putting the reader exactly on the writer's position. The poem that could apply to me personally obviously hits me deeper in the heart than poems that don't. Maybe it's the same for a lot of other readers in here, or maybe with you too. Why? I don't know. Maybe cause I have felt it first hand. But most of the time, when all doesn't work the way I'd like it to, I just make my self an open ear for the poem. Just someone they talk to basically.
"So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this give life to thee." W.S.