Jejudo, South Korea
My first two points are indeed absurd. I was trying to show that subjectivity does not lead to 'anything goes'. The first point, in the extreme, is copying. The second point is inventing your own idiosyncratic language to write a poem. The first, besides being against the law, doesn't really get at what we like to call, I think, poetry. You can compare the two poems, even admire the penmanship in one or the other but that's a judgement of calligraphy, not poetry. The second is also possible but someone else has to learn that language before it is appreciated, before it can be considered 'good'. In the extreme second case, even the writer wouldn't understand what he or she wrote because there would be no way to refer to it inside his/her own head.
Neither of these are recognizably poetry, or,if you want, they won't be recognized as good poetry by most people.
Can we agree on this point?
As far as 'the original' as opposed to originality, the original is never a pristine object that 'starts' a movement. It is a variation from some other form (not always recognized as poetry) that developed over time. At some point, we arbitrarily decide that that was the first one and follow from there. Certainly, the history of the sonnet or the villanelle can be traced farther than that first sonnet or villanelle in Italy or France. Furthermore, the emphasis on the 'original' often neglects the real changes that have gone on after it. There's more to say here but I'll leave it for now.
Your comments on my use of 'community' are right on the mark. It is vague but I find it useful because it allows for change: communties change. Simply, I meant people who define themselves as readers of poetry (as a hobby) and professional readers (academics). Writers of poetry who can't be placed in these two groups ("I don't read this stuff; I just write it") are left out in the cold here, not because they are excluded, but because they can't communicate on the subject.
People who read poetry exclusively at Passions are part of a sub-community who may or may not be recognized by the more general poetry community (which is filled with disagreement as well). If this general community excludes a poem, it's not so much that they are 'intellectual snobs' (all the time anyway) but more of a sense of 'that's not what we do around here'.
If, on the other hand, you can get into the arguments, the conversations, you are part of that community.
What seems to happen, however, is that many people who are initially rejected from this community, reject it at the same time or are afraid to try for fear of rejection.
And here we come to fractal007's argument. A poem has to touch someone in the heart. It has to be moving in some way. I admit the argument is perhaps muted in much discussion of poetry but not because it's forgotten.
It's already a given.
I have to stop here for now but I'll address popular versus poetic-academic poetry and the 'heart' question more clearly next time.