Greenville, South Carolina
As humorous as your cat example may be, it's a little off the topic. This discussion isn't about what is a poem and what is not a poem. It's (unless I'm mistaken, and please tell me if I am) about how a poem can be unpoetic. In other words, it is a poem, but not a very good one.
"Why argue that there is no such thing as a real green and red, just because some may be color blind?"
Excellent example, very good. Let's say someone is colorblind, they can't see red or green, ok. For them, red and green does not exist because they can't see it. Now, I want someone who is not color blind to explain to that person what red looks like and what green looks like. It's not possible to truly give them a full definition and really let them know what the color is.
This goes along the lines of a past discussion on this board about reality. I chimed in my two cents about my theory of two different realities: the worldly (authentic) reality, and the personal reality of the individual. If a mentally insane person says that spiders are nesting in his ears, then to him he has spiders in his ears. You, a sane person, cannot tell him otherwise. Sure, you can try to reason with him but he still feels their presence on his skull. It would be the same as if you, still a sane person, actually had a spider on your leg and you knew it was real; no one could tell you any different because you have a spider on your leg. It's the same concept with our insane man, it's totally real with him. Why do you think people on LSD tend to jump out windows? The hallucinations are so real to them they can't cope.
Now, let me ask you, do you like Charles Bukowski? Or William S. Burroughs, Franz Kafka, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso or John Steinbeck? Is there one author in there you don't like? Do any of those people not tickle your literary fancy? There are plenty of books and authors that do not cater to our tastes. Do you have any idea how many publishers turned down Mario Puzo's The Godfather? It's insane how many turned him down until Putnam decided to do it. The other publishers didn't like the book, they thought it was "unbookworthy" if you will. So yes, I do believe that a poem can only be unpoetic to the individual and perhaps a masterpiece to another. For instance, that "roses are red" poem; I hear first graders really love it.
And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."