Poetry has changed over the years, and modern poetry is not the same eclectic and elitist prose you may remember from your high school reading. Modern poetry is written in plain English, filled with imagery and emotion, and is so much easier to read than poetry of the past. If you haven't read modern poetry, you don't know what you are missing!
Edgar Allan Poe wrote the Raven, which is a wonderful piece of prose or poetry, and it is filled with imagery, emotion, metaphor, and hidden meaning. It's also filled with Old English and esoteric lines, making it difficult to read without having to stop and analyze the deeper or hidden meaning behind it.
Even some current poets write in the eclectic poetic stylings of the past, but the reader will spend so much time trying to figure out what the writer meant, that the meaning and emotion behind the writing is all but lost. Poetry is not something most readers want to analyze. It is something readers want to feel and experience.
The old style of poetry writing is great if you have the time and inclination to sit and read through it and study the meanings and imagery behind it. However, with today's busy schedules, only the literary types or students have the time to stop and put that much thought into something, when poetry should really be evoking emotion, not analysis.
That's what makes modern poetry works!
Modern poetry creates a short story, with visual imagery, in a few lines rather than a few pages. Modern poetry touches your heart, by evoking emotion with which you can relate, about things you probably have experienced yourself.
The common themes for modern poetry are love and romance, nature, beauty, and loss and grief. These are all things that everyone can relate to, and when written in verse form, with modern language use, a poem or piece of prose can bring about feelings long forgotten, remind of times of strong emotion, or speak of dreams for the future...all in a few lines, instead of pages of story.
A good book or a novel makes you think, striking the imagination...poetry and prose makes you feel, striking the emotions. Why not give modern poetry a chance? You can search online for samples or go to your local bookstore and pick up a copy and check it out. You may just be surprised how much you enjoy reading modern poetry!