Have you reckon'd the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poetry?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall
possess the origin of all poetry
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun,
(there are millions of suns left)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books.
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.
This (demanding, passionate) snippet from Song of Myself by Walt Whitman encourages spending time with poetry so that words can come alive in a way unique to the reader. In that sense, poems are like fingerprints - not one person's application is the same.
[hypertext image of Whitman's writings via here]