I'm thinking I should write a guide to writing poems as well. I was going to do it once. I remember someone, an MFA Graduate, being outraged at the idea. You cannot have a textbook about writing poems. That seemed sacrilegious to him, somehow. That's not why I abandoned the project, but I remember thinking, if it is sacrilegious to have a textbook, why is it also not sacrilegious to have an MFA program? He refused to see my point, and got defensive: why was I attacking MFA programs, he wanted to know?
Of course, this would bring me back exactly to what I don't want to do in my other anti-textbook: tell them what good and bad poems are. I just get frustrated with other people's poems and want them to write better ones. This almost always happens to me at poetry readings. I never say anything, of course, but I am thinking they should study with me and I would help them write better.
This is a curious delusion on my part. I don't know quite how to abandon it, though I'm sure I should. When I find poetry written the way it ought to be, I know that immediately too.