I think poetry's kinda like a segway - you don't really know how it works (unless you head to Wikipedia), but you jump on anyway and once you get the hang of it, you go places with so much more ease.
I use poetry as a drawing board, a blank canvas for me to tell people who bother reading what and how I feel the precise moment I wrote the piece. In a simple act of writing I engrave that instance of my life onto eternity, readying itself for a retelling whenever I feel like reminiscing.
To find out more about a person, I'd say to read their writing first. For when they are alone with a pen do you see what they truly are. It's like how your character is defined by your behavior whenever you're alone in a room.
I thank those who have opened themselves to an interpretation of my emotion, no matter if you feel what I felt. While I try my best to recreate the raw feeling, it's your imagination and understanding that lends meaning to my words.
But I say too much and am testing your patience on this moment of creative masturbation. No matter what I write, I hope you take meaning from it.
And that may just be the best purpose yet.