The title, "Introduction to Poetry," drops a pretty solid clue on us readers. It literally tells us the topic at hand: poetry. Through the speaker's descriptions and Collins' use of figurative language, it becomes pretty clear that poet and speaker think poetry is a great deal more than just a bunch of words on a piece of paper. In their eyes, poetry is an art form to be experienced and enjoyed—a living breathing part of our culture and our lives. For the students the speaker is trying to teach, poetry seems less like an art form and more like an enemy to be vanquished—slain like some kind of fire-breathing literary dragon so they can make off with its cave full of test answers (sorry for going all D&D with it, but we…actually we have no excuse).
Art appreciation cannot be taught. People either get it or they don't, so this poem misses the point.
For a society to be considered great, it must create art.