Meaning or no meaning?

I started wondering do poems have to be evasive and have a secret code. Is it bad if the message is clear, does that make it a “weak poem”.? Many of the poems we read we tend to look for what are they talking about or what was the poet going through that could have influenced that. However what if is just a combination of words that worked well together or images that came to mind and they just made sense of them. Does there have to be something for the reader to figure out or can it be straightforward?. I just notice that most of the more spoken about poems have hidden messages so I fell as though they make it better in the world but is that always the case. I guess I am curious as to what makes a poem stick or what makes it a strong poem. I always thought it was language and how you make certain words blend together. Or if there was a story aspect to it and takes your reader from their reality and into this mini world or moment you created.

How do you define a poem?

I was thinking about all the different ways we shape our poems, in terms of length, stanza, white space, rhyming, not rhyming metaphors, or literal, and I was thinking what is the basic structure. What must a poem have to be called a poem, especially now that there are pros poems?(They probably have always been around but it is new to me.) There was this image or sound in my head about what is a poem growing up, haikus, limerick, lyrical, sonnets and all these poems have rules you must follow. What about poems that have no rules? Is it acceptable for me to write something and say this is a poem? I am begging to think it is more of the way a piece read or makes readers feel when reading. Poetry is ever changing and growing, This could be a poem about poetry, possibly. There are many things that are poetry but what is not poetry? Even in asking that question I realize that everything is poetry, everything has something about it that is poetic. But what screams I AM NOT POETRY.