I voted yes. Poetry can help increase one's comprehension of literature. When reading poetry, you're forced to comprehend certain aspects of it, and when you read poetry often, it becomes second nature. This is in my humble student's opinion, though.
I must confess, I've never read any complete volume of poetry. I don't really like poetry. I don't know why, but it's just not interesting. I never quite understand it, and if I do, I have to think about it really hard.
I thought that was the idea of poetry from an educational perspective- it makes you think. I quite like Ezra Pound's definition of it as language charged to the utmost with meaning, even if his oeuvre was largely unreadable tosh. ;-)
I think that your Ezra Pound quote, tdol, explains why I, not mention most school kids, don't have this affection for peotry. Poets try to cram too much meaning into one poem. They try to tell you one emotion they're feeling, but they try to tell you every emotion after that. Plus they're much too loquacious. Just say it. Don't beat around the bush with words, and make it seem too complicated. Though it can be beautiful when done right.
Edit: I was wondering if you could give me a few good authors, and perhaps the names of some volumes that would better help me to understand poetry, or that would just be good to read.
I like Yeats and Larkin. Here's one of Larkin's most famous and quoted poems, but few know more than the first couple of lines:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with all the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Go out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself
The most important book I have read on literature, poetry, etc, is CS Lewis' 'A Preface to Paradise Lost' The openind, where he describes what is required to judge something is an unassailable piece of arguing. You can read it without knowing Milton, too. ;-)
CS Lewis is a great author, IMO. I still re-read the Narnia books every couple of years. I'm not religious, but the Screwtape Letters is a classic. His science fiction has its moments and he still found time to be a genuinely great critic. Quite a guy. ;-)
I love C.S. Lewis. I read the Narnia books when I was in like sixth grade, and I've read The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis is a wonderful author for the non-secular and secular alike; even his more religious novels. They always contain something that can improve your life, and you don't have to be religious at all to understand it.