- What is the poet trying to say/accomplish here?
- How well does her or she accomplish that?
- What elements of the poem help or hinder these goals?
- What elements of the poem are aesthetically or stylistically pleasing?
If you want a more detailed evaluative rubric, I'm quite fond of the method proposed by Ann Lauterbach in an interview in Daniel Kane's book, What is Poetry: Conversations with the American Avant-Garde:
DK: Is there a method or series of steps that you might recommend teachers to take in presenting "On (Open)" [a poem of Lauterbach's they'd been discussing] to high school students not so familiar with poetry?
AL: A poem is not a puzzle to be solved. A poem is an experience, an event, in and of language. It should be approached as such:
- What kind of event happened to you when you read this poem?
- Did you get a feeling?
- Did you have an idea?
- Did you get reminded of something?
- Did you go elsewhere, away from the familiar world into another, stranger, one?
- Did you look up words and find out new meanings, as you would ask directions in a strange city?
- Why do you think the poet made this word choice, and not another?
- Why do you think the line is broken here, at this word, and not at another?
- How is a line break in a poem different from a comma or a period in a prose sentence?