Find the right definition of poetry, and you may be able to find a way to make money at it. Some songwriters manage–Willie Nelson comes to mind, and at least some of his songs definitely qualify.
The real question is why we think money is the only way to measure the value of a work. Clearly, there has been much money made on work that is clearly dreck, at least on the short term, but the real question here is how much money is the poetry of one’s soul worth?
This image begs the question of whether corporations are evil by nature, and insists that money is the root of all evil, when even the Good Book states that it is the love of money that is the problem, the esteem of money over everything else, the worship of Mammon, that is the problem.
That same book reminds us not to bind the mouths of the ox that grinds the grain, and that the worker is worthy of the wage. I could go off on a rant about sanctimonious red-pub-lycans at this point, but that would be redundant–they’ve already sold themselves out. I don’t think my liberal friends are doing a lot better, a little too much whining and finger-pointing when even Brittney Spears can spare a Ben Franklin for a homeless guy as long as he doesn’t hug her. And then you have Stephen Colbert funding South Carolina teacher grants. I hate to break it to you, but having money makes it easier to help other people, some of whom may even write poetry, or paint or sculpt or make music–those things that make life better.
And for that matter, if you are a Steve Jobs, you might be able to make money by doing what your soul desires. Money is grease. You can’t live by bread alone and it takes grease to make gravy. Money helps to keep you moving, especially if you have some when you need it, and you can worry less about making the rent and more about rendering a rhyme.