Are you a poet and don't know it? Well, there are lots of people who write poetry and never use it for anything but their own pleasure. If you want to put yourself out on the limb and maybe try to earn some cash for your poetry, it will take some time and effort.
There is a market for poetry, but it is basically the same as getting your book published. You need to let publishers know who you are and that you want to be published. The best resource to use for such a thing is the "Poet's Market". You can find the latest version in your local library or purchase one at your local bookstore. You will have to learn to market your poetry this way. Some of this marketing can be done on the internet and some will be done by the postal service.
If you are really good at poetry, it may be well worth the try. If you are serious about getting your poems published, you should set a goal of submitting your poetry to as many places as you think you can handle. Starting with a weekly quota would be a good goal.
You should keep track of all the poems you submit so you will know which publishers you used. This will be helpful in the future too, as some do not want you to resubmit the same poetry. Tracking this on an excel spreadsheet would be the best way to keep yourself organized.
One of the most important things to remember is that there are guidelines with each publishing company. They are all different as well, and there are no set of standard guidelines.
As with other kinds of writing submissions, you should always familiarize yourself with the publisher that you want to submit work to. This will give you an idea of what kind of work they are looking for and therefore give you a much better chance of getting accepted. If you decide to do a cover letter with each poetry submission, don't be long winded with it.
When a publisher decides to use your work, it is usually a onetime right, and this does not include future rights unless agreed upon by you and the publisher. If you agree to "All Rights", you will be giving the publisher permission to print at any time. In this case, you would not be allowed to submit to any other publisher.
There are also First Rights in which a publisher is offered use of a poem for the first publishing of that poem. When and if that same poem is submitted and offered publishing again, it is known as Second Rights. In this case, the first publisher will get credit at the time of the reprinting of the poem.
Be patient when waiting for a reply from publishers. They are overwhelmed with submissions and it can take weeks or months to get a reply. Getting poetry published is like any other process in writing, it takes time and effort on your part to make it work. You will not be a star overnight but who knows what may happen in time.