The Blue Wizard of Oz asked, "How would you rate Tolkien's poetry?"
It sucks. No, wait a minute. I just said that to get a laugh. The Pound snob within me says that, but I love a lot of Tolkien's poetry, and I find it integral to The Lord of the Rings which I adore. I particularly admire his ability to write poems in languages he himself created.
I just finished teaching The Lord of the Rings again last month, and we had a blast. I got switched to a new classroom last summer, and I grumbled about it, but I did like the fact the I now had room for a bookshelf dedicated to Tolkien. I have to the right of my desk beneath my large map of Middle Earth which my wife bought me years ago. My old principal had a classroom set of The Hobbit, so I have 30 plus copies of The Hobbit which I have taught at least three times. (I look forward to the new film, and I wonder if they will show the White Council attacking Dol Guldur.)
Tolkien seems to have little interest in post-Swinburnean developments in English poetry, but so what? He had steeped himself in Medaeval poetry in a variety of languages, and that enabled him to build an unparalleled linguistic verisimilitude into his writing. He wrote that he loathed allegory (perhaps a dig at C. S. Lewis) and that he preferred history, even feigned history. His linguistic creativity enabled him to create his multi-layered feigned history of peoples with a vital oral poetry tradition.
I also taught his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight a few years ago, which I enjoyed.