Okay, I'm responding to Deborah Ager's challenge to make my own list.
1. Black velvet is elegant and lovely, but not mandatory. Oftentimes, the best poets don't look like poets (you know, the berets, the beards, the capes).
2. There's no money in it. None. That's why poets are more generous than other artists. Usually.
3. You must love words, must collect them the way some people collect coins or shells. And you must always be on the lookout for new ones.
4. Any day when a new poem is underway is intensely exciting. The poem goes everywhere you go. There's something obsessive about this.
5. Real poets read poetry. Voraciously. It's how we go to school each day.
6. You would write poetry even if no one published you. But you might not revise so carefully.
7. Poets must sit on their poems the way hens sit on eggs. There's no way to rush this.