I think you both have it right. In this context, poor could mean impoverished, unfortunate, or unskilled.
When speaking literally, we put the adjective AFTER the noun is describing, but when speaking figuratively, we put it BEFORE. So, ella es una poeta pobre (literal) means she is poor moneywise. Ella es una pobre poeta (figurative) means a bad poet (lacking skills).
Yes, you could put in él/ella for clarity. But this is a common Spanish construction. Un/una indicates whether the poet is male or female, so él/ella is omitted for brevity. It's understood that a poet is not an "it."
The Duolingo translation "It is a poor poet" is incorrect.
Ok, that makes sense. I was confused because I got the "mark all correcT" option and marked "she" and "it" because it grammatically made sense and I thought it would mark it wrong if I didn't include it, but an "it" can't be a poet in most cases, so that makes sense. Thanks!
"Poeta" is a noun that is spelled the same for male and female poets. This is atypical of many of the words you learn early on, but there's lots of these words in Spanish. In this case, the clue to the gender is the word before it: "un" for male and "una" for female. So "un poeta" is a male poet and "una poeta" is a female poet.
Correct. As you mention further down in the thread, "es" here can (should) be translated to "he is." I suppose if you came across a homeless poet, but didn't recognize the poet as human, you might have a short conversation like this:
"What is it?" "It is a poet."
Still doesn't seem correct though, as you point out.
Poeta has a feminine form, it is "poetisa". There are some as "médico" (doctor) that only have a masculine form. That's because of historical reasons. Men used to be the only ones allowed to study medicina a few decades ago. Also "matrona" (midwife) has only a feminine form because masculine midwife had always been very rare. Then there are others as "músico" (musician) that only have a masculine form because the feminine would be "música" which mean music and it's weird.
"Cuentan de un sabio que un día
tan pobre y mísero estaba,
que sólo se sustentaba
de unas hierbas que cogía.
¿Habrá otro, entre sí decía,
más pobre y triste que yo?;
y cuando el rostro volvió
halló la respuesta, viendo
que otro sabio iba cogiendo
las hierbas que él arrojó..."
"La Vida es Sueño" de Pedro Calderón de la Barca