Some poems cry out to be written in rhyme, others fall naturally into free verse, and either can be good. It's perfectly possible that the best three poems in a competition could be rhymeless. On the other hand, I agree that there is some prejudice against rhymed verse, perhaps because there was too much of it in past times. You need a particular kind of talent to write it well; a bad rhyming poem immediately proclaims its faults, whereas a bad unrhymed poem might simply send us to sleep! But when it works, it's magnificent! The best poems were in free verse and I would agree that it takes a mighty talent to achieve originality in rhyme nowadays.
It's not, of course, that modern poets don't rhyme - many of us do - but often taking care to rhyme with subtlety so that it's not immediately obvious. We use near rhyme, or we soften our true rhymes with enjambment. Of course if a poem doesn't want to rhyme – and half the time it doesn't – a lot of us are happy to write free verse too. But by rhyming subtly, we find a way of avoiding the 'over-familiar devices or patterns' rejected by Pound and confront, instead, the unexpected. Rhyme can be liberating.
In my opinion, when I come to think of a poem… my immediate reaction is a rhyming poem that bounces around in my head! However there is deeper meaning to poems, many have subliminable messages for exampe. Others are based around their life or life decisions. Many poets say that writing about your