It seems that a lot of people are getting the argument of Ben Lerner's The Hatred of Poetry wrong. I think his argumentation, as far as it goes, is unassailable. He claims that the so-called hatred of poetry is the product of an excessive exaltation of poetry. If poetry is put on a pedestal, then actual poems will disappoint. So there is a weird logic going on. He confesses that he himself participates in this logic, and subscribes to it. This is an honest position, and it doesn't mean that he "hates poetry" in any simplistic sense. In fact, by exposing this logic, he pretty much refutes it.
Poetry itself is somewhat ridiculous. It is really absurd that it even exists, and most of it will be disappointing. What I find missing in Lerner's argument is something about the pleasure of actually existing poems, those that work their magic not only through the via negativa.
There is a wall of mediocre poetry that prevents people from being interested in the good stuff. If what is presented most of the time to us as poetry were all there were, I, too, would dislike it. I conceive of poetry as the enemy of mediocrity itself.
A really good poem just is good, in itself. It doesn't need only to gesture to some poetry that it cannot quite realize.
When we study poetry as academics, we do so historically, so we have to include the mediocre in with everything else. We can also study, historically, the development of ideas like those of Lerner.