David McCooey reviews 'The Hatred of Poetry' by Ben Lerner

Do people hate poetry, as the title of Ben Lerner's terrific book-sized essay implies? In Lerner's account, poetry is associated with hatred and contempt, even by its practitioners, because of the gap between the ideal, imagined poem and the real productions of poets; between 'Poetry' and the embarrassing existence of actual poems. Between these two poles we find poets, and those who, along with Plato, would banish poetry from the ideal Republic.

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Published in August 2016, no. 383

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