What I get out of Plato is that he despises the democratic process. Plato's visions were of the utopia he so poignantly described, as in the best minds should be the ones making the decisions. Plato felt that democracy gave too many incompetents a chance to govern, so he pushed for his communistic utopia. About the poetry, yes Plato loved to bash it. One of his most gifted students, Aristotle was a bibliophile who wrote poetry, to which Plato bashed. Plato differed from Socrates because all Socrates ever wanted to do was ask a bounty of questions, while Plato offered alternative results, thus his utopian model.