One of my favorite stories growing up was "The Emperor's New Suit" by Hans Christian Andersen. For those who may be unfamiliar with it, it's the tale of an Emperor who is taken in by a pack of grifters because he is afraid to say that he doesn't see something that they tell him he is supposed to see. It takes the innocence and honesty of a small child to finally set things right because he can tell just by looking that the Emperor he"has nothing on at all.”
Art is for everyone. It's for all of mankind, not just the perceived intellectual elite. Yes, art is supposed to make you think, but it's supposed to make you think about something. It's not supposed to make you think about what the heck you are supposed to be thinking about. Telling people that you "don't want to dumb down" your work for the public is a total cop out.
If you are a poet, and you have something to say, you need to figure out a way to say it so that people understand. It doesn't matter how smart you think you are. If you get up in a room full of people and pour out your heart to them, hoping to get them to understand how you feel, if you're speaking in Greenlandic Norse, and no one in the room understands Greenlandic Norse (since the last known speaker of it died in the late 15th or early 16th century), you are wasting your time. This elitist attitude of "If they don't understand, that's their problem" is a fallacy. If they don't understand what you are saying, it's your problem. While work that the public may not appreciate can be cathartic to the artist solely by its creation, it's value to an unaccepting world is nil.