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Poetry-III – Assignment.
Name: Aleena Farooq.
Roll no. 07.
B.S. English – (6th Semester.)
Topic: History of Mo...
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 Use of intertextuality.
 Use of allusions and multiple association of words
 Borrowings from other culture...
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In their consideration for the working classes, some modern English poets have gone over to
the side of radica...
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wanted were the unchanging laws of science, and they adopted a language of tensions and
psychology without und...
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Modernism And the trends of Modern Poetry.

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Modernism And the trends of Modern Poetry.

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Modernism And the trends of Modern Poetry.

  1. 1. 1 | P a g e Poetry-III – Assignment. Name: Aleena Farooq. Roll no. 07. B.S. English – (6th Semester.) Topic: History of Modern Poetry.  Introduction to Modernism:  Modernism is a comprehensive movement which began in the closing years of the 19th century and has had a wide influence internationally during much of the 20th century.  It reveals breaking away from established rules, traditions and conventions, fresh ways of looking at man’s position and function in the universe and many experiments in form and style.  It is particularly concerned with language and how to use it.  It is a style or movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms.  Embracing change and present, modernism encompasses the works of thinkers who rebelled against nineteenth century academic traditions  Believing the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated.  They directly confronted the new economic, social and political aspects of an emerging fully industrialized world.  Rebelled against Victorian artificialities, moral bankruptcy and historicist traditions.  Encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence (e.g. commerce/philosophy)  Background of Modern Poetry:  After 1900 the English scene becomes terribly chaotic. In the field of poetry-as also in other fields of literature-we find a tremendous activity.  We find a lot of experimentation and innovation in modern poetry. Most of the poets have broken away from tradition completely, as they feel that poetry should change with the changing times. Modern poetry exercises a great freedom in the choice of themes.  The two wars and impending danger of a third have cast a gloomy shadow on much of the poetry of the twentieth century.  The modern age been called "the age of anxiety." In spite of material prosperity poets were full of tensions and anxieties which are almost an inseparable feature of modern living.  Add to them the disappearance of religious faith and disillusionment is natural in modern poetry.  Features of Modern Poetry:-  Traditional "poetic diction" and even regular meter have been discarded almost completely.  Though rhyme has almost gone, rhythm freed from the artificial demands of metrical regularity is still used.  A language with the flow and turns of common speech is mostly employed.  Free verse is the most usual mode of all serious poetry of today.  In the twentieth century many experiments have been made on the technique and diction of poetry.  Juxtaposition of ideas
  2. 2. 2 | P a g e  Use of intertextuality.  Use of allusions and multiple association of words  Borrowings from other cultures.  Unconventional use of metaphors.  Massive use of alliteration and assonance.  Use of visual images in distinct lines.  Trends in Modern Poetry:  The Decline: Tradition and Innovation : Many have sincerely felt that in the twentieth century no great poetry was written and none is being written now. As a critic has put it, there have been many poetic persons in the twentieth century, but no poets. It is said that as civilization advances poetry declines. Poetry indeed has declined, though it is somewhat debatable if civilization has advanced. At the beginning of the new century at least, there was no poet of any stature.  Modern Themes: Modern poetry exercises a great freedom in the choice of themes. Gone are days when it was believed that the job of the poet was only to create "beauty." T. S. Eliot offers a representative view. He is free to write poems on themes ranging from the cosmos to a pin's head. Some poems have been written on pretty unpromising subjects which are peculiar to our machine age.  Unflinching Realism: This thematic revolution is indicative of the unflinching realism of the poets of the twentieth century. The searching realism of modern poets often brings them face to face with repulsive facts which would have scandalized a goody-goody Victorian. But our poets handle them most daringly. Prostitution, war, slum-dwellers, and other such "unpoetic" themes find adequate treatment in modern poetry. Our century has witnessed two terrible holocausts in the two global wars. The terror, ugliness, and brutality of war became a major theme in the poetry of "the war poets" like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen who themselves fought as soldiers. Bitter satire permeates the former's poems like "Counter-Attack" ("set out to present in brutal verse the realities of war without gloss or evasion") and "Suicide in Trenches." Some war poets, such as Rupert Brooke, however, seem to have loved war as a test of their valiance and patriotism, and they treated it in their poetry accordingly.  Pessimism: The pessimism of twentieth-century poets is-not of the nature-of the somewhat stylized melancholy of Shelley or what David Daiches describes as "the Tennysonian elegiac mode with its lingering enjoyment of self-pity." It is more intellectual and more impersonal.  Humanitarianism: This pessimistic realization of sad realities of life is partly responsible for the note of fellow- feeling and humanitarianism which is to be heard in the work of some modern poets. The realization of human suffering spurs them to align themselves with the suffering. The twentieth- century poets like Galsworthy, Gibson, and Masefield also voiced their indignation against social repression.
  3. 3. 3 | P a g e In their consideration for the working classes, some modern English poets have gone over to the side of radical socialism, and even communism.  Romantic Tendency: Such prosaic social concern is basically cold to all romantic tendencies. Most modern poets, as we have said earlier, scorn all romanticism-even the subdued kind of romanticism as in Tennyson. Others have also freely tilted against the traditional romanticism. Still, a few modern poets manifest unmistakable romantic tendencies. Among these poets may be mentioned W. B. Yeats, John Masefield and Edward Thomas. Yeats' imagery is often redolent of mythical splendor  Nature: Another "romantic tendency to be found in some modern poets is interest in nature. Nature fascinates some poets because she offers such a wonderful contrast with the hubbub and ugliness of an industrialized and over-sophisticated age. Such poets as Masefield, Robert Bridges, W. E. Davies, and Edmund Blunden may not find any mystic significance in nature, but they are, all the same, charmed by her unsophisticated beauty.  Religion and Mysticism: Religion and mysticism also find a place in the work of some poets of the twentieth century. Coventry Patmore and Francis Thompson, who wrote religious poetry towards the end of the preceding century, seem to have inspired a number of poets in this century. In the poetry of the Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins we have something religious now and then. Ralph Hodgson's The Song of Honour is a notable poem pulsating with religious feelings. Even in the poetry of such poets as Yeats there are mystical strains.  Complexity and Psychological Profundity: Complexity and psychological profundity are some other qualities of the more representative poetry of today. The reaction against the earlier naiveté of poetry was initiated by Eliot and Ezra Pound in the second decade of the present century. The publication of Hopkins's work in 1918 was also a force in the new direction. Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, and Hilda Doolittle were the pioneers of Imagism in poetry. Visual images before they were matured by intellect were sought to be expressed by them without any respect for conventional phraseology. Many of the major poets of the century have shown the influence of the Imagist doctrines in their work.  Diction and Meter: This movement has also revolutionized the concept of poetic diction and meter. Traditional "poetic diction" and even regular meter have been discarded almost completely. A language with the flow and turns of common speech is mostly employed. Verse libre (free verse) is the most usual mode of all serious poetry of today.  Death of Truth: The New Criticism ushered in by Pound and Eliot, finding in the admired poetry of the past so much that was no longer true, declared that truth was not to be looked for in poetry. All that mattered were the words on the page, and the ingenious skill with which they deployed. The experience of historians was set aside, as was indeed that of readers of historical romances, both of whom can remain happily suspended between the past and present. What the New Critics
  4. 4. 4 | P a g e wanted were the unchanging laws of science, and they adopted a language of tensions and psychology without understanding the issues involved.  Poet as Social Outcast: Few of the accomplished poets of the nineteenth century worked with the political and social concerns of the day, and their influence waned as the public turned to those who did: journalists, social commentators and reformers. Rather than accept that poetry had a duty to more fully and significantly represent what is most human in us, and so return to the public arena, the later nineteenth-century poets contended that poetry was not language used to its fullest extent, but an altogether different way of using language.  Refuge in the Irrational: Naturally, as they turned from the public to the private sphere, poets encountered the inner doubts and confusions known to writers from antiquity, but which had recently been organized into theories by Sigmund Freud. They did not wish to know how bogus, trivializing and ineffective was psychoanalysis in practice, but only that it opened doors to vivid expression. Everything was permitted if words were cover for unedifying desires, and a profusion of sects and movements sprang up: Imagism, Crane’s symbolism, Pound’s ideograms, Surrealism and the Deep Image School, Dadaism, Thomas’s Welsh rhetoric, Romantic revivals in America and England, confessional poetry and poetry that spoke to ethnic and socially disadvantaged groups.  Rejection of the Past: No doubt the new approaches challenged what poetry had once been, but the new practitioners rewrote history. Poetry had always been contemporary, they argued, which now meant being direct, personal and American. Great poetry had in fact been more than that, but the supporters of popular Modernism—William Carlos Williams, the Black Mountain School, Beat Poets and the San Franciscans—had answers ready. Poetry must be unmediated if sincere, and the techniques of verse were a handicap to expression. They remembered Pound’s “make it new”, and asserted that a more democratic age must have a more democratic poetry. Theoretical scaffolding became a necessary part of contemporary poetry, the more so as the floodgates were soon to be opened in schools and writing classes throughout the country.  Famous Modern Poets:-  Samuel Beckett.  James Joyce.  T.S Eliot.  William Faulkner.  William Butler Yeats.  Ezra Pound.  D. H. Lawrence.  Gertrude Stein.

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