Modern Poetry Essay

1265 words - 5 pages

A word that can be heard in every day conversation is the word “modern”. Everything has to be modern in the 21st century: modern technology and books and clothes, nobody wants the old stuff anymore because it is not worth as much as what is around now. Modern poetry is: “For artists and writers, the Modernist project was a re-evaluation of the assumptions and aesthetic values of their predecessors” ( Even poetry that has been around for centuries has a new twist and can be considered modern now. Everyone seems to want to move on and up in the world and to have the best, most influential things in their life for their future.
Modern poetry really puts a spin on what has been out there and redone in the past. Three things that make modern poetry modern are: the use of symbols, the use of imagism and the use of disillusionment. In Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, he uses those characteristics of poetry together to create a modern poem that speaks to the heart of its readers, whether they have experienced what the poem is about, or not.
The poem is about a man’s son who has died in the war, so the only way the son will ever come home again is when his body is shipped to his family for a memorial service. Owen himself fought in World War I so what he expresses through his path of his modern poem hits home and is a very personal battle for him. He discusses how solemn the subject of war is and to those around him who have had the experiences of war under their belts. He was able to successfully get his message of how unfair war is across to his readers through the anger and sadness he uses from beginning to the end of the poem.
One important thing to notice about the poem is that it is written using Petrarchan, also known as the Elizabethan sonnet. The fourteen lines of the poem are divided into two stanzas; the stanzas break apart at line seven. The poem has ten syllables of iambic pentameter which means that each meter is five feet long starting with a short syllable and ending with a long one. This is a very common form of poetry that readers are very familiar with.
Symbols in poetry are extremely important. A symbol is defined as : “Every word denotes, refers to, or labels something in the world, but a symbol (to which a word, of course, may point) has a concreteness not shared by language, and can point to something that transcends ordinary experience” ( Irony, a symbol in poetry, comes in when a reader is just looking at a poem and notices that the poem is a sonnet. A typical sonnet is usually about love, but Owen’s poem seems to be an anti-love poem about war and death. There is usually never a good outcome to war because there are always going to be death, even if the death is not in the family; the surplus loss of lives hits everyone drastically. Death does not sound like a typical...

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