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Modernism In Poetry Essay

946 words - 4 pages

Modernism was a prodigious movement in England and America during the period between 1860 to the 1970s. It was developed as a literary stance that responded to Victorian aesthetic moral precepts and literary techniques. It permeated many disciplines, from which included literature and philosophy. The concept of Modernism is widely expressed throughout poetry literature. Wystan Hugh Auden and William Carlos Williams, were from the first few who endorsed modernist views through their written work. Auden’s poem, “Stop all The Clocks,” publicly declared his homosexuality which, at that time was extremely subversive and prohibited. Likewise, In “This is Just to Say,” Carlos Williams breaks away from the standardised complexity of traditional poetry and expresses his sentiment through utter simplicity that mayn’t have appeared to be of any value. In consequence, both poems are able convey modernist concepts through which render detached views from the society’s norm in the early 20th century.

The opening of a new decade in the 20th century, had brought on a new era of vista of human prospects. It put into question previously accepted means in consequence of evaluating and assessing the worth of new ideas. It was a new approach to society's standardised conceptions, and was marked by experimentation and manipulation through the apprehension that knowledge is not absolute. “Modernism released us from the constraints of everything that had gone before with a euphoric sense of freedom,” Arthur Erickson. It didn’t only materialise throughout literature and philosophy but also throughout the arts, anthropology, sculpture, music and architecture. Dan Cruickshank described this movement as being one of a, “positive rejection of the past and the blind belief in the process of change, in novelty for its own sake, in the idea that progress through time equates with cultural progress; in the cult of individuality, originality and self-expression.” Modernism is an evolutionary movement that defines a culture while encompassing the society as a whole. It is comprised of Inconsistency and fluctuations in conviction.

In “Stop all the Clocks,” Auden exposes his homosexuality as a breakthrough from the traditional views of his society. This poem is a melodic iambic pentameter with an internal rhyme. It is a classical elegy in which conveyed the hopelessness of life and was Auden’s manner of publicising his deep mourning over the loss of his dead lover. Throughout this poem Audens’ passionate love to the same gender is perceived and is constantly opposing societal precepts, provoking modernism. He not only betrays his obnoxious nature but demands everyone to lament and mourn his lover with him, “Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.” It was his means of dealing with the loss of his one true love to death. “He was my North, my South, my...

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