This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, And T.S. Eliot Change The Face Of American Poetry

1800 words - 7 pages

Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot Change the Face of American Poetry

Modernist poets such as E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot changed the face of American poetry by destroying the notion that American culture is far inferior to European culture. These and other American poets accomplished the feat of defining an American poetic style in the Modern Era by means of a truly American idea. That idea is the melting pot. Just as American culture exists as a mixture of races, beliefs, and ideas, the new American style of poetry exists as a mixture of old English styles with a new concept of the international style. Modern poets experiment with language, theme, and convention to "cleanse language and culture of old and worn-out meanings, and introduce to poetry what is American in thought, sensibility, perception, observation, and diction [. . .]. [T]hey become exemplary of the modern endeavors of consciousness itself" (McQuade 1241).

An important event that caused so many Modernist American poets to invoke the international style was the "expatriate immigration." Many American writers, artists, and musicians left for Europe, looking for new inspiration and fresh starts. Among those emigrating were Eliot, Pound, Hughes, Cummings, and Frost. Once in Europe, there writers were exposed to the new avant-garde art and poetry taking place there. At this time, the writers began to draw inspiration from and to imitate European writers. T. S. Eliot began to imitate the topics and tones of the French poets Charles Bauldelaire and Jules LaForgue, the latter for his bourgeoisie satire. Eliot's poetry written while in Europe displayed a satire that was foreign to American readers. Such is seen in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in which he mocks the shallow conversations about Michelangelo that are taking place among the wealthy women of the social gatherings. Pound was showing influence from the fourteenth-century Italian poets such as Guido Cavalcanti. In their works that follow their time in Europe, both Eliot and Pound display a hybridization of English and French and Italian ideas. Cummings began to imitate French Modernist poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Stephane Mallarmé. He also adopted an aesthetic based on the manifestos of French Surrealists and Dadaists, who "detached literature from referential meaning and linked it to experimental play" (McQuade 1235). Such experimental play is seen in Cummings' poem "[she being brand]" in which the creatively formed words and syntax give the image of a young man's thoughts, feelings, and actions upon driving his new car: "again slo-wly; bare,ly nudg. ing" (Cummings 15). The use of punctuation gives a vivid image of his thoughts as he carefully puts the stiff transmission into gear. Into another Cummings poem, "[in Just-]," we see more experimental play with the words to create the impression of the way excited children talk: "and eddieandbill come running from...

Find Another Essay On Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot Change the Face of American Poetry

Analysis of Wallace Stevens' "On Modern Poetry"

1102 words - 4 pages weaves a visual path through the job description of a poem and leaves the reader wondering what is said, and how to take it.The journey of poem writing is a perplexing one, especially in the area of method. When Wallace Stevens opens "On Modern Poetry" with the line: "The poem of the mind in the act of finding/What will suffice" (ll. 1-2). He is detailing the struggle to find the right word, the right scheme, or the right time for change. He then

A Force of Nature: Imagination in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens and John Ashbery

2026 words - 9 pages language shaping the world around him. Works Cited ASHBERY, John. “The instruction manual” in poetryfundation. Web. May 24. 2014. “Biography of Wallace Stevens” in poetryfundation. Web. May 23. 2014. “Biography of John Ashbery” in poetryfundation. Web. May 24. 2014. ELIOT, T.S. “Tradition and the Individual Talent” in poetryfundation. Web. May 23. 2014. PERKINS, David. “On Ashbery’s Predecessors: Stevens, Eliot and Pound” in Modern American

T.S. Eliot Poetry Analysis

1757 words - 7 pages Till Human Voices Wake Us:and We Drown Analysis of T.S. Eliot's Poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Till Human Voices Wake Us T.S. Eliot's “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” embodies many of the different feelings of American's during the Modernist movement. Prufrock was seen as the prototype of the modern man, it is through his character in this poem that T.S. Eliot shows how man felt insecure, how the new theories of

T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes and Modern Poetry

1031 words - 5 pages In the early 20th century, many writers such as T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot) and Langston Hughes wrote what scholars of today consider, modern poetry. Writers in that time period had their own ideas of what modern poetry should be and many of them claimed that they wrote modern work. According to T.S. Eliot’s essay, “From Tradition”, modern poetry must consist of a “tradition[al] matter of much wider significance . . . if [one] want[s] it

An Annotation of Wallace Stevens' Of Modern Poetry

2322 words - 9 pages An Annotation of Wallace Stevens' Of Modern Poetry In "Of Modern Poetry," Stevens describes the purpose of modern poetry given what the audience knows and values. Modern poetry must be different from traditional poetry, because people of his time perceive themselves and their world differently than the people of earlier times. Stevens suggests that war, like other changes, have affected what people believe. Poetry must reflect to its

Visual Effects Created By E.E. Cummings In His Poetry

1131 words - 5 pages Visual Effects Created By E.E. Cummings In His Poetry Edward Estlin Cummings, commonly referred to as E. E. Cummings, was born on October 14, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was a source of vast knowledge and was responsible for many creative works other than his poetry, such as novels, plays, and paintings. He published his first book of poetry Tulips and Chimneys in 1923. Many of his poems are known for the visual effects they create

Poetry must not stray too far from the ordinary everyday language which we use and hear' (T.S. Eliot). Discuss this statement

1551 words - 6 pages language but uses a range of techniques, as explored in this essay, to make his poetry meaningful yet accessible to all.Word count - 1478BibliographyExplorations : essays in criticism, mainly on the literature of the seventeenth century. L.C. Knights. London: Chatto and Windus, 1943George Herbert. T.S. Eliot. Longmans, Green & Co., 1962George Herbert : The Complete Works. Ed. Ann Pasternak Slater. Everyman's Library. 1995Religious Metaphysical Poetry. Ian Mackean, 2005.Seventeenth Century English Poetry. Ed William R. Keast. New York: Oxford University Press. 1962The Metaphysical Poets. David Reid. Harlow: Longman 2000

E.E. Cummings: The Individual and His Work

1363 words - 5 pages Every so often an artist emerges in his field whose ideas are refreshingly different, and breaks the mold set out by society. Such a man was E. E. Cummings. Not only did he break the mold, he shattered it with a monstrous wrecking-ball. " He is known for his idiosyncratic and typographically inventive poetry..."(www.biography.com 1) Cummings firmly believed in his ideas and strived to be an individual in all aspects of life. As he himself said

American Poets: Biography of E. E. Cummings

2075 words - 8 pages (Constantakis). Literary Movement E.E. Cummings was known to have been influence by the modernist movement but, some say that he was also a combination of “an unabashed Romantic”, as said by Richard S. Kennedy. In the modernist’s movement, E.E. Cummings was one of the most successful poetry writers they had during the 1900’s. During this time is when the poets and writers in general started to experiment with the ways the sentences where structured

Interpretation and Analysis of Wallace Stevens' The Snow Man

1482 words - 6 pages "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens is a poem which creates a unique dramatic situation through an effective imagery, and which compels the reader to employ another way of thinking in order to both understand the poem and realize its very theme.The first thing that is noticeable about the poem is that it is actually just one long, complex sentence. There is no rhyme, and there is no particular meter. Each foot varies: the poem becomes a

The Genius Of T.S. Eliot

2661 words - 11 pages T.S. Eliot’s impact on poetry is unrivaled in the 20th century. Although his work was criticized because it was unlike the others of his time, his differences are seen as the beginning of what is called “modern poetry.” His distinct style was influenced from his American heritage, mental breakdown, and his readings of the Italian Renaissance, and French Symbolists. His unique views of society and literature gave him a fresh perspective, causing

Similar Essays

The Poetry Of E.E. Cummings Essay

3359 words - 13 pages The Poetry of e.e. cummings The poems to come are for you and for me and are not for most people. --it's no use trying to pretend that mostpeople and ourselves are alike. Mostpeople have less in common with ourselves than the squarerootofminusone. You and I are human beings;mostpeople are snobs. Take the matter of being born. What does being born mean to mostpeople? Catastrophe unmitigated. Socialrevolution. The cultured aristocrat

The Poetry Of E.E. Cummings Essay

4111 words - 16 pages these oppositions to his writing, they are no less intrinsic to Cummings himself. For, while espousing the virtue of feeling over reason, he is a meticulously intellectual writer. His “attention to the syntax of things” belies his own professions. A passionate individualist, he has through his poetry been assimilated into American culture as one of its most widely-read poets and gained the status of popular icon. Initially a critical scapegoat

Modernism, Modernists In American Literature, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, And T.S Eliot

1313 words - 5 pages literature. Ezra Pound created Imagism he gave some rules about literature after he had gave this rules many poets went to London be able to talk wilt Pound about this rules. T.S Eliot added new thing to literature too he also criticize society he wrote a close reading from the text. Wallace Stevens was against to war he see poetry as a way of understanding reality. Robert Frost had a different style he mixed Realism with Modernism in his poetry. When we look all this poets we can see they create Modernism as a response of war, social troubles and culture and they wrote and criticize about this theme.

T.S Eliot An Personal Response To The Poetry Of Eliot

1378 words - 6 pages What intrigues me most about the poems of T.S Eliot is the subtle delicateness of his writing and yet it is delivered with amazing strength and profound depth.In certain poems, I felt that Eliot wrote in a rather impersonal, detached dry tone. However a lot of his poetic lines are brimming with attitude. His general tone is quite understated. However this only serves to sharpen the impact on the reader's feelings. I felt his poetry was a type of