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Collin Hill

POEMS ANALYSIS 1. Symbolism A) Historical Symbolism  A late nineteenth century movement in poetry ad visual art and to a lesser extent, fiction, drama and music  The symbolist movement began around 1860 primarily by French speaking poets Baudelaire, Mallarme, and Verlaine  By the early twentieth century, symbolism had spread to other European literatures and became another technique favoured by modernists who sought new modes of expression  Symbolism is a Precursor to other modernist forms, including expression B) The Symbolist Aesthetic  Realism leads to a superficial understanding of humanity; symbolism rebels against realism by focusing on larger truths (not surface appearances)  Great truths about humankind can only be communicated through indirection and suggestion  Symbolism rejects the literal and explores dreams, imagination, human spirituality in its quest to communicate truth  Symbolists should reject plain meanings, declamations, sentimentality and matter of fact description  Traditional forms should be relaxed to allow the symbolist to create evocative, far-reaching symbols that are paradoxically extraordinary communicative and ambiguous (C) Symbolist Poetry  relaxed poetic forms; a rejection of rigid and traditional poetic devices and structures; the symbolists preferred “free verse” to rhyme, repetitive rhythms, and traditional forms like the sonnet  the poem employs unity of effect and evocative and ambiguous symbolism to convey a mysterious and ambiguous truth  the symbolists often employ mythological subjects and allusions
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