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Modernist Poetry.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Cindy Mc Mann

January 9 , 2012 EN218 Lecture 2 Modernism - Elliot and Pound - Active critics and publishers Modernist Poetry - Disciplined, crafted, complex, objective, rhetorical, formal, esoteric - Sense that the world is lacking in order and is devoid of sanity (20 century life) - Alienated and alienating – not living in the same way that grandparents, etc. lived o Cut off from traditional ways of living and divorced from a historical way of life, thus alienated from past - Poetry was a way to restore sanity, a rational alternative - Microcosm for sanity…provides a little piece of sanity - Written in a way to overcome the sense of isolation…Elliot and Pound appealed to old ways of writing o Art belonged to an older tradition and it was available for us to use in the modern world o Writing about modern experience, but using organized forms to prove that tradition is still alive and you are connected to your past, and you are connected to your past through art - Crafting order out of chaos, and this project is heroic if you are an artist (especially or Ezra Pound) - By the 1930s, writers realized that art cannot restore order to the world (e.g., cannot stop the stock market from crashing) New Criticism - Becomes mainstream in universities and poetry circles - “The idea of raw, unaffected, or spontaneous poetry misleads the readers as to what is expected of him. It encourages laziness and passivity…it is not enough to let a poem echo through your being, to play mystical chords upon your soul. The poem must be understood and felt in its details; it asks for attention before transport” – Robert Pack - Rigid, artificial, unnecessarily complicated, distanced, ostentatious, restricted, obscure o Feeling like you have to throw in a complicated mess o Needing to know multiple languages to understand the poem o Art was becoming an object of study, but not an object that is relevant to your own life - Call for revitalization of art o New York  The Beats o San Francisco  The San Francisco Renaissance  Ginsberg  New Vision o “Since art is merely and ultimately self- expressive, we conclude that the fullest art, the most individual, uninfluenced, unrepressed, uninhibited expression of art is true expression and the true art” o Inspiration  poet/vessel  poem  reader (model of writing – Romantic) o Not much revision, spontaneous poem  Felt connection to Blake o Blake had a vision of God appearing out of his window and when Ginsberg was reading Blake’s work, Gin
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