Friday, July 10, 2020


A significant movement in modernist poetry was the effort to slough off the well-worn devices of the last three hundred years of poetic devices and the creaking, rusting, swerving structures that gave them purchase and replace them with more direct address things. One could also maintain that there was a concentrated effort to make the idea behind poems and their subjects clearer and less abstract. What was once valuable in a world where God was the prime mover, and quite nearly everything and event that was beheld was the result of His good graces, and undisclosed Plan was now a quaint murmur of suffocating cliches and half-hearted apologies that obscured the actual world; the phenomenal world was hidden from view, what was considered wisdom was only a means to contain the masses. In an intriguing blog entry, Robert Pinsky brings to our attention the two poets, Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound, who had done more than any other in creating the style and means of a very succinct, blunt modernist verse. One wanted to maintain an internal equilibrium with what she wrote on paper; the other wanted to change the world in something very much like his own image.

“Society for me my miserySince Gift of Thee — ”

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