Reading Modernist Poetry by Michael H. Whitworth

By Michael H. Whitworth

This crucial consultant to modernist poetry permits readers to make experience of a literary flow frequently considered as tough and intimidating.

  • Provides shut examinations of key poems via T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats, and others
  • Considers key options hired to orient and disorient the reader, akin to diction, rhythm, and allusion
  • Explores the ideological implications of material and the literary varieties and constructions of modernist poetry
  • Places modernist poetry when it comes to its Victorian and Romantic predecessors
  • Encourages readers to interact with the texts and make their very own interpretations, relocating clear of the query of what the poem says in favour of contemplating the impression of the poem on its reader

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Extra resources for Reading Modernist Poetry

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These statements are predominantly visual images and other transcriptions of sense impressions (the crackle of the leaf, for example); they normally relate to a particular instance rather than general cases. Although the statements predominantly relate to sense impressions, introspective statements about states of mind, such as “I am startled,” also appear. However, there is no narrative of cause and effect. The reader is left to determine whether relations of similarity or causation are being proposed.

3 The French text of Baudelaire’s “A une passante,” and Walter Benjamin’s commentary on it, are taken from Benjamin’s Charles Baudelaire, tr. Harry Zohn (London: NLB, 1973), 124–5. 4 T. S. Eliot, “What Dante Means to Me” (1950), To Criticize the Critic (London: Faber, 1965), 126. 5 W. B. Yeats, “Paudeen,” Yeats’s Poems, ed. A. Norman Jeffares (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989), 211. 210). , ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 265. 8 James Reeves’s description of post-war Georgian poetry is taken from his introduction to Georgian Poetry (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1962), xv.

By the time we come to “Paudeen” in the collection, we have already been introduced to a world where the lower middle classes “fumble in a greasy till,” but also a world of combats between a King and a stag, and a world of immortal lovers. indd 37 1/27/2010 2:30:54 PM 38 Subject Matter The stones and thorn-trees are plausible as an Irish landscape, but they might also be classical or Biblical. Stumbling “blind,” Yeats presents himself as a prophetic figure in the wilderness. The “lonely height” implies that he has ascended a mountain, and his receipt of a revelation from the curlews further reinforces this idea.

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