By Neil Roberts
Compiled and edited by means of Neil Roberts (Professor of English Literature at Sheffield University), A better half To Twentieth-Century Poetry is a magnificent anthology of forty-eight scholarly essays drawn from a wide selection of authors and academicians learning the advance of poetry in twenty English-speaking nations during the last century. From context of the poets and their paintings; to the repercussions of the post-colonial age; to the expanding voice of girl poets; in addition to an total tendency in the direction of self-consciousness and self-reflection; A significant other To Twentieth-Century Poetry bargains trained and informative insights gleaned from as common and numerous a gaggle of members because the authors of the memorable poems themselves.
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Additional info for A companion to twentieth-century poetry
Most of the discussion below concerns T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, primarily because of their immersion in this process and their pivotal role as conduits and instigators in the making of modern verse. It is not our intention in this way to endorse the Anglo-American modernist canon (which has anyway never received both poets equally). Our concern is rather to return these poets to the transitional and symbiotic histories of verse and modernity. The effect of such an examination, introductory though it is, is rather to undermine than shore up their monumentalism, to unravel rather than ﬁx the text of modernism and to disperse rather than determine any supposed point of origin.
William Carlos Williams summarized his life’s work as a pursuit of ‘the American idiom’ (Mariani, 1981, pp. 758–9). For all of its declarations of independence, however, New York modernism preserved its transatlantic links with Europe. The Armory Show of 1913 gave many artists and writers their ﬁrst glimpse of post-Impressionist painting. The bold experimentation of the Fauvists, Cubists and Futurists heartened their American counterparts to break with nineteenth-century conventions. E. E. Cummings tried his hand at avant-garde painting as well as poetry.
Among the luxuries to be relinquished were traditional metre and rhyme, artiﬁcial poetic diction, superﬂuous verbiage, explicit philosophizing and editorializing, rhetoric, and transitional ﬁller. The poem was to be made as economical and functional as possible, and its chief raison d’être was to present images unmediated by authorial commentary (see Coffman, 1951; Schneidau, 1969; Gage, 1983). Classic examples of Imagism in action include Pound’s ‘In a Station of the Metro’, H. ’s ‘Oread’ and William Carlos Williams’s ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’.
A companion to twentieth-century poetry by Neil Roberts