In the early 20th century around the time of the end to World War 1, a new era of poetry was born, the Modernism Era. Many ideas about this concept of modernism flowed around the way a person sees something through his own perspective, or first person point of view. As these ideas westernized, it reached America, many different poets in America rejected these ideas and others picked them up and ran with them. One poet in particular, William Carlos Williams, was one of the more well known names for his modernist poetry. Williams lived in Rutherford, New Jersey roughly his whole life.
Nevertheless, along with these newly established genres existing ones flourished as well. Among them the preference was given to poetry which was appreciated for its ability to express profound emotions and contradictions of human soul. The Romantic poetry was a passionate protest against the rules, conventions and limitations imposed by the previous age. It varied from the strictly upheld formal style of neoclassical writings in its subjectivity, spontaneity and freedom of expressions. The Romantic poems were constitutionally modified to cover the problems of the age.
Romantic writers and poets emphasize many different themes in their works of poetry. These themes are nature with a focus on the sublime and landscape, childhood with an emphasis on innocence & experience along with education, centrality of emotion with an emphasis on spontaneity and resistance to reason, the supernatural, the fantastical, the exotic, political imagination, and individual consciousness with the artist as a genius and the poet as a hero (O’Cinneide). William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Maria Edgeworth are all famous writers from the Romantic era, who focus on innocence throughout their works. This innocence comes from a lack of life experience, and a great deal of value is placed upon this innocence. One does not know when one will lose his/her innocence, for this loss comes with different life circumstances.
Throughout his career, Yeats found occult research a rich source of images for his poetry, and traces of his obscure interests appear everywhere in his poems. Additionally, Yeats realized that only through imagination could the raw materials of life be transformed into something lasting ("Willam Butler Yeats", n.d.).
Modernist poetry is the affirmed break from the traditional literary subjects, styles, etc., specifically the nineteenth century Romantics and symbolist precursors. The modernists valued the construction of the literacy styles they sought to transform. An example of these literacy subjects is compressed lyrics that would be used in a foreign verse. Additionally, modernist poetry had the ideals of being marked by free verses and symbolism that contained visual creations. Along with their ideals and values, modernist poets believed the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century poets had the ability to reinvent a language based on a variety of personal experiences.
Modernism is a movement that arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modernism rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking. Modernist poetry refers to poetry written, mainly in Europe and North America, between 1890 and 1950 in the tradition of modernist literature. It is characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional styles of poetry and verse. Modernists experimented with literary expression and form, stick to Ezra Pound 's maxim to “Make it new”.
Yeats has brought a new music upon the harp, and that one man seldom leads two movements to triumph, and that it is quite enough that he should have brought in the sound of keening and the skirl of the Irish ballads (Chang) In the absence of a thorough examination of the impact on "The Second Coming" of Yeats 's historical thought, it is arguable that the meaning the poet intended has not only been consistently overlooked, but that in general the poem has been taken to mean the opposite of what he intended. This essay offers a reassessment of the thought and imagery, of the response Yeats wished to evoke, and of the antithetical rhetoric of his dialectical view of history.The text provides a striking example of the synthetic technique which produced some of Yeats 's finest poems, one which condenses into imagery as much of the poet 's thought as is possible but which also creates interpretative problems of which he was fully aware and which he attributed to the compressed, logical rigor of the ideas: "It is hard for a writer, who has spent much labor upon his style, to remember that thought, which seems to him natural and logical like that style, may be unintelligible to others" (Variorum) However,Yeats did not believe his philosophy to be either obscure or
The conditions modernism imposed on British culture and society at the turn of the 20th century spurred a literary response to the evolving world writers found themselves. As poets reacted differently to the changing world around them, the form and content of poetry produced by modernist writers varied. For example, high modernists engaged with social questions produced by modernity in a philosophical way, while offering the reader cognizant interpretations of the world around them. This is precisely what high modernist author T.S. Eliot does with his 1911 poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.
Yeats is preoccupied with understanding his legacy throughout the poem. He at a glance is a Nobel laureate and Senator whilst also an impressionable student wanting to learn more through discovery. This inquisitive nature of Yeats’ is furthered in his questioning of his mother, “Would think her son, did she but see that shape/ With sixty or more winters on its head” (Yeats 214).