It is a commonly held opinion that quality in the arts, poetry especially, has been in near constant decline since the imagined ‘golden age’ of the Renaissance. However, we at thedailypoem.org would contend that poetry has really just been on an upwards ascent since then. Yes, Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ from the Early Modern Period are good, but we find it a lot easier to sit down with some William Carlos Williams. Here’s our selection of great modern poets.
TS Eliot: The modernist poet, who was also a respected literary critic, was a member of the famed Bloomsbury Group, which also included Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West and Evelyn Waugh. Oxford educated, his poetry would become very influential for post-modern writers and creative minds who employed the deconstructive, collage method which Eliot uses in The Wasteland.
William Carlos Williams: The simple, sultry beauty of ‘This is Just to Say’ is evoked by domestic imagery and allows the reader/listener to visualize the private matrimonial space to which the speakers makes reference. The Cuban-American poet as also a doctor and closely linked to the Imagist Movement.
WB Yeats: With a creative output which begins at the turn of the century, Yeats’ poetry is marked by tumult and chance. Initially one of the last Romantics, who made poetic and dramatic work within the Celtic Revival style, he went on to dabble in Imagism, and later pledged his allegiance to Modernism. His list of greatest hits is wide-ranging and includes ‘The Host of the Air’, ‘The Swans at Coole’, ‘The Second Coming’ and ‘Adam’s Curse.’
Emily Dickinson: Renowned for her revolutionary, explosive use of punctuation. Dickinson was also quite a character in her own life, away from her poems, and is famed for being a total recluse, only leaving her house to go to church.
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