The Great War and Modernist Poetry

Vincent Sherry

in The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199559602
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Great War and Modernist Poetry

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This chapter examines modernist poetry during the Great War, beginning with a reading of In Parenthesis, which is influenced by T.S. Eliot's poem. It then provides a reading of the wartime writings of Ezra Pound and Eliot, who both witness the cultural and political upheaval in the British capital, and shows how these two poets mark this turning point and incorporate its impact in their own imaginative language. Next, the chapter turns to W.B. Yeats's verse of the same historical experience and then assesses the significance of the difference that Yeats's own Irish concerns make in his representation of the First World War. It also provides a detailed coverage of the major verse of literary modernism in Britain and Ireland.

Keywords: modernist poetry; In Parenthesis; wartime writings; T.S. Eliot; Ezra Pound; W.B. Yeats; imaginative language; literary modernism

Article.  8224 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets) ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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