Modernist poetry

Power Quote: M.L. Rosenthal

Modern poetry as a whole tends to be tragic in its assumption that we are at a cultural dead end, in which myriad values at cross-purposes, with modern political values the most virulent of all, are choking each other to death. The major poetic situation is the struggle of a heroic sensibility, or Self, to free itself from the condition of living death imposed by this murderous predicament. Clearly, the most elementary way to gain such freedom is to insist on the priority of instinct and emotion over all logical and systematic thought and over the demands of society. In many poems, Yeats fastens on the sexual act and the mystery of sexuality as the ultimate source of meaning.

-“Yeats and the Modern Mind”

(in The Modern Poets: A Critical Introduction; (c) 1960)

Some problems just never get old, do they?

read “Leda and the Swan”

read “Sailing to Byzantium”

buy Poetry in English: An Anthology; M.L. Rosenthal, ed.

Author Spotlight & Excerpts / 17 Comments
January 26th, 2009 / 1:36 pm