In what ways does Yeats show aspects of modernist writing in his poem "A Prayer For My Daughter"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

“A Prayer For My Daughter” by Yeats is a prime example of the tenets of the Modernist period in literature. It contains many of the elements that define Modernism. The modernist movement was developed in reaction against Romanticism and Realism, as such, it counters many of the principles that guided the writing of poetry in those periods.

For instance, while Romanticism discounted form, structure, and literary devices because of the belief in the poet's inspiration from Imagination, Modernists paid a great deal of attention to form, structure and literary devices. For this reason, as David  L. White of WSCC says, modernist poetry places heavy emphasis on the literary devices, especially imagery and symbolism. An example of symbolism from Yeats' poem is the wished for comparison of the sleeping daughter to a linnet. A linnet is a plain, brownish finch songbird: its inner song is more important than its outer adornment of feathers. An example of imagery is the description of...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 615 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team