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Compare the poetic styles of modernist poets T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin, and W. H. Auden.

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Briefly, because this is a big topic, the poetic styles of modernist poets T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin, and H. W. Auden compared as follows. Prominent characteristics of Eliot's poetic style emphasize the "careful crafting and arrangement of lines and phrase" (eNotes). Eliot drew very heavily upon allusions to historical, classical and other literary sources. For this reason, some critics of his early work thought of him as a plagiarist. It is the "crafting and arrangement of lines and phrases" that lifted him out of the cellar of plagiarism and elevated him to the level he now holds as creative poet.

Eliot used allusions because his poetic aesthetic recognized nothing new is created unless it is built upon all that has come before. His style also emphasised bold, even dramatic language, vivid imagery, and complex symbolism. His prominent themes include identity, religion, sexuality, and the nature of love. He matches his vocabulary and diction to the emotional state conveyed...

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