How do I change the Romantic poem, "Darkness," into a Modernist poem?
It is not entirely difficult to change Byron's "Darkness" into a Modernist work. The vision that Byron renders has much in way of Modernism within it. Byron's setting of an apocalyptic reality is Modernist in its scope. Byron includes lines that are already Modernist in timbre. One such example would be how Byron describes the world:
The world was void,The populous and the powerful was a lump,Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths;
One way in which the poem can be changed to enhance more of Modernism within it would be to bring out more the horrors of the world. Byron's vision offers some aspects of potential redemption. There are moments in which creation is intimated to follow destruction. One such example would be the opening of the poem: "I had a dream, which was not all a dream." A Modernist revision would simply eliminate the "I" that opens the poem. Instead of assigning primacy to the subjective voice, a Modernist revision to the poem would be to simply open with a vision of reality in which everything is swallowed, including subjectivity. The subjective voice that Byron features is Romantic, as Romanticism placed such a strong emphasis on individual subjectivity. A Modernist revision would simply be to remove that subjectivity as the "void" of being in the world is one that subsumes the subjective voice. There can be no assigning primacy to the subjective in a world where everything has "shifted." Another revision would be to address the notions of vipers that Byron invokes:
vipers crawl'dAnd twin'd themselves among the multitude,Hissing, but stingless