T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" is considered a modernist poem for both thematic and stylistic reasons.
In terms of style, the poem is written in a form that stretches the bounds of traditional meter without entirely breaking them, in many ways following the pattern of some of the songs of John Donne, one of the metaphysical poets Eliot admired. The poem uses rhymes and slant rhymes extensively and moves in and out of regular metrical patterns, constantly setting up and thwarting metrical expectations. For Eliot, this was a modernist approach to "tradition," constantly referencing and breaking metrical expectations.
Next, the poem is highly allusive, with disconnected references to Guy Fawkes, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, nursery rhymes, and the Book of Common Prayer. This is a typical modernist technique of showing how tradition has become fragmented and broken.
Finally, thematically, the poem is a reflection on the alienation and spiritual bankruptcy of the modern condition. It portrays the...
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