Is poetry more heavily influenced than fiction by other art forms such as jazz during World War I and World War II?Did the environment of the wars influence one set of writers more than another?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Your question is a very thoughtful one.  I believe that poetry is more heavily influenced by the environment of the writers whether that is war or listening to jazz.  Poetry seems to reflect the times more easily as poetry is more emotional, more reflective of the author's response to what is around them.  Fiction can do that, but requires the kind of distance which poetry does not.  Poetry can be the immediate result from the poet from the music which moves them to the danger and randomness of war's casualties.  Music in particular is a powerful tool in reminding authors' of what was happening when the music was playing.  Even the prisoners in camps left poems for people to find, not fiction stories, because poetry was better able to express their feelings whatever those were.  Some prisoners were able to draw or paint which again inspired poetry to evoke the feelings present.  So, in  my opinion, your answer is yes as poetry is often set to music to become a song which remains in the memory of the listener.

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