What are the characteristics of modern poetry?

Quick Answer

To clarify, not all contemporary poetry is considered "modern" in the sense of the modernist literary movement. The modernist poets, such as T.S. Eliot, tended to favor intellect over emotion, and valued themes of alienation and isolation as reactions to the romanticism of the previous era of literature. For contemporary poetry, common trends include stream of consciousness, free verse, and the preference for suggestion or ambiguity of ideas.

 


Expert Answers info

Jane Ames eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write101 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Social Sciences

In addition to the points made by the first two educators, it should also be noted what Modernism was essentially about, the reason it emerged as it did. After the formal, flowery, and romantic era of Victorian literature, Modernist works leaned towards experimentation. Modern poets wished to both extract inspiration from diverse works of the past and ground poetry such that its language and meaning was more accessible to the average person.

With the end of the nineteenth century and two World Wars, the Modernists wished to comment candidly and competently on the degenerating state of the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 580 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,274 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

James Kelley eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write624 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


user6746812 | Student

Love song of J.Alfred prufrock is modern poetry and it speaks about the modern man !

tanzimumu2 | Student

is love song of j alfred prufrock a traditional poem?

kc4u | Student

There are so many things to say on this subject. I would ask you to elaborate on the following points:

1. Modern(better call it Modernist) poetry is more predominantly intellectual/cerebral in its appeal, rather than emotive; Eliot and Pound would be the examples;

2. It is chiefly imagistic and involves symbolism, often private in nature; you can think of Eliot and Yeats;

3. It is often full of allusions of sorts, and inter-textual references; again Eliot is a great master;

4. It is impersonal, anti-romantic, innovative in attitudes and approaches to life; opposed to the Romanticist poetics of spontaneity and imagination;

5. It is often lexically, semantically and grammatically challenging for the uninitiated readership;

6. It rejects traditional versification and metrics to opt for free-verses and various experimental forms.

 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial