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I am not certain that anything in the 20th Century can be described as "new," but I do believe that one feature of modern poetry is the affirmation of individual voice. Particularly, in the realm of individual narrative, modern poetry has begun to see itself as a tool of political change. The exploration of different valences of power in relation to the individual and their predicament has occupied great importance in the writing and poetic contributions of the 20th Century. These expressions can take place on the grounds of race, class, gender, sexual identity, age, as well as other forms of narrative that explore what it means to be a human being in the modern setting. The work of Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, as well as other poets help to bring out the very idea that the expression of individual identity is something that is limitless and poetry can be a vehicle to achieve these means. The exploration of poetic narratives of individual expression is something that has grown in line with the emergence of cultural studies in the 20th century. The basis of cultural studies is one where poetry in the modern setting has entered. While the latter predates the former, the former envelops the latter.
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