Modernism in Literature. One hour Research Task. Key Characteristics of Modernism in Literature (you may make reference to Art and Music too) Yeats as a Modernist Poet The significance of British rule in Ireland at the time Yeats was writing.
Modernism in Literature
You will be assigned one of the above. Use the internet to research your area. After half an hour, you will join the other students who have the same topic. Together, you must agree a bullet point summary – to include no more than TEN bullet points.
(13 June 1885- 28 January 1939)
William Butler Yeats was one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation."
YEATS WAS INTERESTED MAINLY IN THE LIKES OF:
mysticism, spiritualism, occultism and astrology
In 1916, Yeats quite suddenly decided that he didn't want to write pretty poems anymore - he wanted to write realistic poems: poems as urgent and as uncluttered as a newspaper article.He even wrote a poem about his decision: "A Coat".So some characteristics of Modernism in Yeats include:Demotic language (not poetic language)Political subject matter Ugliness and violence, where these are appropriate to the subject matter (no attempt to make everything aesthetically pleasing in a poeticised vision of loveliness).
TRADITIONAL YEATS POEM:
HE WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN
HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,Enwrought with golden and silver light,The blue and the dim and the dark clothsOf night and light and the half-light,I would spread the cloths under your feet:But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
MODERNIST Yeats POEM:
THE SECOND COMING
TURNING and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity
I MADE my song a coatCovered with embroideriesOut of old mythologiesFrom heel to throat;But the fools caught it,Wore it in the world's eyesAs though they'd wrought it.Song, let them take it,For there's more enterpriseIn walking naked.
William Butler Yeats
“….I have tried to make my work convincing with a speech so natural that the hearer would feel the presence of a man thinking and feeling…..”
Ezra Pound described modernist poetry as:
“gaunter, seeking greater hardness of outline”; “with a new quality of hard light”