Measures. ” The Sirens was suggested by the first transatlantic flight. The theme is man’s power over nature, which goes on increasing day by day. Man is really great, And where light is, he enters unafraid. The Idols is directed against the terrors and superstitions which are man’s own creation and which hold him captive. Bonbon makes a plea for the demolition of these false gods. Yeats started his writing career as a poet in the nineteenth century. The period between the two wars brings us to consider his later poetry as we find it in his Tower.
His later poetry is very different from his early poetry. Grievers and Smith point out the difference in these words: “The difference between Yeats early and later poetry reminds one of the early and later poetry of Done, but he has changed in the opposite direction, from the ideal to the real, the. Spiritual to the sensuous. Some of his later poems are almost definitely bawdy. ” In the later part of his career Yeats came under the modernistic, Imaging influence of Ezra Pound.
Consequently, his later poems are full of concrete but delicate images and particulars redolent of ancient myths. But the appearance of, what Samuel C. Chew calls, “a most unexpected sensuality” in his poetry is quite baffling indeed. Another feature of his later poetry is its recurring expression of passionate regret at the passing of youth. This regret conditions much of the symbolism employed by him. Chew observes: “The gyred, the spiral, and the winding stair are constantly recurring symbols of the cyclic philosophy which he had evolved from reading and from life. The Georgians: Before we consider some important modernistic movements which came between the wars, let us dispose of some important “Georgians” who were writing before the First World War and who continued writing between the Wars too. The most important of these poets are Walter De la Mare, Mansfield, and Gibson. De la Mare was a poet of childhood and the supernatural, before the first World War. However, after the War, at least for once, he became a realist of the grimmest kind.
Insist”zee Five (1921) he focused his attention, to quote Grievers and Smith, “on the dreadful figures of the criminal in the dock, the drug addict,the suicide. However, his “indulgence” in realism did not continue long, for in The Fleeting (1926) he returned to the hocus-pocus of supernatural and dream poetry for which he always had a strong predilection. In some poems his religious feelings also find a good expression. He was a congenital, incorrigible dreamer and the last of his Collected Poems is, in fact, an argument for a life of dreams: And conscience less my mind indicts For idle days than dreamless nights.
But not to speak of nights, even his days were seldom without dreams. About Mansfield poetry between the Wars, Grievers and Smith maintain: “Mr.. Mansfield celebrated the return of peace to England with a long poem on fox-hunting, the typical sport of the England he loves. Earned the Fox is modeled on Saucer’s Prologue; the meet gives Mr.. Mansfield the same opportunity to bring English people of different ranks together as the Canterbury pilgrimage gave Chaucer. Mr.. Mansfield has not Saucer’s witty touch, nor his. Universality: his characters are more Transitional than Chaucer, recognizable contemporary English types, not the lineaments of universal human life. But as contemporary types they are very well done and as a whole Earned the Fox is the best sustained and events in execution of all Mr.. Successfully, to the other typical English sport of horse-racing. The verse he has written since then has not added much to his fame as a poet. One drawback of Earned the Fox may be pointed out here: it is that the weight of the Prologue is not well borne out by the story which follows, unlike what we have in Saucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Wilfred Wilson Gibson, one of the leaders of the Georgian School of poets who opposed post-Tennyson prettiness, continued writing poems and plays beyond the First World War. His poems on the War are instinct with bitterness, stark realism, and a controlled but devastating irony. He was, from first to last, a poet of the “people”-peasants and workers who were victims of social and economic inequalities. In his unflinching realism and unadorned style he often reminds one of Crabber; but whereas Crabber was diffuse and detailed, Gibson often secures his effects through telling condensation.
Gibson did not mind using in his poetry some elements of the dialect of Northumberland to which he belonged. To the technique of poetry his contribution is minimal. Let us now cast a hurried glance on the rest of the poets who were not appreciably influenced by the modernistic movements. Ronald MacAfee in his long ode War expressed the point of view of the pacifist when he described the impact of the War on civilian life. The poem ends on a strong note of optimism where MacAfee envisions an age of love: The love that sighs in every wind And breathes in every flower.
John Freeman, by profession a businessman, wrote good poems on the themes of nature and childhood. Edmund Blunder, an editor of Clare, shows the same painstaking fidelity to his paintings of nature as Clare does. He, quip Grievers and Smith, is “so solid that some readers find him stodgy. ” The Imagines: The Imaging Movement in English poetry was a product of the War years, but it did considerably influence the poetry between the two Wars. Helm, Ezra Pound, Hills Doolittle, Allotting, and F. S. Flint were the protagonists of this movement.
The Imagines in Some Imaging Poets (1915) enunciated some clear principles which John M. Manly and Edith Ricketier sum up as follows in Contemporary British Literature:- to use the language of common speech button employ the exact word; 2. To create new rhythms for-the expression of new moods; 3. To allow absolute freedom in the choice of subject; 4. To present an image, not vague generalities; 5. To produce poetry that is hard and clear; 6. To aim at concentration, since concentration is the very essence and poetry. Apart from the poets mentioned above D.
H. Lawrence also came under the influence of the Imaging Movement, though this influence was not to continue for long. As the critics Just quoted above observe: “though Lawrence never succumbed to technical conservatism, he was too mystical, too passionately and destructively critical a nature to content himself with the limitations of an essentially sensational medium, and his later work, rough and fragmentary as much of it is, is a more direct expression of his prophetic denunciations and visions than his purely imaging work. T. S. Eliot and the Innovators: T. S. Eliot, the greatest of the modern poets, started his career as a poet during the course of the War with his Froufrou and Other Observations (1917) but his greater and more characteristic works come later-r/IEEE Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men school of poetry which even today is quite flourishing. He himself as a poet came under the influence of numerous schools and writers.
The Imaging Movement, the views of Helm, the Symbolist Movement of France, the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins which was first published in 1918 many years after his death, Fraud’s ideas, ND the poetry of Done may be mentioned among them: Donna’s “unified sensibility” was with Eliot something worthy of the most assiduous imitation. In his attempts Eliot produces even more Jolts than his master. His poetry is very heavy readings as it is thick with recondite allusions and quick transitions from mood to mood which simply baffle even a; sound and painstaking Harder.
Ambivalence and paradox are the rule rather than the exception. Most critics of today consider The Waste Land to be the greatest poem of the twentieth century. It is an image of the modern restlessness, anxiety, and despair. Though at the end the thunder promises the arrival of the life-giving rain, no rain falls. The framework’s the poem is provided by the legend of the Holy Grail. Fertility will not come to the earth till the Holy Vessel has been found.
The treatment of this simple theme is the most abstruse, so much so that Eliot had to take upon himself the work of annotating his own poem. The Hollow Men sketches the spiritual emptiness and purposelessness of modern men. We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw, alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together, Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rat’s feet over broken glass In our dry cellar In Ash Wednesday, however, we meet with a note of spiritual assurance which is essentially inimical to despair.
Miss Edith Stilwell and her brothers, Sobers and Severely Stilwell, made some robust experiments. Edith used bold and artistic imagery, and her peculiarity was her constant utilization of the effects of kinesthesia-that is, interchanging senses. Sobers struck an astringently satirical note and enjoyed taking pot-shots at dowdiness and dowdiness. Severely was very earned but was quite satisfied indulging in the baroque. Some poets like Herbert Reader and Robert Graves came under the influence of the psychoanalytic studies of Freud, Jung, and Adler.
Graves, for some time, saw nothing but sexual symbols in everything. Reader wrote “surrealistic” poetry which is expressive of the unconscious and has to be read most carefully to get at something. These experiments, as is known, paved the way for the stream-of-consciousness novel. The Irish Poets: Between the Wars there was a tremendous resurgence of literary activity in Ireland. The chief moving ‘force was Yeats himself. The oater notable Irish poets of the period were G. W. Russell (“AWE”) and J. M. Singe.
Russell, according to Grievers and Smith, “was a much less versatile and melodious poet than Yeats, but a purer mystic, never; astray by that will-o’-the-wisp, that hopes-pocus of evocation and incantation which have the same qualities as his plays. The Young Poets of Eliot Tradition: The most important poets of the second decade of the period between the Wars are Cecil Day Lewis, W. H. Aden, and Stephen Spender. All of them are followers of Eliot, and they have tried to establish a neo-metaphysical tradition. But there is a preference-their interest in social reform and their communistic leaning.
Aden is learned but his technique is unpredictable. “He,” observe Moody and Lovely, “ranges freely from the most cryptic and condensed utterance to a potato of music hall rhythms, folk-ballads, and nursery rhymes. ” He is indeed a clever poet. Cecil Day Lewis is the most manifest of revolutionaries. Spender is a poet less of revolution than of compassion. His communism is conditioned by his strong liberal convictions. His heart bleeds when he finds the Jobless poor loitering in the streets and turning. Their empty pockets out, he cynical gesture of the poor.