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Modern Poetry through The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

On a personal point of view, old literary piece, especially old poems, are really hard to understand due to their strict structure and deep use of words. Thematic of old English poems are mostly about heroism, bravery, battles, loyalty, feuds and meditation on life and fate. They are mainly used as medium of inspiration for religious beliefs, royalty, politics, nationalist ideas and cultural movements. The common structure of the old English poetry has two half-lines with each half-line composed of two stresses or beats. In addition, the lines are linked by alliteration but also have an internal rhyme and have repeated phrases which are reused (Lee). On the other hand, after so many years, democracy and science have insisted on man’s poetic growth for they have shaped the course of man’s thought and imagination (Scudder 4). Freedom and the discovery of so many things have changed the views of man in many social forms such as politics, social structure, culture and the arts. The twist of modernization has changed the views and interests of poets, thus, have changed the face of poetry from the medieval Anglo-Saxon times of battles and defeats to the modern civilized world of peaceful movement and social reformation. The inspiration and aspiration of the modern culture have evaded the minds of the contemporary poets and so the point of interest no longer lies in heroic battles and bravery and was rerouted to the ideas of social problems and spiritual life. Scudder fondly defines modern-age poetry to be a transition of ages and phases. According to Scudder, poetry of this age has a vital unity and it witnesses to an advance of the spirit from doubt to faith and cheer (Scudder 4). For modernist poets, modern poetry is a depiction of the modern life and society where hope of social structure is abandoned and contemplates essentially on the role of life as an individual (Hauk 1). This explains why poems of the modern times mostly feature man’s daily activities and life situations. The freedom of expressions has opened the limitless possibilities and independence a modern poet can deliver a poem. One important character of contemporary poetry is the awareness of the value of ordinary moments and the emotional importance of the everyday. That is why contemporary poets write just about anything that signifies human living (Brinton 10). Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was one of the great figures in the development of modern poetry. Eliot’s poem ‘The Wasteland’ published in 1922 shocked and bewildered many contemporary readers. It was reviewed to be a mad medley that ordinary readers would make nothing of the poem. The reaction implies the resistance of some old aged literalist to the abrupt change from the usual poetic form to the fierce leap for fresher ideas of the modernist times. Nevertheless, some took Eliot’s head start in unknowingly modernizing the face of poetry on a positive account. The review in The Times Literary Supplement in November of 1923 suggested that Eliot’s poem is a collection of flashes which seem to be an expression of his vision of the modern life (Brinton 10). In this review, the following was written: We have here range, depth, and beautiful expression. What more is necessary to a great poem? This vision is singularly complex and in all its labyrinths utterly sincere. It is the mystery of

Modern Poetry through The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock