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Ch 9: Modernist Poetry

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons on modernist poetry and study a variety of poets from this time. These lessons feature short quizzes to gauge your understanding of the material.

Modernist Poetry

In our video lessons, you'll get the chance to experience Modernist poetry firsthand. Modernist literature, poetry specifically, was produced roughly from 1890-1950, but the actual dates are rather debated. Some poets may have taken a Modernist viewpoint before or after that period and are still classified as a Modernist poet. However, the majority of work within this movement occurred in those 60 or so years. Our lessons will allow you to discover how Modernists helped take poetry from something that was for fun and storytelling to something more intellectual and profound.

We have lessons that will introduce you to E.A. Robinson, so you can see how Modernist poetry is defined in his work. Study some of his poems and let our lessons guide you through an analysis of each one. Our video lessons also cover the work of William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings and Robert Frost. Discover the imagery found in Williams' poems. Find out why E.E. Cummings' name is often written with all lower-case letters and how that ties into his work. Take a trip on 'The Road Not Taken' with Frost by analyzing that poem and others by this poet.

Our lessons on Modernist poetry will not only introduce you to the poets and their poems, they will also teach you about major themes found in this type of poetry. You'll get to discover the characteristics of Modernism, so when you come across a Modernist-era poem, you'll be able to recognize right away that it is from this period.

14 Lessons in Chapter 9: Modernist Poetry
E.A. Robinson and the Shift in Modernist Poetry Style

1. E.A. Robinson and the Shift in Modernist Poetry Style

In the early 1900s, a new movement in poetry emerged. Find out about the Modernist movement in poetry and one of the first American Modernists, E.A. Robinson.

The Imagist Movement: Poems, Examples & Key Poets

2. The Imagist Movement: Poems, Examples & Key Poets

The Imagist movement in modern poetry focused on describing objects as opposed to the long philosophical discussions of traditional poetry. Read on to find out more about Imagism and read poems by two of its founders, H.D. and Amy Lowell.

Robinson's Miniver Cheevy and Richard Cory: Poem Summaries & Analysis

3. Robinson's Miniver Cheevy and Richard Cory: Poem Summaries & Analysis

E.A. Robinson wrote poems with traditional rhyme and meter but with very Modernist views. Read on to analyze two of his most famous poems, 'Miniver Cheevy' and 'Richard Cory.'

Edgar Lee Masters and the Spoon River Anthology Poems: Characters, Analysis & Summary

4. Edgar Lee Masters and the Spoon River Anthology Poems: Characters, Analysis & Summary

Edgar Lee Masters' collection of modernist poems, 'The Spoon River Anthology', told the dark secrets of small-town life. Below, read two of the poems from 'The Spoon River Anthology' and follow as we analyze them.

William Carlos Williams's Poems: 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'

5. William Carlos Williams's Poems: 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'

William Carlos Williams was a famous American modernist poet. His poems 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' illustrate several aspects of modernist poetry. Read on to find out more about Williams and his poetry, and test your understanding with a quiz.

E.E. Cummings' Free Verse Poetry: Analysis

6. E.E. Cummings' Free Verse Poetry: Analysis

Edward Estlin Cummings, or e.e. cummings as he was better known, was a modernist poet who wrote poems in a new and innovative style. Read on to find out more about e.e. cummings and analyze two of his famous poems.

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Poems & Analysis

7. Edna St. Vincent Millay: Poems & Analysis

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote modernist poetry by combining traditional forms with new ideas. In this lesson, we'll take a look at two of Millay's poems and analyze them for form and ideas.

Wallace Stevens's 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird': Summary & Analysis

8. Wallace Stevens's 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird': Summary & Analysis

Wallace Stevens' poem 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' is an important American modernist poem that can be seen in several different ways. Read on to find out more about the poem and how to analyze it. Then, test your knowledge with a quiz.

Hart Crane: 'The Bridge' & Influence on Modernist Poetry

9. Hart Crane: 'The Bridge' & Influence on Modernist Poetry

Hart Crane's poem 'The Bridge' changed poetry by showing how modernist forms could be used to express uplifting ideas. In this lesson, you will learn about Crane's influence on modernist poetry as well as 'The Bridge,' and then you'll test your knowledge with a quiz.

Robert Frost Poetry Analysis: The Road Not Taken and Other Poems

10. Robert Frost Poetry Analysis: The Road Not Taken and Other Poems

Robert Frost was a famous American modernist poet. This lesson covers the elements that make Frost's poetry modernist and analyzes his most famous poem, 'The Road Not Taken.'

Sylvia Plath and Confessional Poetry

11. Sylvia Plath and Confessional Poetry

Confessional poetry changed everything regarding what a poem could be written about. In this lesson, we'll study Sylvia Plath, a pioneer of the form. We'll also consider W.D. Snodgrass, Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell.

Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

12. Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

This video introduces T.S. Eliot and his major works. It outlines his early life and move to England, and traces his stylistic evolution over his most famous and significant poems.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis

13. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis

This video introduces T.S. Eliot's poem, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' It outlines the general setup of the poem, its enigmatic lead character and its stylistic characteristics. It also highlights key passages.

The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained

14. The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained

As an introduction to T.S. Eliot's landmark poem, 'The Waste Land,' this lesson will outline some of the key Modernist features of the work. We'll address nonlinearity, irony and juxtaposition, voice, and allusions. Through taking a look at each of these features, we'll try to understand why 'The Waste Land' is as strange as it is important.

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