Modernism, Personal Myths and the Condition for Poetry

Nisarga Bhattacharjee

University of Calcutta, Kolkata

      Volume III, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF


Modernist authors found their literary pursuit a challenging task as the new century wore on, ravaging lives through two world conflagrations. In an attempt to make poetry possible in this new world, they often turned to mythical materials and created their own private myths. This paper suggests that the ensuing new ways of dealing with the mythical in poetry which Modernists developed along this timespan gave poetry fluidity and a new degree of approachability. Rather than finding poetry in crisis because of the decline in religious faith and human values, we find a desire for poetry uttered and transmuted by the works of poets such as W.B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens. The manifestation of this desire in Modernist poetry creates the condition of poetry both within the poem and for times looked forward to. Their poems do not display mythical structures but fluid and vivid frameworks that can be interacted with and reinvented by the future readers.

 Keywords: Modernism, fluidity, myths, absence, desire.

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