Age of anxiety: in the last 2 decades of the 19th century the system of Victorian values had already come to the end. The utilitarianism, the Victorian hypocrisy of morality,the consequence of the IWW led to disillusionment and left country in a cynical mood. Also the IWW left in soldier who participated a sort of sense of guilt for the horrors of thrench warfare (they became mad).
Modernism: the first decades of the 20th century were a period of extraordinary originality and vitality in the history of art. Innovation took place in all parts of the world (internationalism of the art). Modernismis the name of this powerful international movement that link together different trends and currents . Modernism want to break with established forms and subject, for example, the novel thanks the influence of Freud, explain a new sensibility for the psychology of the characters through the concept of the “stream of consciousness” and the technique of the “interior monologue”; while in poetry there is the mix up of different register and verses.
Modern poetry began with Imagine which movement flourished between 1912-1917 and that name was invented by the American poet Ezra Pound .
The main aesthetic features are (were influenced by the French symbolism of Baudelaire) :
-use of clear images;
-choice of any matter for subject;
-poems usually short without comment ;
-free verse to increase the sound and musicality of the words.
However T.S.Elliot explain the new poetic theory and practice. He said: “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality” vs the Wordsworth’s definition of poetry as “emotion recollected in tranquility”.
So the poet became an explorer of experience who used language to create something complex that is not easy to understand without an attempted analysis.