Between 1900 and 1918 Modernist hints were revealed by the first generation, Ezra Pound, Eliot, Yeats, Hughes. The two movements which influenced Modernism were Imagism, which expressed thoughts in simple images, and Vorticism, which abandoned the traditional language. Both movements started with Ezra Pound who wrote poems like “In a station of the Metro” and “The Garret” in a hard style. Yeats is the most important figure of Celtic Revival and Irish theatre revival, he was influenced by French symbolists and Ezra Pound, indeed he wrote “Easter 1916”, a celebration of Easter Rising, in a clear language and with realistic and symbolical images.
The central modernist poem is Eliot’s “The Waste Land”, based on the myth of the Holy Grail, it’s characterized by modernist features like the presence of past and present, stream-of consciousness technique, various language.. Between 1920 and 1930 the movement of Harlem Renaissance developed. The movement is composed by black writers living in Harlem, New York. Hughes was considered the “bard of Harlem”, he wrote a collection of poems “The Weary Blues”, which is about black folks, jazz, blues, life in the black ghettoes and racial discrimination. The second generation of Modernists are the “Oxford poets” of 1930 or “progressive poets”, unlike the first generation they have not in common the desire for experimentation but for tradition, and they talk about social problems. The leader was Auden with his poem “Refugee Blues”, which is about the Jews fleeing from the Germany because of Nazi persecution.
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