Ezra Pound: Make It New

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Ezra Pounds battle cry “Make it new” influenced many young writers and poets of the early 1900’s. Shocked by the behavior of civilization during World War 1, the poets were no longer content with the popular genteel poetry of the day. Genteel poetry combined regular rhymes and meter with comfortable topics such as sunsets, cows and woods, as seen in the popular poem “ The Woods that bring the Sunset Near”: The woods from the west is blowing The homeward – wandering cows are lowing Dark grow the pine- woods, dark and drear The woods that bring the sunset near.

Pound and Eliot felt the because of the war the human spirit had been shattered and took a pessimistic view of life and relected it in their poetry. Eliot’s poetry was complex and difficult, often containing phrases from ancient languages and allusions to obscure mythologies as seen in this excerpt from Eliot’s “The Waste Land” : I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down…………. Hieronymo’s mad againe……… Datta Dayadhvan Damyata
Eliot views the world as a dry, arid and soul less place devoid of any moral character. Another group of poets influenced by Pound were the imagists. Instead of the long drawn out generalizations on trivial ideas as expressed by the popular poets, they felt they could achieve the same emotional impact in just a few brief and concise words and images, such as Williams does in his famous poem “ The Red Wheelbarrow” : So much depends Upon A red wheel Barrow Glazed with rain water Beside the white Chickens

This simple poem offers much about the meaning of life and the cycles of nature in just a few brief words regarding the simple image of a Wheelbarrow. Everbody’s favorite New England poet, Robert Frost, dealt

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