Marking the exact borderline of modern or contemporary English poetry is almost impossible. Even literary experts can’t define and bind this specific literary work with any particular trait. Hence, it appears challenging to set a list of modern poetry examples as the number of English modernist poets is vast, almost unending.
The term modern poetry itself uncovers a universal definition. It means poetry written at the present time. Yes, ‘present time’ like this week, this month, this year. In short, this very day. However, in reality, the realm of modern English poetry covers a much more extensive period.
According to experts, the year 1890 gets the introductory mark of modern English poetry. It also denotes the twilight phase of the eminent Victorian poets. With Browning’s demise in 1889, the evergreen Victorian era only had three pioneers in its bag, Ruskin, Pater, and Tennyson.
These three poets tried their best to carry on the baton of Victorian-era glory by producing new works. However, the decline of their influence in the world of poetry became gradually acute. The utterance of new voices started encroaching the poetic arena. New movements began stirring the so far externally tranquil surface of Victorian life. As a result, the birth of English modernist poets and their works started, but with criticisms.
Yes, criticism like only a small number of people likes and read contemporary poetry. Nonetheless, some literary experts opine that this criticism only came from some specific corners. According to A.C. Ward, “When the twentieth century opened, Tennyson had been dead nine years, and there was a wide-spread impression that English poetry had died with him.“
In a word, a desperate attempt emerged to keep potential readers away from modern authors’ works. However, criticisms emerged as a boon. Readers from all corners became curious to know the reasons behind that criticism. And this curiosity led them to study the works of modern poets. Even it made many English modernist poets famous for their modern poetry examples.
In truth, from 1890 to the current date, the number of modern poets who earned eminence is enormous and growing. Some authors of this long list even emerged as striking pioneering creators of poetry. Rudyard Kipling, W. B. Yeats, and Edith Sitwell belong to that category. Even today, these three modern English poets and their modern poetry examples bear the mark of excellence.
Rudyard Kipling, or Joseph Rudyard Kipling, was a famous poet, novelist, and short-story writer. His poetry unlocked sensation among the readers. His identity as an eminent poet received momentum during the last decade of the nineteenth century.
Many people felt enthusiasm after reading his poems. Some even learned a new means of protest. An intelligent combination of “folk-song” and a commanding rhythm emerged as a remarkable trait in his many poetic and lyric creations.
The content of this English poet’s writings uncovered various themes in delicately designed forms. His famous book “The Five Nations” is a collection of renowned poems. The book first saw daylight in 1903. It contains some new and some comparatively old poems that got previously published.
Kipling’s “The Barrack-Room Ballads” is another excellent example of modern English poetry. It is also a series of poems and songs authored by the famous English poet. This book unfolds a unique command of rhythm that brings a heroic sensation. Readers can sense a feeling of progression like a delicate military march with unavoidable growing dignity.
In reality, this collection of poems and songs purely deals with the “late-Victorian British Army.” And the exceptional part of it is that Kipling adopted a vernacular dialect while penning a significant portion of these writings.
Most of Joseph Rudyard Kipling’s works deal with heroic themes that stir human sentiments. During Kipling’s time, these works emerged as the hymn of thousand voices specifying a national policy and philosophy.
Like Kipling, another famous English modernist poet is Edith Sitwell or Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell. As a poet and a critic, she remained acutely conscious of spiritual emptiness and unhappiness during the inter-war years. Her words reflect her rich and refined outlook and “aristocratic background.”
Nearly all of her poetry reflects her verbal proficiency, wit, and a matchless brilliance of poetic vision. Clowns’ Houses is a great example of that poetic brilliance. It is an excellent artifact dealing with a genuine, objective unmatchable poetic perspective.
Her other popular books, including Bucolic Comedies, portray an artificial world that comes out from childhood dreams. As a perfectionist with artistic nature, she used her rare and unique magic spell of language in her creations.
Every creation of Edith Sitwell depicts how she continued experimenting with beautiful verse ceaselessly and designed new poetic patterns. Her vivid imaginative power contributed a lot to her writings.
William Butler Yeats is probably the sole writer who has achieved recognition for all poetic eras. It is hard to specify his potential within the boundary of modern poetry.
His brilliance as a poet remains matchless even after crossing so many decades. As a modernist poet, he is one of those very few authors whose writings get marked as pioneering modern poetry examples.
His famous narrative poem “The Wanderings of Oisin” first gave him the identity of an excellent poet. The poem depicts a beautiful form of dialogue between two men: an aged Irish hero named Oisin and the other one is St. Patrick.
Many readers believe that the Irish poet was utterly aware of his age’s spiritual barrenness. And the creation of “The Wanderings of Oisin” was the outcome of his feelings on that specific subject.
Yeats’ other poems like The Shadowy Waters, The Wind Among the Reeds, and many others unfold a melodic beauty. His simplicity in choosing and expressing words was his signature style. Moreover, many other modern poets later adopted this style while penning their words.
W. B. Yeats is one of the prime poetic figures of rich twentieth-century literature. Some even believe and identify him as the prime leading force for the continuously growing Irish Literary Revival. His melodic delicacy in expressing his views in words even today appears as the epitome of the most successful poetry. Almost all of his poetic creations have achieved recognition as rare and unique Modern Poetry Examples.