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Early 20th Century poetry: What motivated poets?

Poetry can be expressed as an overflow of emotion to which there is no other form to express this than through writing. What we think and feel can be conveyed on paper. It examines parts of life and things we cannot explain. Looking at the writers of the 20th Century in Europe, we see a focus on war, God, and the meaning of things.
In the poem Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, he looks at the beauty supplied by God. He outlines the poem by looking at “ … dappled things…”. He then continues to supply us with details of the dappled things that come to his mind. These things include cows, trout, a bird’s wing, and the landscape around him. In the second stanza, he continues to look at the “ dappled things,” but in more detail. He talks about how they are strange, but also sweet and swift, and how everything is connected to God. He points out that the strange things that people might not find appealing, are actually beautiful because they are made from God. He ends the poem by focusing on Gods power and superiority, therefore we should, “Praise Him.” It can be inferred that Hopkins believes people are looking at the strange things of nature in the wrong mindset. We should see all things as beautiful because God creates them.
A.E. Housman, in Terence, this is stupid stuff, tries to get a point across as well. He uses an allegory, or systematic set of symbols wrapped in a story to reach a central theme. When reading the poem, It is easy to infer that he is upset over the issue. He states that poetry is for the intellectuals and those who use their brains, rather than those who just want to have fun and drink. He writes in “sad poetry,” in order to build up the tolerance for outrageous misfortune. He does not write to make peopl...

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... the poetry community (which liked to write about the valor and glory of war), wrote about the reality of war because they have all experienced it. Hardy also focused on the idea of war, but not as much as the others. He mostly answers the question of why. This question is answered with a simple “because I am told to,” which does not please Hardy. Housman mentions the idea of society and how they are looking at poetry in the wrong perspective. Hopkins also agrees, because he thinks that society is looking at the world in an incorrect way. Both think that society should be more attentive to the “real” beauty in things. Wither in nature or in poetry, both are to set us up for the life we have to come, even the bad things.

Works Cited

Brown, Robert A., comp. Late British Literature: A Course Reader for Rice Memorial High School. N.p.: Robert A. Brown, 2014. PDF.

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