Essay on Traditional Poetry

Essay on Traditional Poetry

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Yvor Winters is a modern poet, but he is very much a traditionalist. His poems, written in the traditional form, are works of art. Poetry is a stimulating art that when properly mastered can exhume beautiful emotions from its readers. Proper forms, structure, grammar, rhyme scheme, all are elements of traditional poetry, and all, in my opinion, are elements of lovely poetry. I will argue that Yvor Winters poetic theory, The Fallacy of Expressive Form, written in 1939, arguing that poetry must be traditionally written can be tested using a Non Traditional song, Seven Nation Army by The White Stripe, and a Traditional poem, Incident by Countee Cullen; I will then explicate each poem to further explain my thesis. I find the traditional form of poetry much more pleasurable to read because of the intellect it shows and the beauty it creates. “To let the form of a poem succumb to its matter is and always will be the destruction of poetry”
Seven Nation Army is an intriguing piece of work by The White Stripes in 2003. Songs are often full of poetic elements, imagery, and further meaning than what appears in front of you. Songs may have the qualities of a poem but they are not poetry. This song, Seven Nation Army, is no exception. Symbolism is one poetic element that is very important in this song. One example is “I’m bleeding… right before the Lord”, obviously The White Stripes are not literally bleeding before their Lord. In fact, I think this whole song is symbolism. I personally want it to symbolize the author’s frustration with fame. I believe “Bleeding before the Lord” could be representative of feeling judged. Besides the symbolism, I see that in this song there is another poetic element; personification of his bones, blood, and ...


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...as also able to get his point across. He breached topic that were edgy and new but he did so in a manner that deemed him intelligent and a worthwhile read. Had it been written differently the poem would not hold the same meaning.
In conclusion, I have found that Yvor Winters, The Fallacy of Expressive Form, holds true to poetry. Traditional form and style can always be used, even for new, edgy topics. I have learned that I find the traditional style of poetry, although more challenging, much more pleasurable to read. I think it shows true intellect. I think that what I find truly remarkable is the ability of a traditional poet to take such rough subject and mannerist and turn it into something graceful and appealing. Anyone can string together words and call it a poem, but a true poet can string together those same words in such a form that they can astound you.

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