Romanticism after Eliot : the continuance of the romantic movement in twentieth-century American poetry

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert Gregory Davidson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Charles E. Davis

Abstract: T. S. Eliot, through his criticism and his poetry, attempted to change the directions of twentieth-century poetry. His aim was to replace the poetry of the continuing Romantic movement with a highly scholarly, allusive poetry that had its foundations in the Metaphysical traditions of the early seventeenth century. In this aim, Eliot failed because the course of poetry that he advocated proved to be an inappropriate response to the chaos that served as a backdrop to all twentieth-century poetry. Eliot's poetic career exemplified the successful quest, based on tradition and religion, to find an orderly response to the chaos; however, Eliot's success was one that few poets could duplicate and therein lay his failure. A more acceptable response to the chaos was that exemplified by the poetry of Hart Crane and William Carlos Williams, in which the constantly adapting quest itself became a more reasonable response to the chaos than was an Eliot-like culmination of the quest. Crane and Williams conceived their poetry as a deliberate attempt to combat the changes that Eliot tried to create in twentieth-century poetry. Through the success of their own poetry, they underlined the temporary nature of Eliot's influence while reinforcing the dominance of the Romantic movement.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1982
Eliot, T. S. $q (Thomas Stearns), $d 1888-1965 $x Influence
Eliot, T. S. $q (Thomas Stearns), $d 1888-1965 $x Criticism and interpretation
Poetry, Modern $y 20th century

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