Of Modern Poetry - Analyzing The Poem

Analyzing The Poem

“Of Modern Poetry” embodies the self-conscious aspect of modern writing as it lays out what it means to be poetry. The diction is simple as is the form. Ordinary language and repetition help Stevens to emphasize things such as the mind. The repetition of sentence structure also stresses the actions and characteristics required of poetry: “It has to be…It has to face…It has to think…It must / Be.” The two breaks in the form coincide with the message of the poem. One break marks the changes in the literary world and the other marks the transition to a concluding sentence on what the changing times require from poetry. Mixed within these many elements is Stevens’ unique imagery. From “the delicatest ear of the mind” to “twanging a wiry string that gives / Sounds passing through sudden rightnesses,” “Of Modern Poetry” includes images that force the reader to push deeper in for Stevens’ meaning.

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