20th Century Poetry

The Soldier
Rubert Brooke

what is The Soldier about?
WWI, pro war argument, glosses over death, emphisizes heroism and dying for you’re country

where the narrator dies in war The Soldier
“There some corner of a foreign field that is forever england”

The Rear Guard
Siegfried Sasson

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what did Siegfried say before and after the war?
“war of defense and liberation” to “a war of aggression and conquest”

two types of men in The Rear Guard
contrasts alive mobile angry men, and dead immobile quiet men.

“Dying hard ten days before”
most important message in rear guard. living soldier lost and angry trips over dead on (yells at him) only to find he died 10 days before.

=terrible view of war. 2 types of men (living/ angry and Dead)

Dulce Et Decorum Est
Willford Owen’s Dramatic Monolgue

what is Dulce Et Decorum Est about
drunk tired men, trying to make way out of battle, then are mustard Gassed

what does the author show a scene of (personal history) Dulce Et Decorum Est
his platoon drowning by the air.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria mori
end phrase (Sarcasm): it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. poses challenge to readers: would you still recommend to you’re children dying for your country if you saw men die before your eyes

The Unknown Citizen
W.H. Auden

literary device used in The Unknown Citizen
uses synecdoche alot to dehumanize mankind

why is the man The Unknown Citizen
subject of this poem is “Unkown” because he didn’t stand out in anyway

the end of The Unknown Citizen
This poem ends with the question “was he free? was he happy? the question is absurd: had anything been wrong we certainly should have heard.

message of The Unknown Citizen
Conveys message that society focuses to much on the statistics and factoids of a man’s life. and not his beliefs, feelings, or soul.

The Hollow Man
T.S. Eliot

opening quote from The Hollow Man
“we are the hollow men.

we are the stuffed men”

explanation of The Hollow Man’s opening quote
this poem alludes to the idea that men are stuffed with worthless crap. Because they are stuffed with nothing of value, they are hollow

The eyes in The Hollow Man
represent the unhollow people.

Where the hollow men can’t look
into the eyes of the unhollow (ashamed)

Example of “wasteland” in The Hollow Man
“this is the dead land. this is the cactus land”

Who can save the Hollow Men?
reference to dante’s inferno in which there is a land for the neutral men. they aren’t tortured but they aren’t happy.

The only way they can get out is for souls in heaven to pray for them.

Last verse of The Hollow Man sounds like:
creepy nursery line. “this is the way the world ends…

. not with a bang but with a whimper”

The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock

S. Elliot’s Dramatic Monologue

What is The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock about?
love song of a loser. Anti Carpe Diem. Lives in Fear

First stanza of The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock
author is speaking to woman begging her to go with him

“Do I dare disturb the universe?”
Shows that Prufrock is a loser

“(they will say: how his hair is growing thin or how his arms and legs are thin)”
Prufrock’s excuses for not seizing the day

How Prufrock feels about the “eyes” of women.

Prufrock feels like an insect on display

How would Prufrock define himself
“not prince hamlet”=he is a servant or tool. he is unimportant.

“I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled”
lines means that Prufrock is a cautious man: afraid to live

“I’ve heard the mermaids singing each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me”
End lines of The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock


S. Elliot

disorder of Preludes
1) dusk 2) morning 3) night between the two

fragmentation of Preludes
Three points of view 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Use of synecdoche in Preludes
makes people mass not individuals

reference to specific individual in Preludes
author characterizes all people in you’re life as shadows in your dreams

Seamus Heanly

what is Digging about?
3 generations.

In Digging, the difference between Grandfather and Father’s tool. And authors
shovel vs. pen

Margaret Atwood

Theme of 20th Century Poetry
A world even a god indifferent to Man

Theme of 20th Century Poetry
Fear or Worry about a soon to occur apocalypse

Theme of 20th Century Poetry
Modern society as “Wasteland” and Modern Man as the “Hollow Man”

Theme of 20th Century Poetry
Disconnection- suffering often occurs alone

Musee Des Beaux Arts
W. H. Auden

what Musee Des Beaux Arts is about
poem is about the world being disconnected and adults are on a totally diff page from children. nobody has same views/beliefs.

what painting are the last ten lines does Musee Des Beaux Arts referring to?
the fall of icarus.

Who 2 people must have seen icarus fall, and ignored him.
the plowman and the ship.

why did the Plowman witness of icarus’s disaster ignore him?
“for him it was not an important failure.” didn’t effect him, sun still shining

why did the ship witness of icarus’s disaster ignore him?
“had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.”