Postmodernism, Author Peter Jacoby (1999) Term Paper

Total Length: 1091 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: -6

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However, these themes were conveyed through non-traditional forms or structures, like Whitman and Dickinson's poetry. Apart from these two poets of the postmodernist tradition, other poets who have created works in the postmodernist form are DH Lawrence, Dylan Thomas, Robert Lowell, and WH Auden.

Looking into the poetry of DH Lawrence, particularly the poem "Intimates," readers witnessed the poet's contemplation of a seemingly mundane issue, yet a vital one in addressing the nature of humanity at present: self-centeredness and -indulgence. In it, Lawrence answered the age-old question to human problems, wherein the solution does not depend on another person, but actually must come from the person experiencing the problem. That is, humanity's problems were actually self-imposed ones, and they can only be resolved by the individual himself/herself. Lawrence's style is characteristic of postmodernism because there was no attempt to remain neither ambiguous nor mysterious in the poem; he only expressed what his thoughts wanted to express, as reflected in the poem.

Dylan Thomas' "Love in the Asylum" mirrored the point-of-view of a madman who felt both threatened and happy about the arrival of a woman, sharing his life of delusion and solitude. Adopting a new point-of-view, yet managing not to appear mad or incoherent in his thoughts, the Mad Man's voice echoed through Thomas resonated the non-traditional use of poetry to illustrate insanity in an altogether different manner. Robert Lowell's "To speak of woe that is in marriage" employed a similar technique similar to Thomas's, using the voice and point-of-view of a woman in order to illustrate the fear and hatred that she felt for her husband. Though the poem used traditional techniques of rhyming, the free flow of thoughts expressed by the wife's voice in the poem highlighted its postmodernist quality.
Lastly, W.H. Auden's radical portrayal of an abused individual who chose to live the life of non-conformity to society's expectations was effectively demonstrated in "Who's Who." The subject of Auden's poem showed the psyche of postmodern individuals who had no compelling need to prove himself to anyone, but simply lived his life as he wanted it to be.

Compared against Lawrence, Thomas, Lowell, and Auden, W.B. Yeats, who is considered as a modernist poet, differed from them in that he showed coherence in his themes and poetical structure in his works of poetry. His rational, objective representations of Irish life, struggle, and history were reflected in the poem, "Long-Legged Fly." These characteristics made Yeats an exemplar of modernism, wherein radicalism was expressed through rationality, objectivism, and subsistence to traditional form and structure of poetry.


Auden, W.H. E-text of "Who's Who." Available at

Jacoby, P. (1999). "Postmodernist Poetry: a Movement or an Indulgence?" Available at

Lawrence, DH E-text of "Intimates." Available at

Lowell, R. E-text of "To Speak of Woe That Is In Marriage." Available at

Thomas, D. E-text of "Love in the Asylum." Available at

Yeats, W.B. E-text of "Long-Legged Fly." Available at

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