Stephen Fry

Improved Essays
Any attempt to write sensibly about poetry leads to the core question of what poetry is and how it is composed. Poetry has always been attributed the virtues of having a unique artistic, expressive, inventive and perceptive quality. The very nature of aestheticism itself is to evolve, develop and come into itself, to adapt and capture anything from the nuance of a fleeting disposition to the voracious uproar of a generation. At the same time, what we deem as Great is almost exclusively Great in retrospect. Nostalgia has a dirty habit of making us lust for an unobtainable past; of clinging onto the romance of a tragedy that, at the time, would have destroyed us. Stephen Fry has launched his attack on modern verse for abandoning the wearisome …show more content…
In the modern climate of the 21st century, riddled with issues of diversity, disparity and conflict, poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Dalgit Nagrit have managed to encapsulate the tumultuous divisions in society by reclaiming a voice of their own through the medium of verse – a voice of the martyr instead of the perpetrator; a voice of the people instead of the powerful. For instance, Nagra has adopted the habit of taking the precepts of classical poetry and modifying elements such as the narrator, the dialect and the context to make it applicable to current political issues regarding racial tensions, immigration and the value of “Britishness”. This is ironic, considering Stephen Fry embodies what we allude as being the charming, amiable, scholarly figurehead of classic English charisma; moreover, because he is arguing in support of customary ways of living and doing, which is precisely what Nagra incites as being harmful. Similarly, in employing the “political-correctness” card, Fry disregards that other eras of literary production have occurred against the backdrop of a very different world, a categorically less just world, a world which perpetually silenced the voices of women, of coloured poets, of the working class, of immigrants and unorthodox religious thinkers. To what extent does England’s poetry heritage pay homage to the ramblings of affluent, conservative white …show more content…
What is current today will, in the future, be established as the voice of a different age; an age which is more concerned with the vulgarities of truth than “a host of golden daffodils... tossing their heads in sprightly dance”. Perhaps the present is “dead suburban streets” and “scummed cliffs”, but it’s our present, it’s what we know and it belongs to us. The purpose of all literary ventures is to express without constrain. Modern poetry is unique in that it diverges from the exhausted habits of lonely, wandering clouds to express

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Persian Poetry Analysis

    • 1447 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Interaction between new ways of literary creativity and the sources of modern Persian literature has led to a number of authors whose works are totally different from the past. In addition to these innovations, what helps us to define contemporary Persian literature is ideology or discourse. In the first chapter of Recasting Persian Poetry, “A Rhetoric of Subversion,” Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak pays attention to the cultural and social context of modernism in Persia poetry. He believes that the critique of the Literary Return Movement - and its symbol and pioneer, Qa’ani – played an essential role in constructing a new discourse and opening a path for modernism in Persian poetry (Recasting 25). Later, he explains the mechanism of the emergence of a new poetic culture: First, the literary historical view initiated and advanced through the Literary Return Movement is solidified and inscribed on the cultural space: Persian poetry is seen as having gone through a golden age followed by a period of decline and decadence.…

    • 1447 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Percy Shelley argues that poetry is the device that elevates the beauty of society. Poetry brings imagination to the forefront, either by developing a divine idea or making a beautiful object even more beautiful. In response to the idea that poetry lacked relevance, Shelley claims that poetry not only elevates what we perceive as beauty; it is also the center of knowledge. This idea is further clarified when Shelley notes the comparison between poets and philosophers. Through his approach, Shelley argues against institutions that dismiss the cognitive prowess of poetry, and develops a principle that supports his belief of poetry being the wheel that turns society.…

    • 850 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    From the centre of modernity, dismayed by the world wars, with a sense of dislocation, and in a search for tradition, T.S Elliot, has remained a crucial figure in Literature and criticism. This essay aims to explore Elliot’s pursuit for tradition and order in response to the chaos of his society. The critical essay ‘tradition and the individual talent’ will be focalised on, to analyse Elliot’s scrutiny of tradition, and critics will be engaged to receive distinctive facets of the argument. Elliot’s repeated emphasis on the necessity of tradition and culture may have been a response to modernity. Several critics argue that Elliot’s ideologies initially acquired influence from F.H Bradley’s theories of experience, and Maurrasian political…

    • 792 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Critics such as Jay Martin, would argue that Eliot “seeks to order the chaotic modern world; in particular with its substantial use of historical and literal references, the mythical method offers Eliot a satirical lens to perceive and give new meaning to the present.” Actually, Eliot is providing prospective and deeper insight into the human psyche after something like war, which destroys everything in its path—art, life, and love. Providing prospective is much different than being “satirical” in nature, being satirical hints to finding humor, or irony, which is not the intent of the poem; the poem intends to convey the melancholy and disjointed nature that the human race as a whole was in after WWI—thus Eliots ' use of languages and Poets from around the world. Allusion and historical references serve as the backbone of this masterful poem to create the dystopian, almost post-apocalyptic world that Eliot intended to achieve with “The Waste Land.” To take the reader to the underworld (Hell) particularly with using Dante 's poems creates an allusion to hell and describes the emotions of the people perfectly, for the era; “the wretched souls those who lived without disgrace and without praise.” Without Dante 's vital contribution to the allusion, the allusion becomes weaker, or essentially…

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    / But for to love, lo, such a mistress, / Whose cruelty nothing can refrain” (Wyatt 10-14). The so-called “trap” equals the paradox. It is a trap that Wyatt keeps finding himself stuck in no matter how much is displeases him. Love and truth keep creeping upon him, which makes the satirical style direct and vital. Bates writes in his article that “Satire is satire not only because it attacks absurdity and vice but also because it alerts us to the incongruities inherent in a poet’s gesture of setting himself apart as an authoritative moral observer” (245).…

    • 1740 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Irony In Prufrock

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages

    T. S. Eliot’s celebrated poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has earned its coveted place in the literary canon due to its manifold layers of complexity. The characteristic richness of the poem is ostensible from its first lines; indeed, the opening stanza of “Prufrock” is among the most familiar of all poetry, and the author is hailed for his vivid depiction of setting and liberal use of imagery. Eliot incorporates nuanced poetic elements-- the most marked of these being irony, figurative language, and sound devices-- in order to parody his colleagues’ picturesque, romantic poetry, thereby contending that literature often fails to reflect the crude authenticity of actual relationships. Irony is a key element of “Prufrock,” ostensible…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The poet 's love is unwanted and injustice (Riddell). In this essay I will examine Petrarchan conventions such as the conceit, as well as illicit, thwarted, and unrequited love, and how they portray passionate pursuits. I will also explore Wyatt 's use of both Petrarchan and English sonnet structures and conventions such as conceit, and illicit, thwarted, and unrequited love. I will argue that Wyatt 's deliberate use of both…

    • 1219 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot (1915) applies rhetorical and literary techniques such as symbolism, image and foregrounding to compose a ruthless love song. Firstly, Eliot draws heavily upon the classics. In the beginning of the poem, the quotation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy shows the infinite affection of poet. The quotation clearly expresses the contradictory mentality when narrating inner emotion. On one hand, J. Alfred Prufrock wants to express his feeling, but he is afraid of being laughed if narrating it at the same time.…

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Sir Philip Sidney’s The Defence of Poesie has been described as ‘instinct with and informed by a desire to reply to what any lover of poetry must consider a perverse and wrong-headed attack.’ Sidney identifies several charges which make up this ‘wrong-headed attack’; that there are ‘many other more fruitful knowledges’ than poetry, that poetry ‘is the mother of lies,’ and that poetry ‘is the nurse of abuse.’ These perceptions confronting literature were legitimate beliefs in Elizabethan England and serve as pretext for Sidney penning Defence. Sidney opposes these contemporary opinions by challenging the hierarchy of forms of knowledge in relation to history, philosophy and poetry. Secondly, the nature of poetry is also defined, and its content…

    • 2396 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    In Alastor, Shelley critiques the role and life of poets using a Narrator and ill-fated Poet. The Narrator speaks to the reader, describing the Poet’s journey, and evaluating the Poet’s decisions concerning his life. It can also be alleged that Alastor anticipated A Defence of Poetry’s intent in defining the role of the poet. Examining his prose closely, this will prove to be true and there will be a realistic definition of the role of the poet. The reader will appreciate that the poet is one who binds the forces of the imagery and the senses into a beautiful wholeness of words along the page.…

    • 1469 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays