Charles Olson: Poems

Pound, Ginsberg and Olson: Techniques of Modern and Postmodern Poetry College

With the advent of both modernism and post-modernism, the twentieth century was a time in which poetic expression was extremely diverse. Especially in the aftermath of World War Two, poets sought to widen the scope of their craft; they experimented with minimalism, for example, and strove to accentuate the realism which poetry was capable of conveying. Later, with the post-modernist movement, the struggle to represent things in entirely new ways emerged in ideas as diverse as Expressionism, which placed heavy emphasis on emotion and subjectivity, and Imagism, the focus of which was crisp language and the objective presentation of images. This panoply of ideas produced a veritable spectrum of poetry, and there are three poets in particular who can be considered to be among the most influential: Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg, and Charles Olson. In this essay, their work will be analysed and their poems' voices compared and contrasted.

It is perhaps prudent to begin with Ezra Pound, as he is credited with developing Imagism, a poetic movement which focused on the economical use of language and conveying a clear and sharp picture. This movement played a massive part in the development of poetry in its entirety, and Pound's influence...

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