Modernism is Dead: Long Live Modernism
For anyone trying to write literary poetry today, Modernism is the watershed. It made all previous schools irrelevant to the would-be writer. Try to write like Keats or Milton and see who pays attention.
Twenty-first Century poetics are still stuck in the early 20th Century. Modernism still rules.
The flavors of 20th Century styles — starting with the Modernists and their variations and oppositions (say those poets writing with or against the Modernists up to the late 50’s), the Confessionals (up to the late 70’s), the Language poets (roughly at the same time), what I call the post-Confessionals (say those poets writing with or against New Formalism and into the 90’s), the post-post Confessionals (poets writing since about 2000), and the Conceptualists, who have a long pedigree in Dada and Language poetry — are basically variations on a theme.
If you pull back for a long shot, you see that everybody from the Imagists and Eliot onward has written some form of Modernism, as opposed to the Edwardian, Victorian, and Romantic schools that preceded it — even the Conceptualists are a logical continuation of Modernism’s focus on the fragmentation of culture and language.
Despite all the labels, no true new school has arrived since the early 20th Century.
What poet will make Modernism irrelevant?