September Editorial, continued from previous page


Free verse dispensed with the traditions of the past, allowing the poet a freedom of expression that nevertheless did not sacrifice aesthetics, poignancy and sense. Modernity dispensed with the formalised rhyme scheme and stanza types – the most atrocious of holds of form on the writing hand. Since each age moves away from previous ones in some measure, contemporary postmodern experimentations are shunning modernism. Nevertheless it is more and more obvious that the postmodern poem is not as successful in its experiments in terms of execution as modernism was at the point when it moved away from romanticism. Postmodernisms democratic impulse is short-circuited by its excesses or quirks and modernism is still as vibrant a force as a liberating mechanism since its inception at about 1890 to the high modernism of the 1920s.


There is a sense in which a freeing of the spirit brought about by modernism seems to be in reversal in contemporary socio-political culture of the postmodern. It would be expected that a liberation from the tyranny of form in literature – one of modernism’s manifestations, apart from a departure from socio-cultural upheavals like wars and decadence in early 19th century Europe –  would result in a peace in the postmodern period. The kind of nineteenth century European turbulence, which spread across the globe and was typical of the ideas and doctrines prevalent in romanticism, seems to be back within the contemporary postmodern age; an ironic and unexpected regress to the troubles of the romantic period in history. Wars surround us today, the fear of extremism is thick in the air; society is paranoid with unexpected and sudden agitation all over the globe. Should our poets, one of the spearheads of cultural rejuvenation, not begin to rethink the effects of the postmodern turbulence in poetic contemplation at the moment?



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Amatoritsero Ede

Carleton University, Ottawa,


September 1, 2006.

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Sentinel Poetry (Online) #46

The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics...since 2002                  

ISSN 1479-425X

Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

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