Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2005.23.141
The Poetic Moment of Moments in Yeats, Stevens, and Eliot: Reading of Three Poems, “The Long Legged Fly,” “Sunday Morning,” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”*
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Hanyang University-Seoul
Abstract
The last century saw three great poets: Yeats, Eliot, and Stevens. They each had created new poems different from the previous ones. The current topic finds Eliot most discordant from the other two, who has started from Romantic poetics. By "Romantic" I mean that the poet grew out of Romantic poetics and/or is Romantic temperamentally. In Eliot's case, because of his stance on Romanticism and his educational background, unfortunately, both poets and scholars have been blinded to the fact that Eliot is deeply Romantic, stylistically and temperamentally. Read any portion of any poem by Eliot; it is there in the very poem, such as "Prufrock." It indeed is a good poem, witty and modern. But the drawback with Eliot is he is exclusive, thus the poetic range is limited.
Compared with him, Stevens is a pure Romantic, who profoundly succeeds in renewing Romantic poetics in modern times, as evidenced in "Sunday Morning." Which is the counterpoint to Milton's "Paradise Lost." Of course, in terms of poetic gestures.
Yeats is, compared with Eliot and Stevens, unique. He is against science, and goes back to myths and folklore and man. His "Long-legged Fly" is the epitome of his great poetics, a victory over the materialistic society of last century. Still, it is hard to understand how he could go over what seems to have been an impossible barrier, with such an outmoded thing, as mysticism, mythology, Romanticism, that all thought dead.

 



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