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Modern Poetry Is all moderrn poetry negative? by:farad Al-Marri

For many years, critics of Modern poetry have written so many articles and far more books describing modern poetry as a darker side of the human soul. Negativity of such poetry I all its genres have led many readers also to believe that modernism In literature in general is a reflection of the human's deepest unsorted negative feelings and disappointed in the new world "Post-Classic". But is it right to generalize this perception of modern poetry over all the modern poets experiences? I do not think that generalizing the image of negativity over all modern literature is a fair way to receive the thoughts, hopes, pains, and visions of many of our greatest poets of all time such as Elliot, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Poe etc‌

Some critics and readers would perceive modern poetry as a negative expression from the poet of its surroundings for many reasons:

1- The new usage of vocabulary. 2- Unfamiliar meanings for some wordings. 3- Unfamiliar angles to see the subject. 4- Mysterious imaging. Among other aspects of modern poetry.

When C. Baudelaire was asked about the sad/negative tone in his poems, he wrote a letter saying that sadness is an original emotion that drive other sub-emotions, unlike happiness which just an accessory! That statement of the French poet explains the new and personal ways of modern poetry to reveal beauty and truth. He added to prove his point "which would drive a person to be more emotional and loving: a smiling child, or a crying child?"

The positive soul of modern poetry can be felt in most of it, but it is the way each and

every poet express his own feeling.

The negative perception of modern poetry drive is generated from the roots of modernism as a revolution at heart. Most of our famous modern poets started writing as a revolt against classic/traditional mentality, so the negativity that is felt in some modern poetry is a reflection of the world within the poet himself. To understand modern poetry in all aspects we should then learn thoroughly about period of that poet to find the roots of what is perceived as a negative writing. Some critics would ask why do modern poets charge their poems with so many misconception of what is beautiful, while adding a negative sense to many changeable subjects which are written about in modern poetry?, but that question reveals two major misunderstanding of modern poetry:


first of all, the misunderstanding of the "revolution" concept. It is not the change that would overcome forms and happenings. It is much deeper than that specially when it comes to literature.


Secondly, asking poets to tame the language to what is familiar and uncreative, though language and personal expression of it cannot be tamed

Modern poetry gets its power from its energy to inspire which a very positive energy, as it passes beyond reality. To be more precise, it is the reality that surpasses reality!

Revolution includes the separation from traditional and inherited ways of expression. It is inevitable in a word that witnesses economic/social/political changes on everyday basis. The energy of the change would certainly come out between the lines of each modern poem or vividly into them. So, what negative or positive about modern poetry is in simply what is negative or positive in the world as a whole.

Some poets took it to the extreme though, but that is for two reasons:


To shock their surroundings – as a reflective behavior- by exaggerating the

negative emotions in the poem. -

The over-sensitivity of some poets which would make them "over-feel" for certain issues.

Many modern poets used positive visions in their poems such as W.H. Auden "As I walked out one evening". In this poem he paints a great view while telling all his readers that "life is a blessing". "I love you, I love you" he hears a shadow on the streets singing. The negativity sense comes later in the poem as Auden states that no one can conquer time, but it is not really Auden's negativity speaking, but the reality surrounding him as he walks that evening.

Describing modern poetry as "all-Negative" expression of human emotions is certainly a false statement. What would be more correct is that we do live in a negative world that is narrated but selected few talented people who try not to disguise the reality but to carry it gently into our minds as we read it, and read about it to feel relieved and charged with hope to change and make our world a better place to live and let live. Positive description of the world in a poem has many ways, some of which are not very colorful, simple, or even positive! But its outcome is certainly not meant to negatively effect our reception of our own surrounding, on the contrary, it is made to let us realize how some dark and negative expressions, poems or images can actually fill our lunges with hope and charge it with the well to make a difference.

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