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William Butler Yeats and Gerard Manley Hopkins as Innovators

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  1. Introduction
  2. The concept of sprung rhythm
  3. Creating the curtail sonnet
  4. Writing in conventional forms
  5. Conclusion

In literature there can be two major types of innovation, innovation in style and innovation in content. At the turn of the 18th Century innovations were huge as writers were creating what we now refer to as modernist poetry. Gerard Manley Hopkins and William Butler Yeats are two of the central figures that influenced the way poetry was read and the way it would be written by those that would follow. Between the two the whole look and feel of a poem changed. Both Hopkins and Yeats tried to restore writing and/or culture and in doing so were, somewhat ironically, innovative. Hopkins wished to revert to the way English was written and sounded when it was first created through his idea of sprung rhythm and his use of kennings. Yeats looked further back than Hopkins for inspiration and in doing so used Irish and some Greek mythology in the content of his works. The restoration effort of these two poets is a large contribution to the innovation of poetry.

[...] William Butler Yeats and Gerard Manley Hopkins as Innovators In literature there can be two major types of innovation, innovation in style and innovation in content. At the turn of the 18th Century innovations were huge as writers were creating what we now refer to as modernist poetry. Gerard Manley Hopkins and William Butler Yeats are two of the central figures that influenced the way poetry was read and the way it would be written by those that would follow. [...]


[...] While Hopkins was making new words, rhythms and forms William Butler Yeats was restoring myths through his poetry. The use of mythology in poetry by William Butler Yeats was an innovation. Yeats wrote about figures such as the Angeus the god of youth, beauty and poetry in Song of Wandering Aengus.? He was not writing poetry just to refer to something, he was trying to educate the Irish of the mythology and bring back Irish culture. He also did so with some Greek figures like Leda and the god Zeus in ?Leda and the Swan?. [...]

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