Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Robert Daniel

Committee Members

K.L. Knickerbocker, Nathaniel Wright, & James Patty


Any review of the conclusions reached in this study must be made in the light of the limited selection of the material and the proposed scope of the investigation as set forth in Chapter I. These conclusions about Modern Poetry are based on an examination of approximately 1500 poems contained in Volumes I, II, XXX, and XXXI of Poetry magazine and in the three anthologies referred to throughout the text: Chief Modern Poets of England and America; A Little Treasury of Modern Poetry; and New Poems, 1942. Such a selection is wide enough and extends over a sufficient period of time to be representative of Modern Poetry when it is defined a s poetry written after 19121 a date selected because o f its significance as the year in which Poetry magazine was first pub­lished. This selection of poems has been examined to determine whether Modern Poetry, a s here represented, contains conventional elements , either retained from earlier traditions or originated by a Modern Poet and crystallized into conventions by others. No attempt has been made to seek out the originator of a given convention or to distinguish imitators or leading poets from followers or a convention already established; widespread use or a similar image by a variety of poets throughout the period has been considered sufficient evidence for the assumption that the practice goes beyond mere imitation. For the purpose or this study, then, examples from the poems of major and minor poets are considered to be of equal significance in determining the existence of conventions. Although material is selected that assures representation from four decades within the first half of the twentieth century, the primary emphasis throughout the study has been on the period as a whole rather than its parts. For instance, no attempt is made to determine the relative frequency of certain images or practices in earlier and later volumes of Poetry magazine. In the course of the study, however, implications about frequency of usage, originality, and individuality suggest themselves.

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