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ENG 304 - Modern

Modern Period authors, dates, quotes, etc

Thomas Hardy 1840-1928
Then would I bear it, clinch myself, and die, Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited; Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I Had willed and meted me the tears I shed. "Hap"; Hardy; He would bear the sorrows of life if only he knew there was a god that designed them.
Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain, And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . . These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown Blisses around my pilgrimage as pain. "Hap"; Hardy; There is no design to chance, which rules the world.
I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was specter-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. "The Darkling Thrush"; Hardy; Setting
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. "The Darkling Thrush"; Hardy; He is alone in a wooded area
The land’s sharp features seemed to be The Century’s corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament. ... That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unawa "The Darkling Thrush"; Hardy; The century is drawing to a close and he senses some hope on the horizon
A.E. Housman 1859-1936
And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more. "Loveliest of Trees"; Housman; A sort of carpe diem poem as the speaker sees that life is short
And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodland I will go To see the cherry hung with snow. "Loveliest of Trees"; Housman; Speaker intends to make the most of his short life, from spring (youth) until winter (death).
Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay, And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. "To an Athlete Dying Young"; Housman; A young death prevents sorrows and regrets later in life
And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears. "To an Athlete Dying Young"; Housman; Silence or cheers don't matter after death
So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade, "To an Athlete Dying Young"; Housman; Die while you are still strong and renowned
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, It gives a chap the belly-ache. "Terence, this is stupid stuff..."; Housman; Somber poems are not enjoyable to read
And malt does more than Milton can To justify God’s ways to man. "Terence, this is stupid stuff..."; Housman; Drinking and partying are the best way to know God
Look into the pewter pot To see the world as the world’s not. And faith, ‘tis pleasant till ‘tis past: The mischief is that ‘twill not last. "Terence, this is stupid stuff..."; Housman; The world is more complicated than you think!
Joseph Conrad 1857-1924
“And this also,” said Marlow suddenly, “has been one of the dark places of the earth.” Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Speaking of Africa physically and metaphorically
They were men enough to face the darkness. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; What kind of man does it take to enter the darkness unscathed?
He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, that goes to work upon him. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Of Kurtz
Often far away there I thought of these two, guarding the door of Darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall, one introducing continuously to the unknown, the other scrutinising the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned eyes. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; These two characters guide the transition between society and savage
”He is a prodigy,” he said at last. “He is an emissary of pity, and science, and progress, and devil knows what else.” Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Of Kurtz' positive reputation
Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings of the world. An empty stream, . . .till you thought yourself bewitched and cut off for ever from everything you had known once—somewhere—far away—in another existence perhaps. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; The effect of the river in isolating people from their former existences.
like a sluggish beetle crawling on the floor of a lofty portico. It made you feel very small, very lost, and yet it was not altogether depressing, that feeling. After all, if you were small, the grimy beetle crawled on—which was what you wanted it to do. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Animalistic instinct taking over-- desire to hide
The mind of man is capable of anything—because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; On the collective human mind
Exterminate all the brutes! Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Kurtz' note revealing his fall from civilization into savagery
I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, ...and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core Heart of Darkness; Conrad; The id takes over as Kurtz survives in Africa-- he becomes obsessed with the animalism that surrounds him
His was an impenetrable darkness. I looked down at him as you peer down at a man who is lying at the bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; There is no bringing Kurtz back to the light
The horror! The horror! Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Kurtz' last words
Mistah Kurtz—he dead. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; The native servant's announcement of Kurtz' death
Destiny. My destiny! Droll thing life is—that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes too late—a crop of unextinguishable regrets. Heart of Darkness; Conrad; Basically claims that life is meaningless
Rupert Brooke 1887-1915
If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is forever England. . . . "The Soldier"; Brooke; Elevated view of war which was soon dispelled
Edward Thomas 1878-1917
Remembering again that I shall die And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks For washing me cleaner than I have been Since I was born into this solitude. "Rain"; Thomas; Death that awaits the soldiers
Either in pain or thus in sympathy Helpless among the living and the dead, Like a cold water among broken reeds, Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff, "Rain"; Thomas; He hopes that no other soldiers feel like this
Siegfried Sassoon 1886-1967
The Bishop tells us: “When the boys come back They will not be the same; for they’ll have fought In a just cause. . . . "They"; Sassoon; Bishop's glorification of war
You love us when we’re heroes, home on leave, Or wounded in some mentionable place. You worship decorations; you believe That chivalry redeems the war’s disgrace. "Glory of Women"; Sassoon; The ridiculousness and piteousness of women's perspective on war
O German mother dreaming by the fire, While you are knitting socks to send your son His face is trodden deeper in the mud. "Glory of Women"; Sassoon; The sad reality vs. the mother's understanding of war
Isaac Rosenberg 1890-1918
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew Your cosmopolitan sympathies. "Break of Day in the Trenches"; Rosenberg; This rat couldn't really care less about the war
Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins Drop, and are ever dropping; But mine in my ear is safe— Just a little white with the dust. "Break of Day in the Trenches"; Rosenberg; This is what keeps the soldier going
Death could drop from the dark As easily as song— But only song dropped. "Returning, We Hear the Larks"; Rosenberg; The song of the larks greets the soldiers instead of bombs, which gives them a false sense of security
Like a blind man’s dreams on the sand By dangerous tides, Like the girl’s dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there, Or her kisses where the serpent hides. "Returning, We Hear the Larks"; Rosenberg; false sense of security
Wilfred Owen 1893-1918
What passing bells foe these who die as cattle? --Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. "Anthem for Doomed Youth"; Wilfred Owen; the kind of funerals the soldiers will have
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds. "Anthem for Doomed Youth"; Wilfred Owen; the kind of funerals the soldiers will have
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through the sludge, "Dulce Et Decorum Est"; Wilfred Owen; experience of the soldiers
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. "Dulce Et Decorum Est"; Owen; The old Lie: It is sweet and meet to die for one's country. Sweet! And decorous!
If anything might rouse him now The kind old sun will know. "Futility"; Owen; He is dead, it is futile to try to rouse him
Was it for this that the clay grew tall? --O what made fatuous sunbeams toil To break earth’s sleep at all? "Futility"; Owen; what is the point of the world and living in it?
You’d see me with my puffy, petulant face, Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel, Reading the Roll of Honour. "Base Details"; Sassoon; The life of the Majors, who never have to face real battle
And when the war is done and youth stone dead, I’d toddle home and die—in bed. "Base Details"; Sassoon; The life of the Majors, who never have to face real battle
William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
While I stand on the roadway, or in the pavement grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core. "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"; Yeats; Contrast between this setting and the Innisfree setting that is desired
Unwearied still, lover by lover, They paddle in the cold Companionable streams or climb the air; Their hearts are not grown old; "The Wild Swans at Coole"; Yeats; symbolic use of the swans
By what lake’s edge or pool Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day To find that they have flown away? "The Wild Swans at Coole"; Yeats; symbolic use of the swans
The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, "The Second Coming"; Yeats; The chaos as new age meets old age
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. "The Second Coming"; Yeats; The state of humanity
That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? "The Second Coming"; Yeats; Vision of a dark new age arriving
A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. "Leda and the Swan"; Yeats; The conception of the new age occurs, leading eventually to the Trojan War
An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, "The Tattered Coat"; Yeats; hollowness of mankind
Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity. "Sailing to Byzantium"; Yeats; The soul is not made to be attached to earthly bodies
T.S. Eliot 1888-1965
In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; Prufrock's observation of the high social status women
And time yet for a hundred indiscisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; Taking time for indecision
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; Prufrock lives day-to-day, never doing anything significant with his life
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; Prufrock is getting old and fears death
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; Prufrock only plays a small part in the world
I grow old. . . I grow old. . . I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; Prufrock feels self-conscious about his aging
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Eliot; He has waited and waited for the moment to act, and when it arrives, he chokes
Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats’ feet over broken glass In our dry cellar. "The Hollow Men"; Eliot; Pointlessness of mankind
Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; "The Hollow Men"; Eliot; the paradox that is man
This is the dead land This is cactus land "The Hollow Men"; Eliot; man is like the hollow cactus in the desert
Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow "The Hollow Men"; Eliot; Men begin to take action but hesitate, so they never accomplish anything
This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. "The Hollow Men"; Eliot; People don't go out with a bang anymore
Created by: prisms



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