Theorists of Modernist Poetry: T.S. Eliot, T.E. Hulme, Ezra Pound, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Theorists of Modernist Poetry

T.S. Eliot, T.E. Hulme, Ezra Pound, 1st Edition

By Rebecca Beasley


148 pages

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Modernist poetry heralded a radical new aesthetic of experimentation, pioneering new verse forms and subjects, and changing the very notion of what it meant to be a poet. This volume examines T.S. Eliot, T.E. Hulme and Ezra Pound, three of the most influential figures of the modernist movement, and argues that we cannot dissociate their bold, inventive poetic forms from their profoundly engaged theories of social and political reform.

Tracing the complex theoretical foundations of modernist poetics, Rebecca Beasley examines:

  • the aesthetic modes and theories that formed a context for modernism
  • the influence of contemporary philosophical movements
  • the modernist critique of democracy
  • the importance of the First World War
  • modernism’s programmes for social reform.

This volume offers invaluable insight into the modernist movement, as well as demonstrating the deep influence of the three poets on the shape and values of the discipline of English Literature itself. Theorists of Modernist Poetry is relevant not only to students of modernism, but to all those with an interest in why we study, teach, read and evaluate literature the way we do.


'No one can understand the revolution that was Modernism in Anglo-America without some familiarity with the theoretical and critical writings of Eliot and Pound—and before them, T. E. Hulme … Rebecca Beasley’s Theorists of Modernist Poetry provides newcomers to this field with an excellent introduction to the complex strains that inform the poetic theories in question and argues convincingly that, however problematic the later politics of Eliot and Pound, the legacy of their poetics remains crucial today.'Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University

"In addition to their experimental poetry, says Beasley (English and humanities, U. of London), the three towering figures of early 20th-century English literature are important as the primary theorists of the modernist tradition. She traces the formation of the literary values they established and disseminated through critical essays and editorial authority." -- Book News Inc., August 2008

Table of Contents

Why Eliot, Hulme and Pound? Key Ideas 1. Modes of Aestheticism: Early Influences 2. Philosophical Details: The Image and the Objective Correlative 3. Classicism and the Critique of Democracy 4. The Historical Sense 5. The Great War and the Long Poem 6. Modernism and the Ideal Society After Eliot, Hulme and Pound Further Reading

About the Author/Editor

Rebecca Beasley teaches in the School of English and Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London, and is the author of Ezra Pound and the Visual Culture of Modernism (2007).

About the Series

Routledge Critical Thinkers

Routledge Critical Thinkers is designed for students who need an accessible introduction to the key figures in contemporary critical thought. The books provide crucial orientation for further study and equip readers to engage with theorists' original texts.

The volumes in the Routledge Critical Thinkers series place each key theorist in his or her historical and intellectual context and explain:

  • why he or she is important
  • what motivated his or her work
  • what his or her key ideas are
  • who and what influenced the thinker
  • who and what the thinker has influenced
  • what to read next and why.

Featuring extensively annotated guides to further reading, Routledge Critical Thinkers is the first point of reference for any student wishing to investigate the work of a specific theorist.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory