The poetry of American Modernism should be seen as an avant-garde field of experimentation. In modernist poetry, authors are looking for new ways of self-expression, departing from forms that are considered outdated and crisis. In modernism, the attitude to the poetic word and the space of verse is rethought, which becomes much freer from traditional dimensional norms. A similar liberation occurs with images and the author’s position.
Ezra Pound, in his early creative period, strove for the maximum conciseness of the artistic image. His minimalism did not really squeeze his poems, on the contrary, Pound’s capacity implies the depth and value of the briefly expressed image. There are only eight lines in the poem “The Pact”, which encodes a capacious figurative dedication to the legendary poet Walt Whitman, whose influence on American poetry can hardly be overestimated. By his very poetic language, mysterious but generating many images in the mind of the reader, Pound proves that the poetry of modernism is an evolutionary turn that occupies a focal place in American literature. Modernism is fundamentally focused on poetic innovation, and its definite connection with Whitman is that this method should give new strength to the poetic word.
At the same time, modernism clearly breaks away from those traditions that seem outdated to it. Moreover, modernist literature sometimes ironically distorts old tropes and motives, as Thomas Eliot does with the love motive in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” At the same time, the poem is devoted to problems of an existential nature, which is characteristic of the literature of the beginning of the 20th century, full of shocks and disasters. Modernist poetry, especially in the case of Eliot, is a reflection of its time, where progress and innovation are superimposed on the painful perception of an unfriendly environment.