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The main characteristics of Modern American

M. American poetry has many characteristics.
They are shown as follows:
1-Transcendentalism: Transcendentalism was an
idealistic literary and philosophical movement of
the mid-19th century. Transcendentalists
emphasizes the private relationship between the
self and the universe. In fact, they believed that
each person carries the universe within himself.
According to the Transcendentalists, Literature was
a platform to liberate people, to help them see
what needs to be seen: nature, spirituality, selfidentity, and social injustice.
Like most transcendentalist works, Whitman's
"Leaves of Grass" explores the relationship
between man and nature, and the value of the
mind and spirit. Transcendentalism placed great
value on the self. The first poem in "Leave of
Grass" is titled "One's-Self I Sing". in the first line
of the poem Whitman says "passion, pulse, and
power". He shows how immense a life will be if a
man can act freely from his soul.
2-Individualism: it is the belief that individual
people in society should have the right to make
their own decisions, and choices rather than be
controlled by the society. Individualists desires
independence and self-reliance. They believed
that interests of the individual should achieve
precedence over the state or a social group. Most
of American poets discussed the idea of
individualism in their poem.

In Whitman's "one's self I sing", for example, He

speaks of "one's self" which can be understood as
everyone's self. He also seeks independence and
identity when he says " a simple, separate person"
Also, in "The road not taken", The speaker
decides to choose his way individually. So he
chooses to go his own way, taking the road less
3-The use of Paradox: paradox is a statement
that appears illogical or contradictory at first, but
may actually point to an underlying truth. Modern
American poets used this element in their poetry.
For example, In Frost's "Mending Wall", The
speaker mentions in the poem that he does not like
building the wall, however he is the one that calls
his neighbor at the time to mend the wall. This
would suggest that he does like building the wall
even though he does not necessarily see a need
for it. Also, There is another paradox. The proverb
"Good fences make good neighbors" is a paradox
when we contrast it with the first words of the
poem, "Something there is that doesnt love a
wall." In the first case, barriers are good things; in
the second, they are not.
4-The use of Irony: Irony is largely used in the
Modern American poetry . Irony is a statement or
situation where the meaning is directly
contradicted by the appearance or presentation of
the idea. There is four types of irony: ''Cosmic
irony", ''Situational irony", ''Verbal irony" and
''Irony of fate". .

In "Mending Wall", The wall is ironic because,

even though it separates the speaker from his
neighbor, it also brings them together every year.
the only time these two neighbors sees each other
is when they both mend the wall. "And on a day we
meet to walk the line".
5- Ambiguity: The use of Ambiguity is a main
characteristic in Modern American poetry. It is a
poetic device which means the use of any word,
action, or symbol that can be read in divergent
ways. American poets tended to use ambiguity in
their poetry.
The title of "the road not taken", for example,
makes the reader ask: which is the road not
taken? The speaker takes the road "less traveled".
In other words, he chooses the road not taken by
most other travelers. However, when he chooses
this less-traveled road, the other road then
becomes the road not taken! Also, in "Mending
wall", the title is ambiguous, in that mending
can be taken either as a verb or an adjective. As a
verb, the title refers to the activity that the poems
speaker and his neighbor perform in repairing the
wall between their two farms. As an adjective, it
keeps the relationship between the two neighbors
in good condition.