POEMS OF THE 1930s- MODERN POETRY The Pylons, The Express, Slough and The Wiper

Essay by gigglygirl February 2005

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After analysing the poems The Pylons, The Express, Slough and The Wiper written by Stephen Spender, John Betjeman and Louis MacNeice (respectively), a clear picture of poetry in the 1930s was formed in my mind. All four poems speak of new inventions in the industrial sector, each in their own, way, but all referring back to the general industrialization of the 30s.

Even though they all discuss roughly the same theme, they do not all discuss it in the same way, some welcome the change, some are ambiguous about it and some merely use the new technology as a metaphor for bigger things. Among the poems that do not clearly state if they agree with the new industrialization, is The Pylons by Stephen Spender. In his poem, Spender describes how the world is being changed, how nature and the country-side are being destroyed but he does not put it in a completely negative sense, in some parts of the poem he mentions that the electricity pylons and skyscrapers have a beauty of their own.

Spender divides his poem in three sections, past (first stanza), present (second and third stanzas) and future (fifth stanza), the fourth stanza is a link between how the world has already been changed and how more changes are still to come. This poem is particularly interesting because of its ambiguity, even thought Spender fondly describes the countryside, he does not seem to have a problem with electricity pylons taking over it.

Spender's second poem, The Express, on the other hand is completely positive about new inventions, it describes a train's journey and how beautiful the train is, the train is more beautiful then nature, it is described as the most beautiful thing poetry has ever been written about. This poem is particularly interesting because...