Can the term modernist, when describing literary work, be in fact used to reference poetry that was, but not is, modern?

  • If you are asking if modernist means with preference for war the answer is no. thefreedictionary.com/modernist
    – user66974
    May 15, 2015 at 10:48
  • No I am saying is this the correct way to describe the general conventions of poetry during a specific era, if anyone understands what i'm saying
    – Hedonistic
    May 15, 2015 at 10:49
  • 1
    You mean contemporary poetry?
    – user66974
    May 15, 2015 at 10:52
  • 1
    @Josh61 Yes! That is the word I was looking for
    – Hedonistic
    May 15, 2015 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


Beg pardon, but which society are you talking about? Your premise would not be true about "all" or even most British poetry in World War One. In fact, during the anniversary the other day people were saying how the great war poets like Owen were more anti-war than the average. Germans, French, Russians, Austrians and Americans, I wouldn't know. Without speaking Italian, however, I am aware of the Futurism of Marinetti & Co., which might be called a variant of Modernism. Not exactly the poetry of the war, and more about art than poetry, but one response to the cataclysm.

Anyway, a more English expression would be that the poetry was "pro-war" or "militaristic", or that it "glorified war" or "romanticised war". It's harder to do as an adjective.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.