by George J. Dance 'Formalism' in poetry refers to poetry written in verse, with meter and often with end rhyme (although blank verse is normally also considered formal verse). The term 'neo-formalist' or 'new formalist' is sometimes distinguish modern formalist verse from traditional poetry. == History == Before the 20th century, almost all of English-language poetry was written in meter; the only sharp distinction in form was between rhymed formal verse and unrhymed formal verse, and many poets (such as Shakespeare and Milton) were equally skillful in both. It makes little sense to use the term "formalist" in relation to poetry of those days, since – with a few exceptions, like William Blake and Christopher Smart, who were widely seen as eccentrics – everyone was a formalist. It is only with the rise of modernist poetry, in the early decades of the 20th century, that "formalism" becomes a relevant term that reflects a real difference. ==Formalist poets== ===American formalist poets=== *Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) *Robert Frost (1874-1963) *Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) *Elinor Wylie (1885-1928) *John Peale Bishop (1892-1944) *Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) *Robert Hillyer (1895-1961) *Stephen Vincent Benét (1899-1943) *Hart Crane (1899-1932) *Yvor Winters (1900-1968) *Sterling A. Brown (1901-1989) *Countee Cullen (1903-1946) *R.P. Blackmur (1904-1965) *George H. Dillon (1906-1968) *J.V. Cunningham (1911-1985) *Edgar Bowers (1924-2000) *Henri Coulette (1927-1988) *Turner Cassity (1929-2009) *Roger Dickinson-Brown (born 1944) ====New Formalists==== *X.J. Kennedy (born 1929) *Timothy Steele (born 1948) *Dana Gioia (born 1950) *George Bradley (born 1953) *A.M. Juster (born 1956) *Kim Bridgford (born 1959) *Geoffrey Brock (born 1964) ===Australian formalist poets=== *Christopher Brennan (1870-1942) *Stephen Edgar (born 1951) ===British formalist poets=== *William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) *W.H. Davies (1871-1940) *Alfred Noyes (1880-1958) *Elizabeth Daryush (1887-1977) *Wilfred Rowland Childe (1890-1952) *Cecil Day-Lewis (1904-1972) *Charles Causley (1917-2003) ===Canadian formalist poets=== *Robert Norwood (1874-1933) *Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922) *Kenneth Leslie (1892-1974) *Charles Bruce (1906-1971) ==Formalist anthologies== *Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism (1996) == See also == *The Formalist, a literary magazine (now defunct) for formalist poetry *New Formalism, a movement within the poetry of the United States *Formalist poets ==External links== *"Prosody for 21st-Century Poets" by Timothy Steele, Academy of American Poets.
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