Return of old forms in contemporary poetry


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Gouda Ibrahim Hashish EL-SAYED

Related Research Unit(s)


Awarding Institution
Award date3 Oct 2014


Poetry, like all literature, reflects the relationship between art and society, and between form and content. In recent years, poetry has undergone a renaissance of traditional form, as poets from different generations and different parts of the world return to use closed forms, as well as metric open forms. This study seeks to shed light on this seemingly universal phenomenon of a revival of old poetics forms in contemporary poetry. Some of the questions this study is seeking to answer are: how do new forms and old forms co-exist in contemporary poetry? What are the reasons behind this revival, and what aesthetic and literary perspectives does it reflect? This inquiry also takes a comparative look at poetic traditions and their development in contemporary poetry. While some poets to a certain extent opt to deviate from the traditional style and form in a bid for creative innovation, roots of traditional forms and poetical language still exist in their writing. What are the reasons for this revival of old forms in many parts of the world? This research is an attempt to answer this question by adopting a comparative approach that analyses the poetics of five languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, and German) as examples of Arabic, Chinese, and Western poetry. Finally, the study argues that the new appreciation of traditional forms reflects a need for more aesthetic diversity, and draws attention to the new awareness of the relationship between form and content that goes beyond the social function of poetry.

    Research areas

  • History, 20th century, History and criticism, Poetry, Modern, Poetics