When the Modernists challenged the use of adjectives, Ellen Bryant Voigt argues, they rejected what they saw as the “part of speech with little syntactical necessity,” advocating instead “a tough, hard, sinuous poetry,” a stance later revised to a general fear of modifiers. Believing that a serious scrutiny of this overcorrection is long overdue, Voigt offers this scrutiny, showing how poems by Hass, Wright, and Hayden—and, indeed, by Pound, Williams, Stevens, and Yeats—rely, for their tone and precision, on adjectives.
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