P    O    E    T    I    C    O    N

Notable authors: Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley.

Cavalier Poets
Seventeenth century English royalist poets, writing primarily about courtly love, called Sons of
Ben (after Ben Johnson).

Notable authors: Richard Lovelace, William Davenant

Metaphysical Poets
17th century English movement using extended conceit, often (though not always) about religion.

Notable authors: John Donne, George Herbert

The Augustans
An 18th century literary movement based chiefly on classical ideals, satire and skepticism.

Notable authors: Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift

This was an 18th to 19th century movement emphasizing emotion and imagination, rather than
logic and scientific thought, in response to the Enlightenment.

Notable authors: Victor Hugo, George Gordon (Lord Byron)

Gothic Novel
Fiction in which Romantic ideals are combined with an interest in the supernatural and in

Notable authors: Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker

Lake Poets
The Lake Poets were a group of Romantic poets from the English Lake District who wrote
about nature and the sublime.

Notable authors: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

American Romanticism
Distinct from European Romanticism, the American form emerged somewhat later, was based
more in fiction than in poetry, and incorporated a (sometimes almost suffocating) awareness of
history, particularly the darkest aspects of American history.

Notable authors: Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne

19th century, primarily English, movement based ostensibly on undoing innovations by the
painter Raphael. Many were both painters and poets.

Notable authors: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti

19th century American movement: poetry and philosophy concerned with self-reliance,
independence from modern technology.

Notable authors: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Davis Thoreau

Dark Romanticism
19th century American movement in reaction to Transcendentalism. Finds man inherently sinful
and self-destructive and nature a dark, mysterious force.

Notable authors: Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, George Lippard

Late-19th century movement based on a simplification of style and image and an interest in
poverty and everyday concerns.

Notable authors: Honoré de Balzac, Leo Tolstoy, Frank Norris

Also late 19th century. Proponents of this movement believe hereditary and environment control
Notable authors: Émile Zola, Stephen Crane

Principally French movement of the fine de siècle based on the structure of thought rather than
poetic form or image; influential for English language poets from Edgar Allan Poe to James

Notable authors: Stèphane Mallarmè, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Valèry

Stream of Consciousness
Early-20th century fiction consisting of literary representations of quotidian thought, without
authorial presence.

Notable authors: Vitginia Woolf, James Joyce

Variegated movement of the early 20th century, encompassing primitivism, formal innovation, or
reaction to science and technology.

Notable authors: T.S. Eliot, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.).

The Lost Generation
It was traditionally attributed to Gertrude Stein and was then popularized by Ernest Hemingway
in the epigraph to his novel The Sun Also Rises and his memoir A Moveable Feast. It refers to
a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris and other parts of Europe from the
time period which saw the end of WWI to the beginning of the Great Depression.

Notable Authors: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Waldo Pierce

Touted by its proponents as anti-art, dada focused on going against artistic norms and

Notable authors: Guillaume Apollinaire, Kurt Schwitters

First World War Poets
Poets who documented both the idealism and the horrors of the war and the period in which it
took place.
Notable authors: Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke

Poetry based on description rather than theme and on the motto, "the natural object is always
the adequate symbol."

Notable authors: Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Aldington

Harlem Renaissance
African American poets, novelists, and thinkers, often employing elements of blues and folklore,
based in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in the 1920s.

Notable authors: Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston

Originally a French movement, influenced by Surrealist painting, that uses surprising images and
transitions to play off of formal expectations and depict the unconscious rather than conscious

Notable authors: Jean Cocteau, Dylan Thomas

Southern Agrarians
A group of Southern American poets, based originally at Vanderbilt University, who expressly
repudiated many modernist developments in favor of metrical verse and narrative.  Some
Southern Agrarians were also associated with the New Criticism.

Notable authors: John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren

Mid-20th century poetry and prose based on seemingly arbitrary rules for the sake of added
Notable authors: Raymond Queneau, Walter Abish

Postwar movement skeptical of absolutes and embracing diversity, irony, and word play.

Notable authors: Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Pynchon, Alasdair Gray

Black Mountain Poets
A self-identified group of poets, originally based at Black Mountain College, who eschewed
patterned form in favor of the rhythms and inflections of the human voice.

Notable authors: Charles Olson, Denise Levertov

Beat Poets
American movement of the 1950s and ‘60s concerned with counterculture and youthful

Notable authors: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey

Confessional Poetry
Poetry that, often brutally, exposes the self as part of an aesthetic of the beauty and power of
human frailty.

Notable authors: Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath

New York School
Urban, gay or gay-friendly, leftist poets, writers, and painters of the 1960s.

Notable authors: Frank O’Hara, John Ashberry

Magical Realism
Literary movement in which magical elements appear in otherwise realistic circumstances. Most
often associated with the Latin American literary boom of the 20th century.

Notable authors: Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, Günter Grass, Julio Cortázar

A diverse, loosely connected movement of writers from former colonies of European countries,
whose work is frequently politically charged.

Notable authors: Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul

(Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_movements).