Reading Ian McMillan as a Postmodern British Poet
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British poetry that is produced after 1960s coincides with the same period when postmodernism as a philosophical attitude dominated all fields of life and especially literature. The British poet Ian McMillan’s poetry is influenced by postmodernism of the period and it practices postmodern devices. Some of these are parody, pastiche, stylistic mélange and playful inventiveness. McMillan’s poetry deconstructs the normative understanding of traditional poetry and reconstructs a postmodern poetry which employs its devices to create new grounds for poetry to exist. Accordingly, this thesis analyses Ian McMillan’s poetry collections A Chin? (1991) and Jazz Peas (2014) in accordance with their use of postmodern devices so as to illustrate what makes Ian McMillan a postmodern poet and to what extent his poetry represents postmodern British poetry. In Chapter I, McMillan’s use of formal postmodern devices in his poems are studied and it is argued that the selected poems in A Chin? show that McMillan’s attitude towards postmodernism in his early work deals with the political concerns of its time as well as employing formal postmodern devices in the poems. Chapter II argues that McMillan employs postmodern devices and experiments with postmodern poetry to extend the use of postmodernism in poetry. Thus, this shows that the political concerns of the first collection shift towards aesthetic concerns about the condition of postmodernism in poetry in Jazz Peas. Hence, this thesis argues that the practices of postmodernism through formal postmodern devices that are observed in A Chin? and the use of formal postmodern devices as well as experimentation with postmodernism in Jazz Peas make McMillan a postmodern British poet. It is observed that McMillan’s A Chin? is concerned with the political matters as well as the aesthetic ones whereas Jazz Peas problematizes the aesthetic practice of postmodernism in poetry.