W. B. Yeats, Dante Alighieri, and Ezra Pound depict the earthly paradise in their works, and emphasize their pursuits of ideal worlds and the importance of purification of sins. The earthly paradise is described elaborately, or is sung indirectly as symbols and images in their works. And it excites the reader’s mind by projecting the poets’ imagery into their works purely.
Yeats, in Purgatory, shows that the spirits in afterlife return this world and look back on their past life. He connects the spirits’ earthly life which is not accomplished themselves in this world with the life of ancestor who was lived the aristocratic one; Dante, in Lα Divinα Commediα’s “Purgatorio”, portrays definitely the earthly paradise of afterlife, and focuses on the purification of sins by showing it a place where spirits purify all of their sins; Pound describes the scene of purgatory similar to Dante’s purgatory in the first part of “Canto XVI”, but, in the second part, puts emphasis on the survivors in the hell of a war as the inhabitant of the earthly paradise by depicting a hell such as Franco-Prussian, the Silk War of Ragusa, World War I, and the Russian Revolution. With overlapping techniques, he makes readers be conscious of the meaning of the earthly paradise themselves and create a new earthly paradise.
In short, the earthly paradise is embodied by a poet as Dante, but is created by a reader in Yeats’s and Pound’s works by going on a pilgrimage to search for the earthly paradise. The works represent one of the characteristics of modern poetry through shifting the focus from a poet to a reader.