A didactic poem is one that teaches. What is taught and how it is taught vary from culture to culture. Some sorts of knowledge are firmly anchored in groups, but there is an enormous amount of fact and intuition that depends on the individual's perspective and for which the didactic poem has been a natural outlet. In modern times the didactic poem has assumed numerous artistic masks as it has both criticized and reinvented itself. The didactic impulse has been at odds with much of the modernist agenda. After all, what the didactic poem sets out to do is to tell rather than show, to make all manner of statements and assertions. The structure of the poem could not be simpler: a series of propositions; a climactic, imperative outburst to the propositions; and a prophetic explanation of the outburst. The didactic poem that imparts quite definite information is just as prevalent in contemporary American poetry.