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Imagism. Background. Imagists first started writing around 1908 Wanted to reject Romantic sentimentality/vagueness Determined that Imagist poetry would… Have no fixed form Have variety, irregularity and individuality Use free verse Emphasis the momentary capture of a minute in time

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Presentation Transcript
background
Background
  • Imagists first started writing around 1908
  • Wanted to reject Romantic sentimentality/vagueness
  • Determined that Imagist poetry would…
    • Have no fixed form
    • Have variety, irregularity and individuality
    • Use free verse
    • Emphasis the momentary capture of a minute in time
    • Have a strong visual image
    • Be concrete
william carlos williams
William Carlos Williams
  • Imagist
  • Wanted to create a new type of poetry for America: one in which the new experiences of America did not have to fit into old, traditional forms
nantucket by william carlos williams
“Nantucket” by William Carlos Williams

Flowers through the window

lavender and yellow

changed by white curtains—

Smell of cleanliness—

Sunshine of late afternoon—

On the glass tray

a glass pitcher,

the tumbler turned down,

by which a key is lying—

And the immaculate white bed

iris by william carlos williams
“Iris” by William Carlos Williams

a burst of iris so thatcome down forbreakfast

we searched through therooms forthat

sweetest odor and atfirst could notfind its

source then a blue asof the seastruck

startling us from amongthose trumpetingpetals  

between walls by william carlos williams
“Between Walls” by William Carlos Williams

the back wings

of the

hospital where

nothing

will grow lie

cinders

in which shine

the broken

pieces of a green

bottle

william s imagist self
William’s Imagist Self
  • Master of the “glimpse”
  • Wrote about small details of everyday life in order to help people better see, taste, touch, smell and enjoy the world
  • Created poems in which he held an object up to scrutiny
  • Believed that the awareness of the object was the purpose of the poem
  • Wrote poem with what he called “edges:” parts that would break through our everyday experience and make us really SEE
slide8

what is

a poet – if any

exists?

a man

whose words will

bite

their way

home –

williams life
Williams’ Life
  • Country doctor in New Jersey
  • Had a large practice and spent long days visiting the sick and maintaining two offices
  • Neil Baldwin, in his 1984 biography, wrote, “Williams was afraid life would escape him. He saw importance and significance in every single thing that happened and could not afford to let any event, large or small, pass by without making a record of it” (123).
the red wheelbarrow by william carlos williams
“The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

upon

a red wheel

barrow

glazed with rain

water

beside the white

chickens.

slide11

Williams says, “Why does every line of a poem have to begin with a capital letter? It’s annoying…We don’t speak in iambic pentameter…Our language is free! It is the language that we hear which should go into a poem.”

  • Create your own meaning with your own free verse poem.
  • Write like Williams: Use strong precise visual imagery of ordinary objects
  • Begin your poem with:

so much depends

upon

share with a partner
Share with a partner…
  • Read your poem out loud to your partner
  • Have your partner respond first:
    • What did they feel when the poem was read?
    • What did they see when the poem was read?
    • What message did they create for themselves when they read the poem?
  • Then have the author explain their poem
    • Why does so much depend on their image?
    • What message were they trying to send?