The Imagist Poets Rawlinson 11
Imagism • Imagism was a literary movement established in the early 1900s by Ezra Pound and other poets. • Imagists concentrated on the direct presentation of images, or word pictures. • An imagist poem expressed the essence of an object, person, or incident, without providing explanations. • Through the spare, clean presentation of an image, the Imagists hoped to freeze a single moment in time and to capture the emotions of that moment. To accomplish this purpose, the Imagists used the language of everyday speech.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972) • Author of “A Few Don’ts” and “In a Station of the Metro” • As both an editor and a poet, Ezra Pound inspired the dramatic changes in American poetry that characterized the Modern Age. • His insistence that writers “make it new” led many poets to discard the forms, techniques, and ideas of the past and to experiment with new approaches to poetry.
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) • Author of “The Red Wheelbarrow,” “This Is Just to Say,” and “The Great Figure.” • Unlike his fellow Imagists, WCW spent most of his life in the United States, where he pursued a double career as a poet and a pediatrician in New Jersey. • He felt that his experiences as a doctor provided him with inspiration as a poet, and credited medicine for his ability to “gain entrance to…the secret gardens of the self.”
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886-1961) • Author of “Pear Tree.” • In 1913, Ezra Pound reshaped three of Hilda Doolittle’s poems and submitted them to Poetry magazine under the name “H.D., Imagiste,” thus giving birth to the Imagist movement. • The publication of the poems also served to launch the successful career of the young poet, who continued to publish under the name H.D. throughout her life.
Literary Analysis • Imagism was a literary movement begun in the early 1900s by Ezra Pound and other poets. • As the name suggests, Imagist poetry evokes emotion and sparks the imagination through the vivid presentation of a limited number of images, or words and phrases that appeal to the senses.