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Modern Classics Imagist Poetry (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – International Edition, April 3, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0141185705 ISBN-10: 0141185708 Edition: New Ed
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; New Ed edition (April 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141185708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141185705
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,205,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Peter Jones the editor of this Anthology writes in the Introduction an excellent history of the Imagist movement. He also describes the central figures and there is an appendix with brief biographies of each of them. The major founding father and precursor was T.E. Hulme whose reaction to the excessive verbiage , and to his mind mistaken Romanticism of the late Victorians and Georgians led him to seek a more classic, contained kind of Poetry.
Here is an example of Hulme's work.

"Above the Dock"

Above the quiet dock in midnight,
Tangled in the tall mast's corded height,
Hangs the moon.What seemed so far away
Is but a child's balloon , forgotten after play.

Hulme and his successors aimed at replacing discursive reflection with direct perception. Richard Aldington and H.D. based themselves on Greek models in which tight language is often epigrammatic. Here is an example by H.D.

The Pool

Are you alive?
I touch you.
You quiver like a sea- fish
I cover you with my net.
What are you-banded one?

There are great writers Joyce and D. H. Lawrence associated with the movement whose real work is far beyond it.
Other figures associated with it are Edward Storer,Skipworth Cannell, John Cournos,John Gould Fletcher,F.S.Flint, Ford Madox Ford,Amy Lowell, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams. Ezra Pound was a central figure in the movement, this long before he turned into a pro- Fascist propagandist.
Reading through the anthology I found the stress on concise description and on the momentary perception to be reminscent of Chinese and Japanese poetry. I found however that the poems on the whole have a tiresome sameness and are without the largeness of human feeling , the depth of emotion of much great Western poetry.
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