- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: University of New Orleans Press; Expanded Third Edition edition (May 16, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972814388
- ISBN-13: 978-0972814386
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Imagist Poem: Modern Poetry in Miniature Expanded Third Edition Edition
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About the Author
William Pratt is Professor Emeritus in the English Department at Miami University. He is the editor of The Imagist Poem, originally published in 1963, and The Fugitive Poets, originally published in 1965, and reissued in an expanded edition in 1992 as part of the Southern Classics Series produced by J.S. Sanders of Nashville, TN.
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Top customer reviews
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F.S. Flint, Hildegard Dolittle, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Carl Sandburg, to name a few. I regret that this review is lacking in the caliber of writing necessary to express my love for these poets. "for Ezra Pound, If He Wants It".
It was through such a writer's group I was introduced to the Imagists, whose selected poems comprise this volume. Having left that group with thanks, I wanted to explore what I was missing, which led me to this seminal anthology. THE IMAGIST POEM should be read by everyone interested in the roots of modern English poetry, not as a source of pleasure, but as documentation of the origins of the dominant poetic paradigm for the twentieth century (hence the Quixotic five-star review).
"What Imagism did to English poetry was no less than earthshaking. It redefined what a poem is. It was no longer a series of verses in regular meter and rhyme, but a condensed expression of imagery in free verse." [Pratt, William (2010-10-01). The Imagist Poem: Modern Poetry in Miniature (Kindle Locations 91-92).]
The movement may be briefly defined as an emphasis on verbal parsimony, on rhythm without meter, and on objects to the exclusion of abstractions.
My dip into Imagism was surprising, but not for the expected reason. Its poetry did not awaken a new way of seeing the world. The real revelation was the vacuity of the product. With few exceptions, the following is a typical strophe:
"Apples on the small trees/ Are hard,/ Too small,/ Too late ripened/ By a desperate sun/ That struggles through sea-mist." [ibid. "Hermes of the Ways" by H.D. (Kindle Locations 929-932).]
The most energetic response I can muster is "Sorry about your apples." I had a whole new excuse for my divorce from the writers' group--they were teaching a style of poem I would rather not write.
Reviewed by the author of REDESIGNING GOD.
William Pratt's Preface and Introduction provide perspective and a history behind the Imagist movement in poetry. Pratt credits T.E. Hulme as being the first Imagist poet and the genre's driver - through his London Poets' Club. Hulme is credited as initiating the first interval of Imagist poetic output. Pratt states: "...the periods of Imagist activity were brief, sporadic, and practically discontinuous. Which is only to say that the history of Imagism was like its poetic product-a pattern of lucid intervals. His Introduction, written in 1963, covers the history, theory, and "place" of the Imagist poem in modern poetry. Granted, there is likely more thorough analyses and discussions of Imagism available elsewhere, but in 29 pages Pratt does an exquisite job.
The anthology of poetry is wonderful. Pratt pulled together work from poets most commonly associated with the Imagist movement, as well as some surprises. One can argue that keystone Imagist poems are missing from the collection, but its clear that Pratt has assembled an excellent anthology nonetheless. There is plenty of space on the pages to allow the poems to breathe - which adds to the enjoyment of reading. Included in the volume are poems by Hulme, F.S. Flint, Ezra Pound, H.D., Richard Aldington, Amy Lowell, Herbert Read, John Gould Fletcher, Adelaide Crapsey, as well as James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, D.H. Lawrence, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, e.e. cummings, Carl Sandburg, and Archibald MacLeish. Each poet has anywhere from a handful to 15 poems included.
All in all, this truly is, as the cover proclaims, "An anthology of the finest Imagist poems," I'm glad to see it's still in print and can highly recommend it.