Excerpt of an essay on poetic theory by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
"A Retrospect" and "A Few Don'ts"
Imagism — a literary movement that began in the U.S.A. in 1912 — has come and gone, but its shadow still lingers in contemporary poetry. Imagists focused on the visual aspect of poetry as they looked for dry clarity among concrete images. Just like sculpture, they took poetry as an art that could be chiseled out from everyday objects.
Ezra Pound was a reknown Imagist who had many views on the topic. We hope that you will find them interesting, and join in to share your own.
Here's an extract from his lengthy essay on Imagism:
1. To use the language of common speech, but to employ the exact word, not
the nearly exact, nor the merely decorative word.
2. Go in fear of abstractions. Do not retell in mediocre verse what has
already been done in good prose.
3. Be influenced by as many great artists as you can, but have the decency
either to acknowledge the debt outright or to try to conceal it.
4. To produce a poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.
5. Let the beginning of the next line catch the rise of the rhythm wave unless
you want a definite longish pause.
While many of the contemporary poets agree to disagree with Pound's manifesto, it certainly provides some food for thought.
If your poetic curiosity is piqued, here's the fuller essay:
"A Retrospect" and "A Few Don'ts" by Ezra Pound
Essay by Editorial Team
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Written on 2020-08-30 at 00:00
Tags American  Imagism
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