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Some Imagist Poets, 1916 An Annual Anthology   By: (1886-1950)

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First Page:

The New Poetry Series

PUBLISHED BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

IRRADIATIONS. SAND AND SPRAY. JOHN GOULD FLETCHER.

SOME IMAGIST POETS.

JAPANESE LYRICS. Translated by LAFCADIO HEARN.

AFTERNOONS OF APRIL. GRACE HAZARD CONKLING.

THE CLOISTER: A VERSE DRAMA. EMILE VERHAEREN.

INTERFLOW. GEOFFREY C. FABER.

STILLWATER PASTORALS AND OTHER POEMS. PAUL SHIVELL.

IDOLS. WALTER CONRAD ARENSBERG.

TURNS AND MOVIES, AND OTHER TALES IN VERSE. CONRAD AIKEN.

ROADS. GRACE FALLOW NORTON.

GOBLINS AND PAGODAS. JOHN GOULD FLETCHER.

SOME IMAGIST POETS. 1916.

A SONG OF THE GUNS. GILBERT FRANKAU.

MOTHERS AND MEN. HAROLD T. PULSIFER.

SOME IMAGIST POETS, 1916

SOME IMAGIST POETS 1916

AN ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY

[Illustration]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1916

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published May 1916

THIRD IMPRESSION

PREFACE

In bringing the second volume of Some Imagist Poets before the public, the authors wish to express their gratitude for the interest which the 1915 volume aroused. The discussion of it was widespread, and even those critics out of sympathy with Imagist tenets accorded it much space. In the Preface to that book, we endeavoured to present those tenets in a succinct form. But the very brevity we employed has lead to a great deal of misunderstanding. We have decided, therefore, to explain the laws which govern us a little more fully. A few people may understand, and the rest can merely misunderstand again, a result to which we are quite accustomed.

In the first place "Imagism" does not mean merely the presentation of pictures. "Imagism" refers to the manner of presentation, not to the subject. It means a clear presentation of whatever the author wishes to convey. Now he may wish to convey a mood of indecision, in which case the poem should be indecisive; he may wish to bring before his reader the constantly shifting and changing lights over a landscape, or the varying attitudes of mind of a person under strong emotion, then his poem must shift and change to present this clearly. The "exact" word does not mean the word which exactly describes the object in itself, it means the "exact" word which brings the effect of that object before the reader as it presented itself to the poet's mind at the time of writing the poem. Imagists deal but little with similes, although much of their poetry is metaphorical. The reason for this is that while acknowledging the figure to be an integral part of all poetry, they feel that the constant imposing of one figure upon another in the same poem blurs the central effect.

The great French critic, Remy de Gourmont, wrote last Summer in La France that the Imagists were the descendants of the French Symbolistes . In the Preface to his Livre des Masques , M. de Gourmont has thus described Symbolisme : "Individualism in literature, liberty of art, abandonment of existing forms.... The sole excuse which a man can have for writing is to write down himself, to unveil for others the sort of world which mirrors itself in his individual glass.... He should create his own aesthetics and we should admit as many aesthetics as there are original minds, and judge them for what they are and not what they are not." In this sense the Imagists are descendants of the Symbolistes ; they are Individualists.

The only reason that Imagism has seemed so anarchaic and strange to English and American reviewers is that their minds do not easily and quickly suggest the steps by which modern art has arrived at its present position. Its immediate prototype cannot be found in English or American literature, we must turn to Europe for it. With Debussy and Stravinsky in music, and Gauguin and Matisse in painting, it should have been evident to every one that art was entering upon an era of change... Continue reading book >>




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