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group of English and American poets writing from 1909 to about 1917, who were united by their revolt against the exuberant imagery and diffuse sentimentality of 19th-century poetry. Influenced by classicism, by Chinese and Japanese poetry, and by the French symbolistssymbolists,
in literature, a school originating in France toward the end of the 19th cent. in reaction to the naturalism and realism of the period. Designed to convey impressions by suggestion rather than by direct statement, symbolism found its first expression in poetry but
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, the imagists stated that poetic ideas are best expressed by the actual rendering of concrete images without superfluous commentary. They held the poet must embody his feelings in specific physical analogies that exactly convey his meaning. He must produce a hard, clear, concentrated poetry, free of stilted and artificial vocabulary, meter, and imagery. Ezra Pound, as head of the group, edited the anthology Des Imagistes (1914) and gained control of the Egoist (1913–19), which became the principle imagist journal. Pound soon left imagism for other artistic and political causes, but imagism continued to flourish, through the efforts of Richard AldingtonAldington, Richard
, 1892–1962, English poet and novelist. While studying at the Univ. of London, he became acquainted with Ezra Pound and H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), whom he married in 1913.
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, Hilda DoolittleDoolittle, Hilda,
pseud. H. D.,
1886–1961, American poet, b. Bethlehem, Pa., educated at Bryn Mawr. After 1911 she lived abroad, marrying Richard Aldington in 1913.
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, D. H. Lawrence, and John Gould FletcherFletcher, John Gould,
1886–1950, American poet, b. Little Rock, Ark., educated (1903–7) at Harvard. After traveling throughout Europe, he became a leader of the imagists in England.
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. James Joyce published in three imagist anthologies (1915, 1916, 1917). In its revival of the clarity and conciseness of classical poetry and in its general liberating effect on literature, imagism has been an important influence on 20th-century poetry.


See Imagist Anthology (1930, repr. 1970); P. Jones, ed., Imagist Poetry (1973); study by G. Hughes (1960).

References in periodicals archive ?
In order to focus this essay even further, I will look carefully at modes of visual prompting within Imagist poetry.
Pound chose an eclectic approach for the journal, which he described to James Joyce as "a new Futurist, Cubist, Imagist quarterly" (Perloff 1986, 175).
37) The three rules of the imagists were 1) Direct treatment of the "thing," whether subjective or objective; 2) To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation; 3) As regarding rhythm: To compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of the metronome.
The range is intended to be inclusive, with representation from Victorians, Imagists, modernists, the Harlem Renaissance, Black Mountain, Beats, confessional poets, and the Black Arts Movement.
In graduate school, I was excited by the bravado and return to narrative seen in paintings of the early 1980s; however, the Chicago Imagists influenced me more than New York "bad boys" like Eric Fischl and David Salle.
Hulme, a British writer who died in 1917 in World War I, was an influential figure for the Imagists before 1914.
Gunslinger's transition from outlaw to classic--from its serial release starting in 1968 to Wingbow's 1975 complete edition (printed by the fugitive Zephyrus Imagists investigated by Alastair Johnston in this issue) to Duke University Press's reprint in 1989, replete with enthusiastic introduction by Marjorie Perloff, president-elect of the Modern Language Association (4)--has done little to mitigate the delight this "post-ephemeral" "spasm / of presyntactic metalinguistic urgency" supplies as it traverses the "terrific actualism" of "the inside real / and the outsidereal.
By contrast the works of the imagists, which said for the most part nothing at all, but only presented experiences, were shocking or puzzling or risible to their early readers because, instead of that familiar vatic prolixity, they were extremely short and supposed to be denuded of artifice.
Eliot, whose merit was to break the cult of estheticism, especially of the Imagists, whom Milosz compared to the Skamander poets in Poland.
Paley: It's really hard to say that because, first of all, I wrote for so many years all by myself, but I read poetry from Mother Goose-childhood through 1000 Best Loved Poems to the Imagists on the way to Yeats.
The original Imagists often wrote short poems that resembled those in the Greek Anthology (Archilochus and others) or Japanese haiku; there was usually a certain formality about them.
And the reason why this irreverent postmodern approach fails to help the imagists transfigure TV is simply that TV has beaten the imagists to the punch.