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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 ?
The Imagists were influenced by French Symbolism, by Chinese and Japanese poetry and art, and by the Greek lyric.
I see him at certain points thoroughly fulfilling Ezra Pound's maxim for the Imagists to be "wholly precise in representing a vagueness", in that his imagery at times can be utterly vivid, as though he were still painting instead of writing, while with these same precise images he hopes to convey a vague, abstract, nearly intangible idea.
William Carlos Williams's much anthologized poem, "At the Ball Game," originally an untitled section of Spring and All (1923), while going further to approach both the baseball crowd and their game, would transfer some of the Imagist ambivalence to the spectacle of the sports crowd.
In order to focus this essay even further, I will look carefully at modes of visual prompting within Imagist poetry.
As Hugh Kenner has noted, the elimination of most verbs in the Cantos and imagist poetry accommodates "a taste for the programmed rather than the fortuitous, taking its pleasure in planned, not improvised, effects," but this poetic economics of hermeneutic scarcity forces a single outcome: each segment (or image) of the ideogram ideally "rhymes" in but one particular way with the others, until only one meaning is possible ("Simplicities" 21-23).
So we have no chance to set the Acmeists beside the Imagists, or look at the way Futurism passes into Constructivism.
In these works he employed many of the striking visual techniques of the Imagists.
In the West, from the time of the Imagists, in the early years of the century to the present, it has been the stunning economy, the particularity of haiku which has had greatest appeal.
As the youngest of the imagists (he was 19 when he began to edit the literary section of The Egoist in 1912, two years too young to enter the British Library's reading room), he was an intimate friend of many important writers in the formative years of literary modernism: Ezra Pound was an early mentor; F.
The home region includes the Costa Brava that has given the world such strong imagists as Salvador Dali.
Influenced early by the work of EDGAR ALLAN POE, he modeled his first poetic efforts also on the French Symbolists and the Imagists (see IMAGISM).
One of the most notorious of the Bohemians who came to Greenwich Village during the 1920s, Bodenheim was influenced in his early work by the romanticists and imagists, but later, for example in his novel Lights in the Valley (1942), he espoused various proletarian causes.