Friday 9 March 2012

Imagist Poetry

Imagist Poetry.

Poets have always been facinated and perhaps a little perplexed by what makes a 'good' poem. One of the key ingredients has been recognized to be the creation of effective images in poems. Effective images solicit and incite emotional responses within the reader. Back in March of 2009 the Writer's Circle looked at the Imagist Movement in poetry in the first couple decades of the 20th century. We examined the self-proclaimed rules that Imagist poets deemed essential to this style of poetry. The main points emphasized direct treatment of the subject; to use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation; and "to compose in sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of the metronome." Ezra Pound, one of the leaders of the movement, said "An 'Image' is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time. . . . "

Perhaps the most famous of the Imagist poems is the following, written by Ezra Pound:

        In a Station of the Metro             
             The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
             Petals on a wet, black bough. 

             -- Ezra Pound

Other well-known poems that fall under the umbrella of Imagist poems are:.


             The fog comes
             on little cat feet.
             It sits looking
             over harbor and city
             on silent haunches
             and then moves on.

            -- Carl Sandburg

         The Red Wheelbarrow

            so much depends
            a red wheel
            glazed with rain
            beside the white

           - - William Carlos Williams


           Whirl up, sea--
           Whirl your pointed pines,
           Splash your great pines
           On our rocks,
           Hurl your green over us,
           Cover us with your pools of fir.

           -- HD (Hilda Doolittle)

The idea of focussing on creating short Imagist poems is one that has intrigued different members of the group at different times. Samples of some of these poems follow:

Small Poems (Imagist Style).


Alone, nothing in sight,
Fortitude: swelling inside,
Hopes rise again.

By: J. Mark Bailey


Enter a new life,
Curiosity - wonderment,
You're the teacher now.

By: J. Mark Bailey


Give me leaves of the sea grape tree,
the breadfruit and star apple.
I will make a bouquet of nature’s beauty.

By: Brenda Quin


Every pruning creates
new growth in our gardens
and in ourselves.

By: Brenda Quin

The clatter of plates
at kitchen sink, past midnight;
one light burning late.

By: H.M. Peter Westin


From before the moment of creation,
outreaching time or place;
a word of absolute love.

By: H.M. Peter Westin

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