on 7 December 2011
Although this is a fairly slim book, it covers a lot of ground. It tells and shows what the Imagists attempted, which poets were central to the Imagist movement, and who merely allowed their work to be included in its anthologies and became `fringe-members', as it were.
If you have ever wondered where the division between English and American verse began, this book tells and shows it. The Introduction describes the enthusiasts' arguments, how the Pound-Eliot camp differed from the Pound-William Carlos Williams camp, and you can see in WC Williams' work how it led to his pursuit of an American idiom and an extreme drive to 'make new' which in others' hands became merely an impulse for novelty for its own sake.
The selection of imagist verse represents 14 poets; all the works are short and each selection is well-judged to be representative of that poet. Two pre-imagist poets are included, separately, and six of the imagists have their post-imagist work separately represented so that you can see some development.
The value of the book is in the judicious selection of poets and their verse, an informative 31 page Introduction, and 24 pages of Appendices which include essays and letters about Imagism by FS Flint, Ezra Pound, and extracts from the Prefaces to Imagist anthologies. There are also short biographical notes on the poets.
This is a clear introduction to Imagism and an excellent edition for those who are familiar with it. If you are not that familiar with Imagism, the Introduction alone is worth the price of the book.
on 15 November 2010
A definitive,albeit brief guide to this succinct poetic style,with numerous examples of the key players work that initiated this form;coupled with an excellent learned introduction to Imagism and supported by helpful notes,appendices and brief biographies of these innovative poets of this free verse style.Worthy of a place on the serious poetry lover's bookshelf.
on 3 April 2012
When I first encountered the imagists and their poetry,there was a feeling of kinship, for ther ideals were coincidentally similar to my own. Their sources of inspiration, too--both ancient Greek lyric, and oriental. And the difference that I discovered between their practise and my own, was also illuminating.
There are some delightful little poems in this collection. Admittedly, the Imagist manner has its limitations. All too often, it results in a static, stained-glass window kind of beauty. Chinese Tang dynasty poet Wang Wei--a poet some of them may have been familiar with, and a Buddhist--comes to mind.
The editor has provided an excellent introduction too, along with biographical info on the poets featured