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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
jason monios <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 00:23:00 PST
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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Dear Jacob,
              Thanks for your reply. I agree that Pound did not rule out
visual images in the normal sense of the word, but I think what
separates him from the other Imagists is that he built on the foundation
gained from skills sharpened through the "don'ts" of Imagism, whereas
they remained basically visual. He has a lot to say regarding the
selection of details, and their presentation in relation to each other.
"Swift perception of relations" as he often quotes Aristotle. I think in
a sense Imagism is a way of removing all inessential matter so that the
relations between the selected details will become more apparent to the
reader, sharpening the poetic sensation produced. In his 1914 article
"Vorticism" he redefines the image as "a vortex, through which and into
which ideas are constantly rushing" (or something like that, I don't
have it with me.) It seems that if the details are appropriately
selected and presented, then their relation will produce this vortex of
meaning and association, which is the effect of the poem. It is this
vortex that moves the reader. The difference is that Pound's Imagism
often attains this vortex, while the work of the other Imagists usually
does not. Similarly, this image or vortex may be built up to any size,
whether two lines, or a large inter-related, many levelled image, which
nonethelss retains a singular focus, like a Noh play, as Stephen
mentioned, or the Paradiso.
                                  Jason Monios.
Stephen  Adams wrote:
>This whole issue of what Pound meant by "imagism" rarely takes into
>account his descriptions of "The Seafarer" or a single Noh play as "an
>On Wed, 17 Feb 1999, Jacob Korg wrote:
>> Dear Jason:
>>         Yes, I think there are the elements of a controversy here.
>> Schneidau, and Grieve following him, have strongly attacked the
>> approach to Imagism, but comment in Poetry magazine and elsewhere
>> that the Imagists did have a pictorial effect in mind.This may be
worth an
>> article reviewing the situation, but I find Pound writing that the
>> "poetic"poetry "seems as if sculpture or painting" were forcing their
>> into words, and that art's highest function is to fill the mind with
>> noble profusion of sounds and images" -- EP's review of Yeats'
>> Poetry mag, May, 1914. Then, Alice Corbin Henderson's review of Des
>> Imagistes  -- "Imagism isd essentially a graphic art. . . the visual
>> element plays an important part inthe poems in this volume"-- Poetry,
>> October, 1914.
>>         I will have to look at the Pound-Corbin letters to see
>> Pound challenged her on this.But so far it seems that the Imagists
>> not excluding "imagery" in the usual sense or visual impressions.
>                                Stephen Adams
>                                Department of English
>                                University of Western Ontario
>                                London, Canada  N6A-3K7
>                                [log in to unmask]
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