Monday, August 18, 2014

A Notable, but not Striking, Collection

Some Imagist Poets, 1916 An Annual AnthologySome Imagist Poets, 1916 An Annual Anthology by Richard Aldington
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an anthology containing work by six poets from the "Imagist" school. I'll leave it to the reader to look up what that means because it never is quite clear, particularly since many poets categorized this way never stayed with the movement (most notably, William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound, not found in this book). However, here are some brief notes/impressions of the poets whose work is found in this volume.

Richard Aldington -- angry bore
H.D. -- Sea themed verse. Several references to mythology. Sometimes doesn't seem to say much. Sometimes quite powerful ("Orion Dead").
John Gould Fletcher -- Some delightful lines, interesting ideas. Some blah.
F.S. Flint -- Strong, imaginative lines. But what is he saying other than death happens?
D.H. Lawrence -- I'm not sure how he is an imagist poet. Almost too emotional. Maybe it is just my prejudice against so many exclamation marks!
Amy Lowell -- Not sure what to make of these. Most I like, but I don't know why The short, lyrical poems pack a punch.

This is interesting book may have historical and literary value, and may serve as an introduction to the Imagists. The preface does provide a bit of an understanding of the goals of the movement, goals that need to be revisited now with so much over-academic and over-workshopped poets dominating American publishing.

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