UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A la recherche de l’image Hivon, Gerard 1973

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A LA RECHERCHE DE L'IMAGE by GERARD HIVON B.A. , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department o f Eng l ish We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November, 1973 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada Date It ABSTRACT AND INTRODUCTION I have always been ve ry fond o f the books t h a t have l i t t l e quo ta t ions a t the head of each chapter . 1 I t b r i n g s out w i t h great c learness the way words sound next t o each o ther even the same words when the century i s d i f f e r e n t and the w r i t e r i s d i f f e r e n t . Gertrude S t e i n , Lectures i n America (Boston 1935), p. 28. i b i d , p. 29. f i i Some f i v e years ago I became i n t e r e s t e d i n Imagis te poe t ry w h i l e s t u d y i n g s imul taneous ly the h i s t o r y o f contemporary poe t ry and cinema. I perce ived c e r t a i n very s t r o n g p a r a l l e l s between the theory and p r a c t i c e o f bo th techn iques, p a r a l l e l s which w i l l be discussed i n the course o f the e x p o s i t i o n . More i m p o r t a n t l y , however, I began t o suspect t h a t o ther p a r a l l e l s might e x i s t between modern poe t ry and o ther a r t s . This susp ic ion ' - i n v o l v e d me i n the d i f f i c u l t area of genre d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and i n fundamental quest ions about the na tu re of p o e t r y . I determined t h e n , by t a k i n g Imagisme as a f o c a l p o i n t i n t ime and i n the o v e r a l l c u l t u r a l l i f e o f t h a t t i m e , to i n v e s t i g a t e i t s i n t r i n s i c n a t u r e , i t s antecedents , and i t s contemporary a r t i s t i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n s , i n an e f f o r t t o answer f o r mysel f quest ions such a s , "What i s p o e t r y ? " , "What was the s i g n i f i c a n c e of p a r t i c u l a r developments . in modern poe t ry as they were a r t i c u l a t e d by a sma l l group o f poets p u b l i s h i n g be fo re the F i r s t World War who claimed i n some respects, t o be bo th p ioneers and guardians o f a p o e t i c t r a d i t i o n as o ld as l i t e r a t u r e , perhaps as o l d as a r t i t s e l f ? " , "What l i g h t . c o u l d the answers t o these quest ions throw on my e f f o r t s t o understand the na tu re o f poe t ry i n genera l and o f modern t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y poe t ry i n p a r t i c u l a r . 1 1 The f o l l o w i n g w i l l be an e x p o s i t i o n o f the process o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n I have been engaged i n i n t e r m i t t e n t l y f o r f i v e y e a r s , and of the answers I have found t o my s e v e r a l fundamental quest ions about a r t . Though the search f o r . these a n s w e r s . w i l l i n e v i t a b l y i n v o l v e h i s t o r i c a l enqu i r y , any concern w i t h "sources" w i l l be s t r i c t l y i v e v o l u t i o n a r y and s t r u c t u r a l , s ince i t seems to me v u l g a r l y romant ic to a t t r i b u t e h e r o i c s t a t u r e t o s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l s work ing w i t h i n a c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n ; as i n s c i e n t i f i c or any o ther form o f cont inuous human work, there i s i n poe t ry only men or women who are work ing s e r i o u s l y , w i t h more o r less t a l e n t , to b u i l d upon, or to f ree themselves ( t h a t i s , w i t h or aga ins t ) f rom cummulative h i s t o r y of success or e r r o r , bo th of which d e f i n i t i o n s are themselves cons tan t l y under r e v i s i o n by these workers . I am not concerned, as some h i s t o r i a n s may be , w i t h de termin ing t o whom Imagisme may be a t t r i b u t e d , nor w i t h e s t a b l i s h i n g a no tab le p lace f o r i t i n the h i s t o r y of poe t ry and a r t , bu t s imply to d iscover more or less e x a c t l y what i t was, what i t i s . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the phenomenon and i t s d e s c r i p t i o n w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e h i s t o r i c a l study bo th synchron ic and d iach ron i c but the focus f o r t h i s study w i l l not be p e r s o n a l i t i e s bu t r a t h e r paradigms. F. R. Leavis has been known t o r e f e r t o "Imagism" as " . . . l i t t l e more than a r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t something was wrong w i t h poe t ry "^ bu t i t i s q u i t e poss ib le t h a t by s tudy ing the man i fes ta t i ons and r a t i o n a l e s of such a r e c o g n i t i o n we may l e a r n a good deal about what was "wrong" w i t h poe t ry a t the beg inn ing of our cen tu ry , and perhaps even what can ever be "wrong" about p o e t r y ; or a t l e a s t , and t h i s i s perhaps as much as we can ever expect , we s h a l l l e a r n about the c r i t i c a l p o s i t i o n which made such a r e c o g n i t i o n p o s s i b l e , a c r i t i c a l p o s i t i o n which has a f f e c t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y the w r i t i n g o f poe t ry i n our own century . 3 L e a v i s , New Bearings i n Eng l i sh Poetry (Ann Arbor 1964) , o r i g i n a l Chatto & Windus 1932, p. 73. V The terms of the t i t l e of t h i s repor t are chosen not on ly because of the p a r a l l e l which they imply between my journey i n t o the past and the more d i r e c t and i n t i m a t e one descr ibed by P rous t , but because one o f them, the word " recherche" has the double i m p l i c a t i o n of " s e a r c h " and " r e s e a r c h " . The re -search i n which I have been engaged has taken on the broader i m p l i c a t i o n s o f a search , a search f o r a p e r s p e c t i v e , or p e r s p e c t i v e s , which would b e t t e r a l low me t o view modern poe t ry and poet ry i n gene ra l , i n a more i n t e l l i g e n t way than I would otherwise have been ab le t o do. I n the course of my search, I have viewed my f i e l d and my phenomena from va r ious p o i n t s of v iew, us ing where necessary the i n f o r m i n g l i g h t cast by knowledge of o ther a r t forms than the l i n g u i s t i c . I have walked around, not only w i t h i n , but o u t s i d e o f Imagisme i n my at tempts to s i t u a t e i t w i t h i n a comprehensible c u l t u r a l m a t r i x . I n doing so I have employed a technique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the medium which f i r s t helped prompt my study of Imagisme, the cinema. I t i s the pr imary technique o f the cinema, i n c r e a t i n g the i l l u s i o n o f a t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l , o r f o u r - d i m e n s i o n a l , ob ject or even t , t o do so by p resen t i ng t h a t ob jec t or event f rom numerous p e r s p e c t i v e s , thus i m i t a t i n g and m u l t i p l y i n g the p r i n c i p l e of opera t ion o f b i n o c u l a r human v i s i o n , and thereby p e n e t r a t i n g the d imensional r e a l i t y which i t wishes to rep resen t , or at l e a s t t o c o u n t e r f e i t conv inc ing l y or mean ing fu l l y . TABLES OF CONTENTS I . A b s t r a c t and I n t r o d u c t i o n : Wherein are set f o r t h the aims and methods o f the Author . page i i I I . Recherche L i n g u i s t i q u e : wherein are set f o r t h the f i n d i n g s o f the Author r e g a r d -ing the l i n g u i s t i c i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the d o c t r i n e and p r a c t i c e o f the c o n t r i b u t o r s t o the verse an tho logy , Pes Imag is tes . page 2 I I I . Recherche H i s t o r i q u e : Wherein are set f o r t h the f i n d i n g s of the Author r e g a r d -ing the precedents and antecedents of the d o c t r i n e and p r a c t i c e of the c o n t r i -b u t o r s to the verse an tho logy , Pes Imag is tes . As w e l l as contemporary p a r a l l e l s i n verse and o ther a r t s . A. European verse p receden ts , antecedents and contemporary p a r a l l e l s . page 31 B. American precedents and p a r a l l e l s i n v e r s e , under the t i t l e "Amer icana . " page 69 C. Elements of the p r i o r and contemporan-eous c r i t i c a l and l i t e r a r y h i s t o r i e s o f the c o n t r i b u t o r s themselves, under the t i t l e "Les I m a g i s t e s . " page 78 IV. Conc lus ions: Wherein are set f o r t h the genera l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the f o r e g o i n g s t u d y , i n c l u d i n g sundry l i t e r a r y , h i s t o r i c a l , and p h i l o s o p h i c a l observa t ions by the Author . page 108 V. B i b l i o g r a p h y : A l i s t o f a l l work a c t u a l l y quoted i n the f o r e g o i n g s t u d y , be ing some one-quar te r of a l l works perused by the Author i n the course o f h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n . • page 114 V I . Appendix One: Being a summary o f the a r t i f i c e s of v e r s i f i c a t i o n i n the Eng l i sh Language, by Mr. Morse Peckham. V I I . Appendix Two: Being a statement o f a r t i f i c e s favoured by Imag is ts w r i t i n g a f t e r 1914, as pub l i shed i n the F i r s t Imagis t Anthology e d i t e d under the sponsorship of Miss Amy Lowe l l of Grantwood, New Jersey , U. S. A. . . .ma grand'mere a u r a i t c ru mesquin de t rop s 'occuper de l a s o l l d i t e d'une b o i s e r i e ou se d i s t i n g u a i e n t encore une f l e u r e t t e , un s o u r i r e , que lque fo is une b e l l e imag ina t i on du passe". M£me ce qu i dans ces meubles repondai t a un b e s o i n , comme c ' e t a i t d'une facon a l a q u e l l e nous ne sommes p lus h a b i t u e s , l a charmait comme les v i e i l l e s manieres de d i r e ou nous voyons une metaphore, e f f a c e e , dans n o t r e moderne langage, par l ' u s u r e de 1 'hab i tude . Or jus tement , les romans champ€tres de George Sand q u ' e l l e me donnai t pour ma fete, e t a i t p l e i n s , a i n s i qu 'un m o b i l i e r anc ien , d 'express ions tombees en desuetude e t redevenues imagees, comme on n 'en t rouve p lus q u ' a l a campagne. Et ma grand'mere les a v a i t achetes de pre ferance a d 'au t res comme e l l e eut loue ' 'p lus v o l o n t i e r s une p r o p r i e t e ou i l y a u r a i t un p igeonn ie r goth ique ou quelqu 'une de ces v i e i l l e s choses qu i exercent sur 1 ' e s p r i t une heureuse i n f l u e n c e en l u i donnant l a n o s t a l g i e d ' impossib les: voyages dans l e temps.1 The background o f the p e r i o d i s the unprecedented economic development wh ich , beg inn ing s h o r t l y a f t e r 1800, ushered i n the age of c a p i t a l i s m and the machine. ^Marcel Prous t , A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, eds. P i e r r e Clarac e t Andre Ferre (Par is 1954) , p. 4 1 . ^Henny H a r r a l d Hansen, Costume Cavalcade (London 1958) , p. 144. 1 PART ONE: RECHERCHE LINGUISTIQUE . . . Dur ing the Renaissance g o l d -smi thery was h e l d i n the h ighes t respect i n I t a l y as the mother o f the f i n e a r t s . Almost a l l the great masters i n the graph ic and p l a s t i c a r t s sub jec ted themselves t o i t s d i s c i p l i n e be fo re they began on t h e i r works of l a rge p r o p o r t i o n s or dimensions. •H. C. Ba inb r idge , Peter Car l Faberge (Feltham 1968), p. 48. 2. I t i s by now a commonplace i n the study of human behav io r t o regard the d i s t i n c t i o n between the "sane" and the " i nsane" as merely one o f d i f f e r e n t i a l development, o f temporary o r permanent dominance over the i n d i v i d u a l or the group by a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c or c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , h y p e r t r o p h i e d but e s s e n t i a l l y common t o a l l human charac te r . As what was once c a l l e d "madness" and i s now "men ta l i l l n e s s " — a c t u a l l y on ly a common and recu r ren t but s p e c i a l i z e d method of i n t e r p r e t i n g human e x p e r i e n c e — i s p o t e n t i a l i n a l l humankind, so i t i s my c o n t e n t i o n , a f t e r these f i v e years of e c l e c t i c and comparative s t u d y , i s p o e t r y p o t e n t i a l i n a l l language. L i ke the "god i n the s t o n e " , poe t r y i s present i n the common substance and s t r u c t u r e of language, w a i t i n g to be focussed on and i s o l a t e d f o r n o t i c e by those who, consc ious ly or o the rw ise , have, or have acqu i red , the s k i l l o f work ing a c t i v e l y w i t h language. L ike madness, p o e t r y i s an e s o t e r i c or s p e c i a l i z e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f language, which i s i t s e l f an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f e x p e r i e n t i a l r e a l i t y . Descr ib ing Ze lda Sayre F i t z g e r a l d , Nancy M i l f o r d w r o t e : Her thoughts moved r a p i d l y by d e s c r i p t i o n and an appeal to the sense. She f e l t the death o f a Confederate s o l d i e r ; she could sme l l the aroma of loss t h a t pervaded the sou th . I f her thoughts were u n r u l y , they never the less c a r r i e d enormous meaning t o Scot t and i t was f rom an emot iona l ra the r than a r a t i o n a l language t h a t she w r o t e . I t s l i m i t s , and they were severe, were t h a t she depended on too p r i v a t e a mode of communication. I n the end i t severed he r f rom o rd ina ry communication w i t h o ther people. I t could be argued tha t t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y the l i m i t a t i o n of the insane: they have wi thdrawn i n t o a mode, h a b i t , or even s t y l e o f thought so exc lus i ve t h a t i t seals them w i t h i n 3 t h e i r own i n t e r i o r , out o f which they are no longer able t o escape.^ And i t i s obvious t h a t the d e s c r i p t i o n , though M i l f o r d h e r s e l f takes no pains to p o i n t i t ou t , i s one which might be made t o serve t o account f o r the p o e t i c output of more than one w r i t e r of v e r s e , and of prose f o r t h a t ma t te r . As Edward Sapi r has long s ince p o i n t e d ou t : Human beings do not l i v e i n the o b j e c t i v e w o r l d a lone , nor alone i n the w o r l d of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y as o r d i n a r i l y unders tood, bu t are very much a t the mercy o f the p a r t i c u l a r language which has become the medium of express ion f o r t h e i r s o c i e t y . I t i s q u i t e an i l l u s i o n t o imagine t h a t one ad jus ts t o r e a l i t y e s s e n t i a l l y w i t h o u t the use of language and t h a t language i s merely an i n c i d e n t a l means of s o l v i n g s p e c i f i c problems of communication or r e f l e c t i o n , The f a c t of t he mat te r i s t h a t the " r e a l w o r l d " i s t o a l a rge ex ten t unconsciously b u i l t up on the language h a b i t s of the group. The w r i t e r , be i t o f prose or p o e t r y , i s one t o whom the above i n s i g h t i s e i t h e r learned or n a t i v e and f o r whom i t forms the bas is f o r work ing w i t h language as a medium f o r s p e c i a l i z e d i n t e r p r e t i v e purposes. His f u n c t i o n i s not only to develop the a r t i s t i c and i n t e r p r e t i v e p o t e n t i a l o f language, but i m p l i c i t l y , t o make a l l users of l a n g u a g e — t h a t i s t o say, everyone—more aware o f the medium which they use so unconsciously and o f t en c a r e l e s s l y , and on which t h e i r s u r v i v a l , bo th as i n d i v i d u a l s and as members o f l a rge groups, may depend. The d i s t i n c t i o n between poe t ry and p rose , p a r t i c u l a r l y as the more obvious devices of l i n g u i s t i c ove r -de te rm ina t i on which ^ M i l f o r d , Ze lda : A Biography (New York , 1970) , p. 212. S a p i r , "The Status o f L i n g u i s t i c s as a Science" i n Selected  W r i t i n g s of Edward Sapir (Berkeley 1949), p. 162. 4 have t r a d i t i o n a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d verse have f a l l e n f rom the h igh favour they once enjoyed through a u t h o r i t y , may have t o be made, i f i t i s wor th making a t a l l or can be made, i n terms o f d i f f e r e n c e s of a more fundamenta l ly o r s t r u c t u r a l l y l i n g u i s t i c n a t u r e . As Wellek and Warren, among o t h e r s , have p o i n t e d ou t : Language i s the m a t e r i a l of l i t e r a t u r e as stone or bronze i s of s c u l p t u r e , p a i n t s of p i c t u r e s , or sounds o f music. But one should r e a l i z e t h a t language i s no t mere i n e r t mat ter l i k e stone bu t i s i t s e l f a c r e a t i o n o f man and i s thus charged w i t h the c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e o f a l i n g u i s t i c group.4 and the cumulat ive fo rce o f t h i s c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e has i n i t or about i t the p o t e n t i a l t o produce, e i t h e r a c c i d e n t a l l y or under the pressure of c e r t a i n l i n g u i s t i c or e x t r a - l i n g u i s t i c c a t a l y s t s , the s t y l i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a l . e x a g g e r a t i o n s or s p e c i a l i z a t i o n s we c a l l poe t ry and psychos is . Just as we have convent iona l ways o f p e r c e i v i n g r e a l i t y , which ways are themselves i n t e r p r e t i v e a p r i o r i because o f the h i s t o r y o f pe rcep t i on and c u l t u r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , we have commonly and i d i o s y n c r a t i c a l l y developed ways of us ing language. C e r t a i n key observat ions by ep is temo log is t s a n d . l i n g u i s t s a l i k e e x h i b i t p a r a l l e l s which would c e r t a i n l y bear out these observa t ions : Dr. Langer has p o i n t e d out i n her d i scuss ion o f the " F a b r i c o f Meaning" t h a t "Sense-data and e x p e r i e n c e s . . . are e s s e n t i a l l y Meaningfu l S t r u c t u r e s . . . . " 5 I n s o f a r , t h e n , as language i s common and/or i d i o s y n c r a t i c i n p o t e n t i a l i t too i s composed o f meaningfu l ^Rene Wellek and Aus t i n Warren, Theory o f L i t e r a t u r e (New York 1956) , p. 22. 5Suzanne Langer, Phi losophy i n a New Key (New York 1964) , p. 225. 5 s t r u c t u r e s . Poetry and p rose , which are always t o some degree e i t h e r unusua l ly conven t iona l or unusual ly i d i o s y n c r a t i c i n t h e i r use of language, are composed of what might be c a l l e d unusual ly Meaningfu l S t r u c t u r e s , and t h a t poe t ry i n i t s t u r n i s made up of Very Unusual ly Meaningfu l S t r u c t u r e s , a f a c t long recognized by l i n g u i s t s such as Samuel R. L e v i n : Various techniques are employed i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , b u t a s tandard r e s u l t seems t o be t h a t one o f the a t t r i b u t e s o f p o e t r y , as opposed t o prose i s a s p e c i a l u n i t y o f s t r u c t u r e . ^ There i s apparent ly no ques t ion i n Mr. L e v i n ' s mind t h a t the d i s t i n c t i o n can be made between poe t ry and p rose , t hen , accord ing t o a s i n g l e p r i n c i p l e , and moreover, i m p l i c i t l y , of a s i n g l e p r i n c i p l e of d i f f e r e n c e o f degree of u n i t y o f s t r u c t u r e r a t h e r than of k i n d of u n i t y o f s t r u c t u r e . The prose w r i t e r and poet b o t h , however committed t o " f reedom" e i t h e r of them may be , are always bound by the l i m i t a t i o n s o f language i t s e l f , as Morse Peckham p o i n t s out when he reminds us t h a t : When the poet wishes t o manipulate sounds. . .he can on ly manipulate the sounds s e l e c t e d by h i s c u l t u r e , f o r i f he uses other sounds, or sound combinations not so s e l e c t e d , he loses morphemic cha rac te r , or semantic f u n c t i o n . 7 — l o s e s , i n s imple terms, meaning. I n f a c t : So long as a poet uses the semantic f u n c t i o n o f v e r b a l s i g n s , he i s l i m i t e d by h i s language t o a phonic range and a phonic f o r m u l a , or ru les govern ing sound combinat ions, which a l l languages have. 6 L e v i n , L i n g u i s t i c S t ruc tu res i n Poetry (The Hague 1962) , p . l . 7Morse Peckham, Man's Rage f o r Chaos (New York, 1965) , p. 137. 6 Since there are b a r r i e r s t o phonic d i s i n t e g r a t i o n , t o manipulate sounds he must move i n the oppos i te d i r e c t i o n Iunless he i s B i l l B i s s e t t @1963]. I f he cannot be less s e l e c t i v e than the language p e r m i t s , he can only be more s e l e c t i v e than the language r e q u i r e s . This narrowed s e l e c t i o n i s phonic over -d e t e r m i n a t i o n . ^ Peckham then goes on t o g ive a phonic d e s c r i p t i o n o f mos t ,o f the common t r a d i t i o n a l and convent iona l devices of o v e r - d e t e r m i n a t i o n i n Eng l i sh p o e t r y , u s e f u l as d e s c r i p t i o n bu t perhaps r a t h e r t i resome t o the exper ienced reader , and t h e r e f o r e reproduced i n Appendix One t o t h i s paper f o r those who w ish t o v e r i f y the account o r my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f i t . The most s i g n i f i c a n t observa t ion which Peckham makes i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s t ha t the re i s an impor tan t d i s t i n c t i o n between the reader who knows only one language and the reader (o r w r i t e r ) who i s b i - l i n g u a l or m u l t i - l i n g u a l . For the former " t he normal phonemic f low i s perce ived as r a n d o m . . . . F o r the reader or w r i t e r who does know more than one language i t i s always obvious t h a t t h e r e i s i n every language a dominant and many o ther methods o f o v e r - d e t e r m i n a t i o n , governing the r e l a t i o n s o f words to each o ther w i t h i n s t r u c t u r e s o f sound and sound grouping and t h a t many words, w i t h o u t be ing set fo rward by any obvious device such as r'ime-^ a l l i t e r a t i o n , c a p i t a l i z a -t i o n , or even t y p o g r a p h i c a l arrangement or p u n c t u a t i o n , have and impar t t o any sound grouping or s t r u c t u r e of which they are a p a r t a d i s t i n c t i v e load o f i m p l i c i t o r t o n a l meaning. I n s h o r t the b i - l i n g u a l reader i s aware t h a t i n every language there i s a type of 8 i b i d , p. 138. 9 i b i d , p. 139. 7 l i n g u i s t i c de te rm ina t ion which i s f a r more impor tant than the t r a d i t i o n a l p o e t i c , or p rose , dev ices ; and t h a t the most impor tan t type o f de te rm ina t ion i s t h a t of word order and word meaning, bo th i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t . Poe t r y , t h e n , i s an i n t e g r a l development o f language, and par takes of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common t o a l l language, and i t s s p e c i a l power o f commanding and t r a n s f e r r i n g l i n g u i s t i c energy i s probably a f u n c t i o n o f s e l e c t i v e exaggerat ion o f some one or more o f these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (as i s the case a lso w i t h p r o s e ) ; p robab ly , a l s o , the most i m p o r t a n t . o f which i s the s t r u c t u r e of r e l a t i o n s and the importance o f the semantic or l e x i c a l elements between whom these r e l a t i o n s are demonstrated o r suggested through t h a t s t r u c t u r e of r e l a t i o n s ; and t h a t t h i s , p a r t i c u l a r s t r u c t u r e i s no t apparent t o most readers who read only one language. We have begun t o descr ibe poe t ry i n genera l and prose, and t o descr ibe a lso the p o s i t i o n of Imagiste poe t ry i n the h i s t o r y o f the two modes. I t has been suggested by va r ious h i s t o r i a n s and c r i t i c s t h a t Les Imagistes was n o t a group at a l l , bu t i t cannot be denied tha t those who have come to be recognized as those who "coun ted" were a l l bound by the common b i - l i n g u a l o r m u l t i - l i n g u a l awareness, which set them apar t f rom t h e i r American contemporar ies, i n the main, and even f rom many o f t h e i r contemporaries and predecessors i n England, whose c l a s s i c a l backgrounds were u s u a l l y more o f a themat ic than a l i n g u i s t i c i n f l u e n c e . The Imag is tes—Pound , H. D., A l d i n g t o n , W i l l i ams and F l i n t were a l l possessed, through a c t i v e t r a n s l a t i o n i f n o t conversa t iona l f l u e n c y , of a s p e c i a l m u l t i - l i n g u i s t i c s t r u c t u r a l awareness. They were t h e r e f o r e not only acquainted w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l 8 techniques of ove r -de te rm ina t i on i n Eng l i sh ve rse , bu t i n the verse a lso of o ther languages. They were a lso aware of the uniqueness o f every l i n g u i s t i c u t t e rance f r e s h l y cons t ruc ted i n any language. I n s h o r t , they were aware of the f a c t t h a t the re was c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l i n the process o f word arrangement much less obvious and a r b i t r a r y than r ime , a l l i t e r a t i o n , l i n e r e g u l a r i t y , e t c . Such awareness should have d i m i n i s h e d . t h e i r concern w i t h the necess i t y f o r us ing i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f poems the more obvious t r a d i t i o n a l dev i ces , s ince they , u n l i k e b r e v i t y f o r i n s t a n c e , a l l tend t o l i m i t the phonic and t h e r e f o r e the mus ica l as. w e l l as a meaning p o t e n t i a l of those poems. I t i s q u i t e n a t u r a l tha t they would have d isda ined the r e s t r i c t i v e n e s s and gaucherie o f such devices and regarded them as acc re t ions impeding the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f i n s i g h t or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of s i g n i f i c a n t exper ience through language. Except as occas iona l excep t ions , r ime, a l l i t e r a t i o n , e t c . do not cha rac te r i ze pe rcep t i on o f the "mean ing fu l s t r u c t u r e s " o f sense d a t a , o f which language i t s e l f i s a p a r t , and i t i s poss ib le tha t the Imagis ts f e l t t ha t t h e r e f o r e t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f these s t r u c t u r e s i n the form o f poems or m i c r o - s t r u c t u r e s of s e l e c t i v e d a t a -groupings should not be thus c h a r a c t e r i z e d e i t h e r . The j u s t i f i c a t i o n which I g ive f o r t h i s s u p p o s i t i o n w i l l be by way o f a s t r e t c h i n g of p r o f e s s i o n a l t e r m i n o l o g y : the re i s no denying t h a t Pound, p a r t i c u l a r l y , i s i n some i m p o r t a n t , a t l e a s t i m p l i c i t sense, a l i n g u i s t , and f u r t h e r t ha t h i s d o c t r i n e o f the Image had f o r h im a p s y c h o l o g i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n , s ince h i s own d e s c r i p t i o n s o f i t were couched i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l terms and supported by s p e c i f i c re ferences t o e x p l i c i t psycho log i s t s such as H a r t . Keeping i n mind 9 t h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the c h i e f p o l e m i c i s t ; and d o c t r i n a i r e among the Imag is tes , l e t us look at what Edward Sapir had to say about the phonic l e v e l of language. Speaking i n a r e t r o s p e c t which would i n c l u d e the group o f 1914, the "descendants o f the f o r g o t t e n s.chool of 1909" 1 (as Pound c a l l e d them, Sapi r s a i d i n 1949: There used t o be and to some ex ten t s t i l l i s a f e e l i n g among l i n g u i s t s t h a t the psychology of a language i s more p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned w i t h i t s grammatical f e a t u r e s , bu t t h a t i t s sounds and i t s phone t i c processes be long t o a grosser p h y s i o l o g i c a l substratum.-'-^ Al though t h e i r f r i e n d (o r at any r a t e Pound's f r i e n d ) T. E. Hulme had s a i d long be fo re 1914 t h a t poe t ry was o r ought t o be " a t h i n g of the body" , the re i s no c lea r i n d i c a t i o n , up t o the p u b l i c a t i o n o f Pes Imag is tes , at l e a s t , t h a t i t s c o n t r i b u t o r s were concerned w i t h a "g rosse r p h y s i o l o g i c a l subst ra tum" o f language and p o e t r y , w i t h the poss ib le excep t ion o f Pound's remarks about "abso lu te rhy thm" ; and i t i s probably l i k e l y tha t the n o t i o n o f such a rhythm was at t h a t t ime thought to be something more c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o the p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n t e g r i t y of the g iven poem than to the p h y s i o l o g i c a l charac te r of i t s au thor . And y e t one o f the group (and perhaps a l l th ree o f those who subscr ibed i n 1912) at l e a s t was aware of a deeper l e v e l of i n t e g r i t y than the p s y c h o l o g i c a l , though some c r i t i c s , such as K e n n e r ^ t r a c e the p r i n c i p l e s o f the Imagiste program t o e t h i c a l Confucianism and l 0 P o u n d , Ripostes (London 1915) , p. 59. U S a p i r , Selected W r i t i n g s , p. 33. 1 2 Hugh Kenner, The Poetry o f Ezra Pound (London 1951), p. 7 1 . 10 i t s concern w i t h i n t e g r a t e d use o f language f o r e x t r a - p o e t i c a l and s o c i a l reasons, bu t i n the p r i n c i p l e . o f i n t r i n s i c r a t h e r than super -imposed mus ica l schemes there i s at l e a s t a h i n t of the p h y s i o l o g i c a l element. Pound, who was f a m i l i a r with.Remy de Gourmont, and w i t h h i s concept o f " p h y s i o l o g i c a l cadence" i n p r o s e , ^ would have been very l i t t l e s u r p r i s e d t o f i n d t h a t poets i n the r e s t o f h i s century have developed i n the d i r e c t i o n which they have, many of them. I n h i s "abso lu te rhythm" there i s a lso something o f the p h y s i o l o g i c a l "subs t ra tum" o f language m a n i f e s t , at l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y . "The f i r s t d i f f i c u l t y i n a modern poem i s t o g ive a f e e l i n g o f the r e a l i t y o f the speaker, the second, g iven the r e a l i t y of the speaker, t o gain any degree o f poignancy i n one's u t t e r a n c e " s a i d Pound. — A n d poignancy i s , almost by d e f i n i t i o n , a f u n c t i o n o f p h y s i o l o g i c a l , as w e l l as p s y c h o l o g i c a l , involvement and response. And Pound h i m s e l f o f course never took the program very s e r i o u s l y , knowing probably through h i s read ing of Duhamel, whom he f r e q u e n t l y mentions i n h i s references to c o n t i n e n t a l p o e t r y , i f no t o the rw ise , t h a t at best be ing the founder o f a " s c h o o l " " . . . e s t desormais une opera t i on sans p r o f i t q u i j e t t e t o u t au p lus sur son homme un l e g e r r i d i c u l e " ; ! ^ he admi t ted i n f a c t i n a l e t t e r t o H a r r i e t Monroe of 26 September 1927 t h a t : - ^ A r t h u r Symons, The Romantic Movement i n Eng l i sh Poet ry . (London 1909) , p. 8. C i t i n g (though not g i v i n g , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , h i s exact source) Remy de Gourmont, Symons says "The sense of cadence as prose has n o t h i n g Inothing?] i n common w i t h the sense of music ; i t i s a . sense w h o l l y p h y s i o l o g i c a l . " Symons h i m s e l f then says " I t i s i n f a c t , t h a t p h y s i o l o g i c a l q u a l i t y which gives i t s ch ie f power, i t s r a r e s t s u b t l e t y , t o p r o s e . " -^Georges Duhamel, Les Poetes et l a Poesie (Par i s 1914), p. 109. 11 The name Imaglsme was Inven ted t o launch H. D. and Richard be fo re e i t h e r had enough s t u f f f o r a volume. Also t o e s t a b l i s h a c r i t i c a l demarcat ion long s ince knocked t o h e l l . 1 5 But the c r i t i c a l demarcat ion d i d e x i s t , i f on ly t e m p o r a r i l y , and i t e s t a b l i s h e d standards which were made m a n i f e s t , not on ly i n the Man i fes to and "A Few Do's and D o n ' t ' s " , bu t i n the r e j e c t i o n o f at l e a s t one o f the adherents who p u b l i s h e d i n Pes Imag is tes . I n August 1914 Pound was w r i t i n g t o Amy L o w e l l on the sub jec t o f : " Imagisme", and t e l l i n g her t h a t " I should l i k e , as I have s a i d , t o keep the term assoc ia ted w i t h a c e r t a i n c l a r i t y and i n t e n s i t y . ! ^ and i n October he was w r i t i n g again t o warn her tha t she had b e t t e r "s top r e f e r r i n g to y o u r s e l f as an Imag is te , more e s p e c i a l l y as The Dome of Glass c e r t a i n l y has no a s p i r a t i o n s i n our d i r e c t i o n . " - ' - 7 The two p r i n c i p l e s o f " c l a r i t y " and " i n t e n s i t y " are u s u a l l y used i n d e s c r i b i n g the q u a l i t y of p e r c e p t u a l experiences r e l a t i n g to l i g h t or s i g h t ( i f I can be p e r m i t t e d a p a r a d i m a t i c a l l y and s y n t a g m a t i c a l l y j u s t i f i a b l e r i m e ) , which sense i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d at i t s best by the capac i ty to make f i n e d i s t i n c t i o n s and t o perce ive r e l a t i o n s h i p s between people and t h i n g s , people and peop le , t h i n g s and th ings i n . space. Thus we are back at syntax arid the l e x i c o n of the l a n g u a g e — l e x i c o n o f the names o f t h i n g s and sentence s t r u c t u r e t h a t g ives us t h e i r r e l a t i o n s . And f o r the people p u b l i s h i n g i n the antho logy, and f o r some o f them long a f t e r t ha t p u b l i c a t i o n , the p a r t i c u l a r k i n d 1 5 E z r a Pound, L e t t e r s , ed. Glenn Hughes, p. 288. l 6 P o u n d , "The-Let ters o f , 1907-1941, ed. D. D. Paige (London 1951) , p. 77. 1 7 i b i d , p. 85. 12 o f l i n g u i s t i c emphasis we have j u s t descr ibed was o f great impor tance: was, i n f a c t , c e n t r a l t o p o e t r y . There was good reason f o r t h i s emphasis on word - th ings and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s ; the Imagistes were on to something impor tan t about language; they had gained an impor tan t i n s i g h t , to which some o f them added o ther and more s u b t l e l i n g u i s t i c i n s i g h t s l a t e r o n — i n s i g h t s concerning another k i n d of " subs t ra tum" of language. What t h i s f i r s t i n s i g h t was and what was i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i s descr ibed by Langer i n a passage w i t h s t r i k i n g resemblance t o bo th Pound and Feno l losa 's d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the power of Chinese and Japanese ideogrammatic p o e t r y : Metaphor i s the law of growth of every semant ic. I t i s not a development bu t a p r i n c i p l e . . . . The use of m e t a p h o r . . . i s the power whereby language, even w i t h a sma l l vocabu lary , manages t o embrace a m u l t i m i l l i o n t h i n g s ; whereby new words are born and merely a n a l o g i c a l meanings become s te reo typed i n t o l i t e r a l d e f i n i t i o n s . . . i f r i t u a l i s the c rad le of language, metaphor i s the law o f i t s l i f e . I t i s the fo rce t h a t makes i t e s s e n t i a l l y r e l a t i o n a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l , f o r e v e r showing up new, a b s t r a c t a b l e forms i n r e a l i t y , f o r e v e r l a y i n g down a depos i t of o l d , a b s t r a c t a b l e concepts i n an i n c r e a s i n g t reasure o f genera l w o r d s . ^ Poetry t h e n , has a duty t o r e p l e n i s h the fund of semant ics , the l e x i c o n , o f language, as i t s metaphor ica l c rea t ions become absorbed and lose t h e i r i m a g i n a t i v e , t h e i r dramat ic power. This f u n c t i o n o f me taphor i ca l replenishment of language i s f o r g o t t e n , o f t e n , and we are t r e a t e d f r e q u e n t l y , f rom the l a t e r Roman Empire t o almost our own century though w i t h d i m i n i s h i n g f requency, w i t h 1 8 Suzanne Langer, Phi losophy i n a New Key (New York 1964) , p. 130. 1 9 i b i d , p. 131. 13 d iscuss ions of metaphor as ornament and one o f the co lores o f both r h e t o r i c a l e x p e r t i s e and v e r s i f i c a t i o n : Speech becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y d i s c u r s i v e , p r a c t i c a l , p r o s a i c , u n t i l human beings can a c t u a l l y b e l i e v e t h a t i t was invented as a u t i l i t y , and was l a t e r embel l ished w i t h metaphors f o r the sake of a c u l t u r a l product c a l l e d p o e t r y . They had guessed, these few expa t r ia te ! ; p o l y g l o t s i n London be fo re the Great War, o r somehow l e a r n e d , t h a t p o e t r y , i f i t were s t r i p p e d of the e s s e n t i a l l y s t a t i c s t r u c t u r e s of t r a d i t i o n a l v e r s e , o f the r e s t o f the colores o f r h e t o r i c , cou ld become again what i t always i s i n p o t e n t i a l , which i s a roo t f rom which language can grow, become more comprehensive i n i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , i n c l u d e , l i k e Walt Whitman, m u l t i t u d e s — t h e m u l t i t u d i n o u s phenomenology of the w o r l d and the cosmos i n which language e x i s t s and f o r which i t i s i t s e l f an i n t e r p r e t i v e model. The Imagistes had red iscovered the fundamental b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l and b u i l d i n g method o f language. Some o f them stopped t h e r e . They used tha t knowledge t o make them i n t o competent bu t somewhat p r e d i c t a b l e p o e t s , or good bu t f a i r l y unremarkable n o v e l i s t s . The f u l l t ime p o e t s , l i k e Pound and W i l l i a m s , went on from t h e r e , i n t o i n v e s t i g a -t i o n o f more profound and fundamental knowledge o f the emot iona l and p h y s i o l o g i c a l foundat ions o f language. There was s t i l l sound symbolism, f o r example, t o i n v e s t i g a t e , and the p h y s i o l o g i c a l dynamics of u t t e r a n c e , and i t was i n the d i r e c t i o n o f t h i s k i n d of i n v e s t i g a t i o n which the l a s t o f the Imagistes l ed the poe t ry o f the t w e n t i e t h cen tury . i b i d , p. 126. 14 These elements of language c r a f t s m a n s h i p — b u i l d i n g through metaphor, understanding.and us ing sound symbolism and the p h y s i c a l c o r r e l a t i v e s o f speech—were not of course, completely a d iscovery o f the t w e n t i e t h cen tu ry , as I w i l l demonstrate through parad igmat ic examples l a t e r on, b u t they tended t o be e i t h e r taken f o r granted or a c t u a l l y misunderstood. Taking a metaphor f rom Dr. W i l l i a m s ' o ther p r o f e s s i o n , we might say t h a t poe t ry u n t i l the t w e n t i e t h century was somewhat p a r a l l e l t o medicine be fo re the advent of exper imenta t ion on a sys temat ic b a s i s — i t was a l l foo tno tes to A r i s t o t l e and Galen—everybody knew where e v e r y t h i n g was, bu t d i d n ' t always know what i t d i d . There has always been a d ia logue o f more or less in formed o p i n i o n , o f course, about what s t r u c t u r a l f unc t i ons were a c t i v e i n p o e t r y , and Lrat . . . s p e c u l a t i o n has run h igh f o r decades i f no t c e n t u r i e s , as t o the p a r t p layed by the sound and sense of the words, the images they convey, the f e e l i n g s they evoke. Meter and rhyme are c e r t a i n l y products o f t h e i r sound t h a t have func t i oned t r a d i t i o n a l l y i n p o e t r y . Imagery i s a n a t u r a l by -p roduc t of t h e i r sense.21 . The d ia logue was s t i l l a c t i v e p r i o r t o the p u b l i c a t i o n of Pes Imag is tes , bu t the proponents o f sense or meaning emphasis on a semantic l e v e l were beg inn ing to dominate. I n h i s d i scuss ion of Les Poetes e t l a Poes ie , Duhamel, h i m s e l f an avowed enemy o f the co lores and one of Pound's c r i t i c a l kinsmen a f f i r m s t h a t : L' image ou metaphor est a coup sur un des p lus a c t i f s instruments de l a connaissance poe t ique . T e l es t son b u t : j e t e r sur une idee une c l a r t e p a r t i c u l i e r e , en l u i associant une ou p l u s i e u r s autres idee's. Simple, •Langer, Problems of Ar t (New York 1957), p. 145. 15 e l l e cons is te en l a comparaison d 'un o b j e t a un aut re o b j e t , d 'une a c t i o n \ une au t re a c t i o n ; complexe, e l l e rapproche, heu r te e t marie les ob je ts e t l es ac t ions e t peut se de 'pou i l le r des a r t i f i c e s rhe to r iques q u i l a l e g i t i m e n t d ' o r d i n a i r e , en vue d ' a f f r o n t e r p lus bru ta lement ses elements.22 I n g i v i n g such a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the methodology of p o e t r y , Duhamel has a lso descr ibed the bes t k inds of p rose, Japanese h a i k u , c inemat ic montage techn ique, and the Imagis te program as o u t l i n e d by Pound. A l l o f these media and the people who represented them were now making a c l a i m , v a l i d i f l i m i t e d , on the r i g h t to develop a renewed and c l a s s i c a l l y f r ee ye t ex igent d e f i n i t i o n o f p o e t r y , and of the r o l e of the poet i n h i s c u l t u r e . They were reminding us , are s t i l l reminding u s , by t h e i r i n s i s t e n c e on the predominance o f the p s y c h o l o g i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l p o t e n t i a l i n poe t ry and on freedom from l i n g u i s t i c r e s t r i c t i o n s o f any s u p e r f i c i a l k i n d , t h a t the poet has a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to d i s t i l l out o f language a k i n d of super- language of increased i n t e r p r e t i v e p o w e r — t h a t he cannot be s a t i s f i e d w i t h b e i n g a v e r s i f i e r o f what Franc is Bacon c a l l e d " f a i n e d h i s t o r y " ' " o r a k i n d of rhapsodic soph is t j u s t i f y i n g the ways of anybody t o anybody. I n t h e i r c r i t i c a l theory and i n t h e i r own work, the Imagistes had taken up the banner of what I w i l l c a l l , as at l e a s t a u s e f u l approx imat ion , meaning. I n do ing so they were t a c k l i n g a h i g h l y 22ceorges Duhamel, Les Poetes (Par is 1914) , p. 26. ^ F r a n c i s Bacon, "The Two B o o k e s . . . o f the P r o f i c i e n c e and Advancement of Learn ing" 1605, i n E l i zabethan and Jacobean Prose: 1550-1620, ed. Kenneth Muir (Harmondsworth 1956). 16 v a r i e d t r a d i t i o n o f l i n g u i s t i c abuse i n the i n t e r e s t o f goals e x t r i n s i c - t o p o e t r y , goals more c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o p h i l o s o p h i c or p o l i t i c a l necess i t y than t o the s e r v i c e of l i n g u i s t i c i n t e g r i t y . From Protagoras t o E. A. Poe, men have w r i t t e n or sung to produce e x t r a l i n g u i s t i c e f f e c t s . One n o t i c e s t h a t Cicero uses l i t o t e s or a p r a e t e r i t i o s e v e r a l t imes i n a few pages; one counts so many hundred balances i n the Rambler o f Johnson. Both p r a c t i c e s suggest p lay w i t h words, d i s r e g a r d of meaning.^4 These men sought r h e t o r i c a l e f f e c t s ; above a l l to impress t h e i r own moral o r p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t y upon t h e i r audience, t o g ive t h e i r own judgement a weight which i t d i d no t i n t r i n s i c a l l y have. This p r a c t i c e , which began perhaps w i t h the p o l i t i c a l l y - c e n t r e d r h e t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n o f the l a t e f i f t h century B. C. i n P e r i c l e a n Greece, s t i l l has i t s adherents , even i n our own century i n the w r i t i n g of p o e t r y ; E l i o t the 'Possum'is o f t en g u i l t y f o r example, craf tsman t h a t he i s , of us ing t r i c k s t o g ive a u t h o r i t y to h i s r e j e c t i o n to s o c i a l changes which a c a r e f u l p e r u s a l o f h i s verse shows he does not i n f a c t understand at a l l . As H. I . Marrou p o i n t s out i n h i s Educat ion i n A n t i q u i t y , the f i r s t aspect o f the Soph is t ' s educat ion was t o l e a r n t o w in any k i n d of argument: T h e i r e r i s t i c , be ing no more than the a r t o f p r a c t i c a l debate, tended t o put conv inc ing r a t i o n a l argument on the same l e v e l as t a c t i c a l t r i c k s t h a t are sometimes l i t t l e b e t t e r than low cunning (we a re , a f t e r a l l , i n the country o f U lysses ) . Genuine reasoning gave way t o audacious paradoxes, which t h e i r na ive h e a r e r s , s t i l l new t o the game, could not d i s t i n g u i s h from ^Wellek and Warren, Theory of L i t e r a t u r e (New York 1956) , p. 178. 17 Zeno's arguments, which though equa l l y pa radox ica l had genuine l o g i c behind them. 25 and Marrou goes on t o g ive r e v e a l i n g c i r c u m s t a n t i a l ev idence: about the companion of e r i s t i c , r h e t o r i c : Rhe to r i c indeed arose, no t i n E l l i s , nor even i n Greece, bu t i n S i c i l y . A r i s t o t l e a t t r i b u t e d i t s r i s e t o the sudden spate o f proceedings f o r the recovery o f goods t h a t developed a f t e r the expu ls ion o f the t y r a n t s o f the Theron dynasty a t Agr igentum (471 ) , and those of the Hieron dynasty at Syracuse (463 ) , and the ensuing annulment of the c o n f i s c a t i o n s which they had decreed.26 The t r a d i t i o n connected w i t h most forms of obvious l i n g u i s t i c ove r -de te rm ina t i on i n verse t h e n , began du r ing the o p p o r t u n i s t i c sauve-qu i -peut f o l l o w i n g the co l lapse o f two Ma f ia " f a m i l i e s " i n ancient S i c i l y ; scarce ly s u r p r i s i n g t h a t v e r s i f i c a t i o n was f o r many cen tu r ies regarded as an a r i s t o c r a t i c p r e r o g a t i v e . As Peckam p o i n t s o u t , the c o l o r e s , o r as Gorgias o f Leonton i c a l l e d them f i g u r e s have a p r i m a r i l y r i t u a l a n d . p o l i t i c a l r a t h e r than l i n g u i s t i c va lue . They are u s u a l l y taken as i n d i c a t i o n s of the p o e t ' s capac i ty t o c reate order i n language, and such an approach o f t e n s ing les out the poet as a man g i f t e d w i t h a unique power t o c rea te o r d e r . . . i n Eng l i sh p o e t r y , the sense of adequacy may be l o c a t e d i n rhyme. Comic verse i s i n v a r i a b l y rhymed, w h i l e double and t r i p l e rhymes, i n which two or th ree s y l l a b l e s are rhymed, are so thorough ly i d e n t i f i e d w i t h comic verse t h a t they are e n t i r e l y excluded f rom ser ious verse.27 The Imagistes were aware t h a t these s tock devices of over -de te rmina t ion were spec ious, were l i t e r a t u r e , and they s o u g h t . t o s t r i p t h e i r own w r i t i n g , t h e i r own t h i n k i n g , o f them (though Z->H. I . Marrou, A H i s t o r y o f Educat ion i n A n t i q u i t y (Toronto 1964) , p. 83. 2 6 i b i d , p. 84. 27peckam, Chaos, p. 139. 18 Pound was o f t e n i n c l i n e d t o adopt Laconism, which Marrou descr ibes as the s t y l e o f Spartan poets " — a n a f f e c t e d s o r t . o f c l i p p e d speech u s e f u l f o r sharp r e t o r t s and b i t i n g i r o n y " 2 8 — p r o b a b l y a s t y l i s t i c r e s u l t o f h i s s t r u g g l e f o r Spartan s i m p l i c i t y and d i s c i p l i n e i n p o e t r y ) . They were e v i d e n t l y p o s s e s s e d . . . . o f l i n g u i s t i c i n s i g h t s only r e c e n t l y a r t i c u l a t e d e x p l i c i t l y , as i n the w r i t i n g s o f Samuel Lev in o n . . . . . . rhyme and m e t e r . . . These two s t r u c t u r e s . . . a r e c e r t a i n l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f a great dea l of p o e t r y , b u t they are not the only s t r u c t u r e s which an ana lys is o f poe t ry must cons ider . Meter of some k i n d i s probably a necessary c o n d i t i o n f o r p o e t r y , bu t rhyme c e r t a i n l y i s n o t . N e i t h e r meter nor rhyme, however, are s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n s — as the var ious k inds o f doggerel a t t e s t . The p o e t i c e f f e c t — w h a t e v e r i t may b e — c a n thus .no t be exp la ined by exc lus i ve recourse to these two s t r u c t u r e s . I n p o e t r y , these two s t r u c t u r e s accompany a l i n g u i s t i c s t r u c t u r e which i s i t s e l f " p o e t i c " . 2 9 This p o e t i c l i n g u i s t i c s t r u c t u r e was what Pound and the others wanted t o work w i t h , w i t h r e f e r e n t s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n l i f e and i n language. I n doing so they were demonst ra t ing , and probably p e r c e i v i n g as w e l l , ( i f we can take s e r i o u s l y Pound's f requent re ferences t o French prose s t y l i s t s ) t h a t the d i s t i n c t i o n between prose- and poe t ry i s n o t , as had o f t e n been though t , one of k i n d , bu t one o f degree, o f development; t h a t poe t ry ought t o be regarded and p r a c t i c e d as i n f a c t a more conc ise , i n t e n s e , and l i n g u i s t i c a l l y dramat ic v e r s i o n o f prose and of s p e e c h — a more conc ise , in tense and dramat ic p r e s e n t a t i o n o f emot iona l and i n t e l l e c t u a l r e a l i t y through language unencumbered by the opac i t y of a p p l i e d 2 % a r r o u , p. 44. ' L e v i n , L i n g u i s t i c S t ruc tu res i n Poe t ry , p. 18. 19 decora t i ve s t r u c t u r e s , which a f t e r a l l can only t e l l the p e n e t r a t i n g reader about the w r i t e r ' s educa t i ona l or c lass p re tens ions or a l l e g i a n c e s . I n t h e i r e f f o r t s a t l i n g u i s t i c pu r i sm, the Imagistes were making t h e i r own sma l l but s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n to a process of l i n g u i s t i c re fo rm, which i n i t s most recent impetus, was perhaps a century o l d . They were t r y i n g to e l i m i n a t e the p r e d i c t a b l e and the c l i c h e i n s t r u c t u r e f rom the language of p o e t r y , because they knew, as a l l those who are s e n s i t i v e t o language know, t h a t : The f a m i l i a r l i n g u i s t i c b l o c or " c l i c h e " i s not heard as immediate p e r c e p t i o n ; the words are not at tended t o as words, nor i s t h e i r j o i n t r e f e r e n t p r e c i s e l y made ou t . Our s tock response to t r i t e , s tock language i s a " s t o c k response", e i t h e r a c t i o n along f a m i l i a r grooves or boredom. We " r e a l i z e " the words and what they symbol ize only when they are f r e s h l y and s t a r t l i n g l y put t o g e t h e r . Language must be "de formed" , i . e . s t y l i z e d e i t h e r i n the d i r e c t i o n o f the a rcha ic or the otherwise remote, o r i n the d i r e c t i o n of " b a r b a r i z a t i o n " , b e f o r e readers a t tend t o i t . - ^ Wordsworth, Co le r idge , and Whitman, t o name only a few, had been work ing f o r some t ime to "make i t new" ( i n the language of Russian f o r m a l i s m ) ; t h e i r e f f o r t s were i n the d i r e c t i o n o f " the language o f common men". Whitman so t r u s t e d , i n f a c t , t o h i s c u l t u r e and i t s i d iom tha t he claimed t o r e j e c t a l l European or e a r l i e r r o o t s : As i f i t we re,.necessary to t r o t back genera t ion a f t e r genera t ion to the Eastern r e c o r d s . . . . As i f the beauty and sacredness of the demonstrable must f a l l behind t h a t o f the m y t h i c a l : As i f men do no t make t h e i r mark out o f any t imes 'Wellek and Warren, Theory o f L i t e r a t u r e , p. 242. "Walt Whitman, Leaves o f Grass (Garden C i t y 1926), p. 4. Preface. 20 even though Whitman h i m s e l f went no t unaided by the syntax of the Old Testament and i t s sources i n the " E a s t " . 3 2 The Imag is tes , who were t r y i n g to "make i t s t range" as much as they were t r y i n g to make i t new, d id not sc rup le t o acknowledge any a i d which they knew they were g e t t i n g from the " E a s t " , near or f a r , i n f a c t they sought i t , seek ing the reby , whether c o r r e c t l y or no t I cannot say, the headwaters, so to speak, of language and o f p o e t r y , perhaps because, u n l i k e Whitman, who cheated the v o i d w i t h sensuous absorp t ion of r e a l i t y and an acceptance of the f l u x of ex is tence (eg. Crossing Brook lyn F e r r y ) , the Imag is tes , more European i n t h e i r r e a c t i o n t o what I w i l l c a l l the e igh teen th and n ine teen th c e n t u r i e s ' panoramic e x p o s i t i o n of the Abyss, sought comfort i n anc ient a r t i f a c t s and anc ient c r a f t s . I f , i n con t ras t to the Bergsonian f l u x , the concre te , sensua l l y perce ived ob jec t was a source o f s t a b i l i t y f o r the Imag is tes , how much more so would be the l i t e r a t u r e of the p a s t , which was a d i s t i l l a t i o n o f the bes t and most i n tense of sensate exper ience i n i t s t ime: a t ime more l e i s u r e l y and perhaps t h e r e f o r e more pass iona te , than t h a t o f the Imag is tes . There are those who w i l l t r y to separate from the t r a d i t i o n o f t h a t past the l i t e r a r y dimension i n order to g ive a s i m p l i c i t y t o t h e i r unders tand ing of poe t ry and o f the poe t ry o f the Imagistes i n p a r t i c u l a r 3 2 George H e m p h i l l , Discussions o f Poetry (Boston 1961) , p. 78. "Of the n o n - s y l l a b i c rhythms, the f i r s t , found t y p i c a l l y i n Old Testament Hebrew verse and i n some, though not a l l " f r e e ve rse" i s i s o s y n t a c t i c — t h e r e c u r r e n t f a c t o r i s r e p e t i t i o n o f the same s y n t a c t i c c o n s t r u c t i o n , u s u a l l y a phrase o r c lause, i n s t r i c t l y p a r a l l e l sequences. The o the r type i s the i s o c h r o n i c , . . . i n which the rhythm depends on equal t ime- lapse between pr imary s t r e s s e s . " 21 n e i t h e r i nhe ren t to i t nor necessary to an i n f o r m a t i v e a n a l y s i s . The t r a d i t i o n was a t o t a l one, compr is ing s o c i a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l dimensions i n which the Imag is tes , and Pound i n p a r t i c u l a r , were i n t e n s e l y i n t e r e s t e d . What they wanted was a restatement of t h a t t r a d i t i o n i n l i n g u i s t i c terms which would make i t l i v e again as a paradigm o f i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the modern w o r l d . There i s i n f a c t no d i f f i c u l t y i n understanding the r e l a t i o n , f o r example, o f Pound's a l l e g i a n c e t o fasc ism; i t , l i k e h i s p o e t r y , has roo ts i n h i s admi ra t ion not only o f the cinquecento but o f f euda l Japan as w e l l , and i t s c l a s s i c a l Greek r e f e r e n t s are most c l e a r . There i s no th ing very i n c o n s i s t e n t about the t rans fe rance of the b e l i e f i n mastery and polymathy f rom the a r t i s t i c t o the p o l i t i c a l rea lm, p a r t i c u l a r l y by a p o l y g l o t poet i d e n t i f i e d as " I I M i g g l i a r Fabbro" whose b a t t l e cry was m a i e s t r i a ; - ^ ± n bo th areas, the c e n t r a l a c t i v e p r i n c i p l e i s a f a i t h i n the wisdom o f i n t e g r a t i v e c u l t u r a l e l i t i s m . The rock on which such f a i t h u s u a l l y founders i s the e r r o r o f t e n made by i t s adherents i n confus ing wisdom w i t h e x p e r t i s e . Even conservat ive l i t e r a r y h i s t o r i a n s are not at odds w i t h the observat ions made by Les Imag is tes , as w i tness the Epi logue f rom the h i s t o r y of c r i t i c i s m pub l i shed by Wimsatt and Brooks i n 1957: . . . o u r f i n a l v i e w . . . h a s been tha t " f o r m " [ read "phonemic aspects of p o e t i c s t r u c t u r e " ] i n f a c t embraces and penet ra tes { t u t t u t gentlemen, such a l a u r e n c i a n i n s i s t e n c e on dominance] "message" and i n a way t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s a deeper and more s u b s t a n t i a l meaning than e i t h e r abs t rac t message or separable ornament. I n bo th the s c i e n t i f i c or abs t rac t dimension and i n the p r a c t i c a l and r h e t o r i c a l dimension t h e r e is_ bo th message and the means o f conveying r a Pound, L e t t e r s , Paige e d i t i o n , p. 44: l e t t e r t o H a r r i e t Monroe: "Anyhow I hope your ensign i s not 'more p o e t r y ' ! bu t more i n t e r e s t i n g p o e t r y , and m a i e s t r i a . " 22 message, bu t the p o e t i c dimension i s j u s t t h a t d r a m a t i -c a l l y u n i f i e d meaning which i s coterminous w i t h form.34 That the re i s a c r u c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the var ious over -lapp ing s t r u c t u r e s poss ib le f o r any g iven p o e t i c u t te rance no Imagis te would q u e s t i o n , bu t h i s o r her concern would be t o prevent any i n t e r f e r e n c e on the p a r t of " f o r m " i n the development o f the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f "meaning" : t h a t such an embarrassing i n c o n g r u i t y take p l a c e , f o r example, such as d id when Shel ley wrote p u r p o r t e d l y r e v o l u t i o n a r y verse i n a f a r f rom r e v o l u t i o n a r y s t y l e . And fur thermore they would have asser ted t h a t the i n t r a s t r u c t u r a l i n t e g r i t y of a poem depended above a l l upon a w i l l i n g n e s s on the p a r t of the poet t o l e t h i s m a t e r i a l and h i s persona l impulse de f i ne the o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e o f the poem. Pound h i m s e l f , q u o t i n g from an e a r l y n o t e -book of h i s f r i e n d the s c u l p t o r Gaudier-Brzeska, "Le Chaos" demonstrates the p a r a l l e l between t h i s p o e t i c respect f o r the deeper s t r u c t u r e s o f language among Les Imagistes and c e r t a i n of t h e i r contemporaries work ing i n o ther media than t h a t o f language; a p a r a l l e l which may cast some l i g h t , i f only o b l i q u e l y , on the na tu re o f the a t t i t u d e toward language expressed by the Man i fes to and by some, though c e r t a i n l y not a l l , t h a t i s i n Pes Imag is tes : La l i g n e est une chose purement i m a g i n a t i v e , e l l e ne v i e n t dans l e dessin que pour con ten i r les plans de l a masse, recevant l a lumiere e t creant l ' hombre , les plans convoient l a seule sensa t ion a r t i s t i q u e e t l a l i g n e ne l e u r s e r t que de cadre. L ' a r t i s t e recherchant l a pure te de l a l i g n e e t y ad jus tan t les plans e r r e , i l ad jus te un tab leau a un c e r t a i n cadre e t non un cadre a un c e r t a i n t a b l e a u , c ' e s t ppurquoi j e ha is I n g r e s , Flaxman e t les p r e r a p h a e l i t e s , W i l l i a m K. Wimsatt and Cleanth Brooks, L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m : a Short H i s t o r y (New York 1957), p. 748. 23 e t tous les scu lp teu rs modernes a 1 'excep t ion de Dalou, Carpeaux, Rodin, Boudel le e t quelques a u t r e s . ^ 5 The same respect f o r the "masses" of the medium can be detec ted a lso i n the work o f Mat isse f o r the p e r i o d 1910-13: the Jeannette s e r i e s , a group o f bronze r e n d i t i o n s o f the same head, i n which d e t a i l of l i n e i s p r o g r e s s i v e l y min imized q u a n t i t a t i v e l y bu t a m p l i f i e d q u a l i t a t i v e l y ; the Dos se r ies , i n which the same process o f a l l o w i n g the e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s . o f the m a t e r i a l t o determine the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c shape of the a r t i f a c t i s man i fes t . The re ference by Gaudier t o Rodin i s a lso i n f o r m a t i v e , i f we cons ider t h a t Rodin 's l a t e r work i s cha rac te r i zed by i t s massive apparent i n c o m p l e t e n e s s — incompleteness o f an i r r e g u l a r i t y w h i c h . c a l l s to mind S t r a v i n s k y ' s d e f i n i t i o n of melody.as " . . . the i n t o n a t i o n o f the melos, which s i g n i f i e s a f ragment , a p a r t o f a p h r a s e . " ° The i m p l i c a t i o n - i s f a i r l y c l e a r — t h a t Les Imagistes were aware t h a t i n some sense they too were work ing i n a th ree -d imens iona l medium i n some respects hav ing an i n t e g r i t y o f i t s .own, l i k e t ha t o f the s c u l p t o r ' s m a t e r i a l and wh ich , l i k e the s c u l p t o r ' s m a t e r i a l s as accepted by such as Rodin, Gaudier, and Ma t i sse , had i n t r i n s i c q u a l i t i e s tend ing t o determine to a f a i r l y l a r g e ex ten t what could be made out o f i t . The th ree l i n g u i s t i c dimensions w i t h which the Imagistes were work ing were, c l a s s i c a l l y speak ing, Phanopoeia, Logopoeia, and Melopoeia ( i n modern l i n g u i s t i c t e rm ino logy : semant ics, syn tax , phono logy) . And they seemed to .have expressed, i n the - ^Ez ra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir (London 1960), p. 42. 3 6 I g o r S t r a v i n s k y , The Poet ics o f Music (New York, 1960) , p. 42. 24 d e s c r i p t i o n o f the technique of the emot iona l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l " Image" t h a t the impor tan t t h i n g , i n the dimension of Melopoeia, was not to i n t e r f e r e w i t h the express ion of the dimensions o f Logopoeia and Phanopoeia ( p a r t i c u l a r l y the l a t t e r ) , which they seem, t a k i n g the lead n o t only o f T. E. Hulme but o f a l l o f the bes t prose w r i t e r s of the n i n e t e e n t h cen tu ry , to have regarded as the most s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l s o f human l i n g u i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and response. I n t h i s temporary " c r i t i c a l demarcat ion" they were no doubt i n f l u e n c e d i n p a r t by what Pound has c a l l e d " t h e f o r g o t t e n schoo l o f Images" of 1909, which i nc luded Hulme, F l i n t , and h i m s e l f , wh ich , whatever e l se may or .may.not be i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , d i d g ive vo ice to a c e r t a i n impat ience , almost a d i s g u s t , i n the c l imate of a r t i s t i c though t , w i t h the " o t h e r " t r a d i t i o n long e s t a b l i s h e d i n Eng l ish ve rse , f rom nursery rhymes t o Tennyson and Keats , of p l a y i n g about w i t h language i n sha l low, m a r g i n a l l y - l i n g u i s t i c , perhaps more mus ica l than l i n g u i s t i c , ways, i n the i n t e r e s t o f non-l i n g u i s t i c goa l s , be they p o l i t i c a l , m o r a l , p h i l o s o p h i c a l , or sexua l . The renewed respect f o r the u n d e r l y i n g uniqueness of each u t te rance i s made c lea r i n Kreymborg's r e t r o s p e c t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n o f Imagisme w r i t t e n i n 1929: The fo rm was something which should g ive permanent shape t o an i n t r i n s i c mood or exper ience. Since no two moods o r ac t ions were a l i k e , no. two forms could be i d e n t i c a l . 3 7 A f a i r l y acceptable account o f the immediate development o f the concept of the "Image" as the pr imary u n i t of p o e t i c composi t ion i s 3 7 A l f r e d Kreymborg, Our S ing ing S t r e n g t h , (New York 1929) , p. 338. 25 given by G. S. Fraser i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the c i r c l e o f debate i n which i t arose: Pound's f r i e n d s i n London around 1910 i nc luded the ph i losopher T. E. Hulme, l a t e r k i l l e d i n the F i r s t World War, and the poet F. S. F l i n t . Both o f these had an i n t e r e s t , which Pound was soon t o share , i n the Japanese h a i k u and t a n k a , the sho r t t r a d i t i o n a l 17-s y l l a b l e and 3 1 - s y l i a b l e poems which they knew ma in l y , I imagine (Japanese i s a very d i f f i c u l t language indeed) through French t r a n s l a t i o n s . Haiku and tanka are extremely conc ise , a l l u s i v e , and e l l i p t i c a l ; they p r e s e n t , they do not comment; they work by images, not concepts; they imply a mood or complex of f e e l i n g s , they do not s t a t e i t . They were at the roo t o f what was t o become Imagism, a theory o f poe t ry as p resen ta -t i o n d ivorced f rom commentary, and not t i e d down t o an imposed m e t r i c a l form. Also beh ind Imagism was a growing impat ience f e l t by young poets w i t h the s ta leness and c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y o f the d i c t i o n and metre and sent iments o f p o s t - V i c t o r i a n verse . Imagism, l i k e n e a r l y a l l the movements w i t h which Pound has been assoc ia ted du r ing h i s long l i f e , was a movement towards renewal and c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f language. 38 The d i r e c t i o n of t h i s concen t ra t ion was the d i r e c t i o n o f g i v i n g emphasis t o the s y n t a c t i c a l i n p o e t r y , g i v i n g emphasis t o Logopoeia and what was then though t , p a r t l y because of the impact of o r i e n t a l i s m on the London-poet ic community, i t s t o o l i n the realm o f p r e s e n t a t i o n o r express ion , r e f e r e n t i a l semantics or Phanopoeia. Hulme's remarks on language, many of them hav ing the f l a v o u r o f r h e t o r i c a l exaggera t ion , l i k e Conrad's c l a im t h a t i t was more d i f f i c u l t to make a d i r e c t statement i n Eng l ish than to k i l l a f l y w i t h a t h i r t y - f o o t s tock w h i p , and c e r t a i n l y s i m p l i s t i c i n the l i g h t o f what we now know about language and f rom what we can surmise f rom t h e i r performance Les Imagistes knew about language, do g ive a c l e a r i dea o f the importance o f the "pr imacy o f thought " G. S. F raser , Ezra Pound (London 1960) , p. 13. i n the minds o f many o f those who were i n the p o e t i c and a r t i s t i c avant-garde i n London be fo re the War: I n h i s Notes on Language and S t y l e , w r i t t e n be fo re h i s death i n the F i r s t World War, he says: L a n g u a g e . — ( i ) Thought i s p r i o r t o language and cons is ts i n the simultaneous p r e s e n t a t i o n t o the mind o f two d i f f e r e n t images. ( i i ) Language i s only a more or less feeb le way of do ing t h i s . 39 As Foster Damon says: Hulme wro te h i s f i v e poems [appended t o Pound's Ripostes volumej as b lackboard demonst ra t ions , t o i l l u s t r a t e h i s t h e o r i e s . "Autumn" i s the on ly one w i t h o u t rhyme; "Convers ion" i s the only one t h a t escapes the iamb. But they have a f reshness and con t ras t of p r e s e n t a t i o n , and an easy use of i r r e g u l a r l i n e - l e n g t h s , which mark the new s p i r i t u n m i s t a k a b l y . ^ Hulme's a t t i t u d e t o language can be found d u p l i c a t e d i n the p o i n t of view o f the Symbol is t c r i t i c and h i s t o r i a n , Tancrede de V isan , w r i t i n g almost contemporaneously w i t h Hulme: A lors que 1 ' i n t u i t i o n nous plongedans l e r e e l , l e language nous en e*carte. Le Language es t un a p p a r i e l abs t rac teu r q u i f i x e des mouvements e t q u i t ransforme en signes l a v i e d e l a conscience. S i t o t qu 'on penetre a l ' i n t e r i e u r de l a r e ' a l i t e ' v i v a n t e 1 'exp ress ion , quelque creuse ou r a f i n e e q u e l l e s o i t , t ransforme l e moi dynamique en moi s t a t i q u e , a r r e t e l 'ecou lement de l a conscience e t change l a source f l u e n t e de nos emotions en b l o c de marbre f r o i d et dur . I I n ' y a pas de mots pour expr imer d i rectement les sensat ions e lementa i res . D'ou l a necess i te d 'accumuler les images, pour t r a h i r l e moins p o s s i b l e 1 'emotion fondamentale, pour 1 'expr imer dans tou te sa f r a i c h e u r premiere. j y T . E. Hulme, no. 25, U. of Washington Chapbooks, ed. Herber t Read, f i r s t pub. posthumously i n 1924. ^°Damon S. Fos te r , Amy L o w e l l : A Chron ic le (Boston, 1935) p. 197. ^Tanc rede de V i san , L ' A t t i t u d e du Lyr isme Contemporain (Par i s 1911), p. 45. The motive b e h i n d the d o c t r i n e of the Image, t h e n , seems t o be a common b e l i e f t h a t Imagery and the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of Imagery, are the only l i n g u i s t i c e q u i v a l e n t s and express ions of i n t e r p r e t i v e i n t e g r i t y . T h i s , f o r a l l i t s apparent s e v e r i t y , i s s t i l l an i n s t a n c e , however, o f us ing- language f o r ' e x t r a - l i n g u i s t i c purposes and p o e t r y f o r perhaps e x t r a - p o e t i c p u r p o s e s , and i n f a c t i n i t s emphasis on e m o t i o n a l i n t e g r i t y i s r e m i n i s c e n t o f Romantic ism. I t i s u n l i k e l y , i n f a c t , t h a t Pound o r the Imagistes at any moment e x a c t l y shared Hulme or de V i s a n ' s o p i n i o n of" language as " f e e b l e " o r " c o l d " , but they d i d seem to s h a r e . t h e i r i n s i s t a n c e t h a t e v e r y t h i n g s h o u l d be done to prevent any l i n g u i s t i c h i n d r a n c e to the c l e a r and c o n c i s e ( "s imultaneous") p r e s e n t a t i o n of image complexes. This tendency among poets to want to f u r t h e r the development of p r e c i s i o n i n u t t e r a n c e ' i s s c a r c e l y 1 s u r p r i s i n g : i f viewed i n c o n t e x t . Not o n l y p o e t r y but a l l the a r t s at the b e g i n n i n g of t h i s century had to respond to the g e n e r a l demand f o r e m p i r i c a l and e x p r e s s i v e or p r e s e n t a t i o n a l p r e c i s i o n and i n t e g r i t y developed over the p r e v i o u s two c e n t u r i e s and p a r t i c u l a r l y ^ i n the n i n e t e e n t h , which had been par e x c e l l e n c e a century of o b s e r v a t i o n of c a t e g o r i e s of phenomena i n great d e t a i l and a l s o o f the .development of techniques and d i s c i p l i n e s c e n t e r i n g around what has s i n c e come t o be known as the " s c i e n t i f i c method". They a l s o had to respond i n some sense t o the c h a l l e n g e posed by t h a t r e c e n t l y a r r i v e d "seventh muse" the cinematograph. A r t i s t s i n 1 the e s t a b l i s h e d d i s c i p l i n e s veered away from e v e r y t h i n g that the s t i l l o r motion camera.could do b e t t e r than t h e y : away from n a t u r a l i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l i s m i n p a i n t i n g 21CL and s c u l p t u r e , f o r i ns tance . The t r o m p e - 1 ' o e i l element v i r t u a l l y disappeared f rom p a i n t i n g , and s c u l p t o r s tu rned t o the e x p l o r a t i o n o f the i n t r i n s i c q u a l i t i e s of t h e i r m a t e r i a l s as a source o f fo rma l i n s p i r a t i o n , toward the s t y l e s of Rodin, l a t e r o f Gaudier, o f B rancus i , whom Gaudier i d e n t i f i e d as h i s f e l l o w - w o r k e r i n B l a s t , of E p s t e i n , and others emphasizing i m p l i c a t i o n and respect f o r the medium through s i m p l i f i c a t i o n or s e l e c t i v e d e t a i l . I n a smal l book of i l l u s t r a t i o n s and aphorisms which Pound e d i t e d f o r B rancus i , and which was pub l i shed i n M i l a n , the Pesce d 'Aro e d i t i o n of 1957, the l a t t e r i s heard to say t h a t : La s i m p l i c i t e n ' e s t pas un but dans l ' a r t mais on a r r i v e a l a s i m p l i c i t e malgre s o i en s 'approchant du sens r e e l des choses. These developments toward s i m p l i c i t y and p r e c i s e l y s e l e c t e d evoca t i ve d e t a i l were , p robab ly , p a r t o f the genera l tendency away f rom d i r e c t s ta tement , a t l e a s t i n the l i n g u i s t i c a r t s , made necessary by the contemporaneous development o f prose and photography as h i g h l y e f f e c t i v e ins t ruments of e x p l i c i t s t a t e m e n t . ^ The f a c t t h a t the " c r i t i c a l demarcat ion" o f the d o c t r i n e of the Image was "knocked t o h e l l " i s easy enough t o understand i f we unders tand, w i t h Michael Rober ts , t h a t t h i s a r t o f i m p l i c i t and f ragmentary s ta tement , t h i s p o e t i c equ iva len t o f the melos descr ibed by S t r a v i n s k y , i s not merely a mat te r of imagery presented through a t ransparent s t y l e , s i n c e : ^Duhame l , Les Poetes, p. 30: "Tandis que, pour d e c r i r e un o b j e t , l e savant s ' a p p l i q u e a ne r i e n l a i s s e r de cote des q u a l i t e s q u i d i s t i n g u e n t cet o b j e t , l e poe te , au c o n t r a i r e , ne v o i t du meme ob je t que ce q u ' i l est necessa i re e t s u f f i s a n t d 'en s a v o i r . " 28 I n poe t ry the e f f e c t s o f sound, and the general suggest ion /222 / o f s i m i l a r - s o u n d i n g words, may be q u i t e as impor tan t as the v i s u a l images c a l l e d up by the a c t u a l words.43 And o f course there i s the dimension o f o rgan ic p h y s i o l o g i c a l , or " a b s o l u t e " rhy thm, of which Pound was very e a r l y aware, p o s s i b l y w i t h the he lp of one o f h i s c r i t i c a l mentors, Georges Duhamel, whose remarks on rhythm are very s i m i l a r t o those o f Remy de Gourmont, another Poundian touchs tone, on the p h y s i o l o g i c a l rhythms o f p rose : Mais l e poete ne connais pas uniquement.par l ' i m a g e . I I a d ' au t res facons d ' e x p l i q u e r , d 'expr imer l ' u n i v e r s . Par l a v e r t u du rhythme i l peut encore gu ider l 'ame dans l a p e n e t r a t i o n de l ' i n c o n n u . S i l e rhythme est une chose p r e c i e u s e , ce n ' e s t p o i n t t a n t parce que, graVe k l u i , l e poete peut i m i t e r les mouvements de l a na ture our encore f a c i l i t e r a l ' i ime l ' acces de l a pense'e; mais c ' e s t s u r t o u t parce que l e rhythme t r a d u i t les emotions les p lus inavouees e t les a s p i r a t i o n s les s e c r e t e s . ^ 4 And brood ing over a l l , or more a c c u r a t e l y , u n d e r l y i n g , a l l o f these dimensions, i s the organ ic s t r u c t u r a l l i f e o f the Eng l i sh language i t s e l f . So f a r back as we can t r a c e , says George Young i n h i s Aii Eng l i sh Prosody on I n d u c t i v e L ines ( o f 1928) : . . . i n what has been handed down to us as p o e t r y . . . we cannot bu t recognize i n i t t h a t s o r t o f recu r rence , no t o f sound, bu t of the q u a l i t y o f sound, which we may c a l l " b e a t " or " s t r e s s " ; t h a t i s to say a s p e c i a l emphasis g iven i n e n u n c i a t i o n t o p a r t i c u l a r s y l l a b l e s , at i n t e r v a l s not w i t h o u t a c e r t a i n r e g u l a r i t y . ^ Not t h a t t h i s r e g u l a r i t y i s t h a t of the absoluteness o f g raph ic m e t r i c a l a n a l y s i s , which i s , as Seymour Chatman reminds us i n h i s 4 3 R o b e r t s , T. E. Hulme (London 1938), p. 221-222. ^Duhame l , Les Poetes e t l a Poesie (Par is 1914) , p. 29, 45 George H e m p h i l l , e d . , D iscuss ions , p. 54. 29 d i scuss ion o f Frost i n the Hemph i l l symposium, a crude at tempt to f i t , i n Procrustean fash ion i f need be , the Eng l i sh accentua l system t o a q u a n t i t a t i v e framework. S ince, as Chatman a lso reminds us : Eng l i sh meter does not depend upon s y l l a b l e leng ths but upon p e r i o d i c s t r e s s ( l oudness ) . Words l i k e " l o n g " and " s h o r t " have no r e a l meaning i n view of what we have learned about Eng l ish phonemic s t r u c t u r e . And "what we have learned about Eng l ish phonemic s t r u c t u r e " , Whitman be ing an e x c e l l e n t t e s t case, i s t h a t i t tends t o group i t s e l f i n t o s t r e s s groups o f approximate ly two t o f o u r , w i t h four as the most common maximum s i z e f o r such a g roup ing , and t h a t any ex tens ion of a l i n e above t h i s s o r t o f " o r g a n i c o t t a v a r i m a " s imply produces o the r s i m i l a r u n i t s , which e i t h e r do o r do not over lap f rom one l i n e o r one s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e to another . This i s the " a c c e n t u a l , o r Anglo-Saxon, sys tem" , as Yvor Winters c a l l s i t : . . . a c c o r d i n g to which the l i n e possesses a c e r t a i n number o f accents , the remainder o f the l i n e not be ing measured, a system of which f r e e verse i s a recent and e s p e c i a l l y complex s u b d i v i s i o n . 4 7 I f , t h e n , what the Imagistes were heading f o r was a r e v i v a l of something Anglo-Saxon, the re i s every reason t o c a l l t h e i r program and Pound's po lemics , i n a l i n g u i s t i c as w e l l as i n a h i s t o r i c a l sense, " a conserva t i ve assessment o f the t r a d i t i o n " . I n t h i s l i n g u i s t i c conservat ism, t h i s new-found respect f o r the Eng l i sh language, we can f i n d a new w i l l i n g n e s s to y i e l d t o the A 6 i b i d , p. 83. A 7 i b i d , p. 106. i nhe ren t p o e t i c p o t e n t i a l o f the language i t s e l f , t o work as what S t rav insky descr ibes as the " i n v e n t o r of mus ic " , f o r whom " t o the g i f t s of na tu re are added the b e n e f i t s of a r t i f i c e — " , f o r whom: . A l l music i s no th ing more than a succession o f impulses t h a t converge toward / 3 8 / a d e f i n i t e p o i n t of repose.48 and f o r whom: The a r t i s t imposes a c u l t u r e upon h i m s e l f and ends by imposing i t upon o t h e r s . 4 9 4 8 S t r a v i n s k y , The Poet ics o f Music (New York 1960) , p. 24. 4 9 i b i d , p. 37-38. PART TWO: RECHERCHE HISTORIQUE There i s no "new p o e t r y " . I t i s a l l as o l d as the h i l l s — and as new.^ . . . a v o i d g e n e r a l i t i e s about Imagism. The h i s t o r y o f the Imagis t Movement i s a red h e r r i n g . 2 •Edward S t o r e r , M i r r o r s of I l l u s i o n (London ) , p. 115. Hugh Kenner, The Poetry_ o f Ezra Pjound (London 1951) , p. 58. That there have always been subscr ibers t o an " a l t e r n a t e t r a d i t i o n " o f p o e t i c techn ique , o f l i n g u i s t i c o v e r - d e t e r m i n a t i o n , w i l l come as no news to anyone who'se read around a b i t — i n the more "Romantic" per iods p a r t i c u l a r l y , eg. W i l l i e Shakespear ( o r as he used t o be known, the B a r d ) , who was w i l l i n g to t r y j u s t about any th ing t o compete w i t h the b e a r - b a i t i n g p i t across the r i v e r , even b lank verse and prose. But i t might s t i l l be wor thwh i le t o look a t what a few o f the p o e t i c advocates o f f r e e o r a t any ra te f r e e - e r verse have had to say about t h e i r c r a f t over the cen tu r ies p reced ing the p u b l i c a t i o n o f the Mani fes to and Des  Imag is tes . Not t h a t i t was ever t h e i r i n t e n t i o n to do any th ing a b s o l u t e l y new i n the h i s t o r y of p o e t r y ; they were c l e a r l y aware of t h e i r own antecedents and of the ample precedent . f o r what they were doing i n the way o f re fo rm. As Chr is toph De Nagy p o i n t s out about the p u b l i c i s t of the Imagis te program: Every th ing Pound ever wrote e i t h e r on h i s concept ion o f i n f l u e n c e or as j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f h i s ex tens ive use o f i n f l u e n c e s i e . on h i s concept ion of t r a d i t i o n , i s conta ined i n nucleus i n the e a r l y essay "Prologomena", w r i t t e n s t i l l be fo re the Imag is t phase. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t o f Pound's ideas about t r a d i t i o n i s the s t r o n g emphasis he has always l a i d — i n accordance w i t h h i s own p o e t i c p r a c t i c e — n o t only on a thorough knowledge o f the whole h i s t o r y of p o e t r y , bu t a l so on the importance o f exper iment ing w i t h the technique o f the poets of the p a s t . The two c e n t r a l ideas i n t h i s essay concern the f u n c t i o n o f the poet as. :a r e c i p i e n t o f the achievements of the t r a d i t i o n and as moulder o f the t r a d i t i o n . 3 J N . Chr is toph De Nagy, The Poetry o f Ezra Pound: The Pre - Imagis t Stage (Bern 1960), p. 2 1 . This a t t i t u d e , a l s o , l i n k s Imagisme (as w e l l as i t s i n s i s t e n c e on p r e c i s i o n and c l a r i t y ) w i t h the cumulat ive h i s t o r y and methodology o f e m p i r i c a l sc ience p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the n ine teen th cen tu ry . Nor were the o ther major c o n t r i b u t o r s unaware t h a t they were work ing accord ing to l o n g - e s t a b l i s h e d , i f no t p o p u l a r l y known, p r e c e d e n t i a l l i n e s . "The c l e a r e s t and most s a t i s f a c t o r y d e f i n i t i o n (o r r a t h e r , ana l ys i s ) o f f r ee verse" wro te Richard A l d i n g t o n i n a l a t e r a r t i c l e , " i s t o be found i n the " E n c h i r e i d i o n p r e i metron" o f Haphaest ion, a grammarian o f A lexandr ia who has l e f t the only ex tan t complete t r e a t i s e on Greek metres. He says / 3 7 / "We c a l l po l yscemat i s ta a l l such metres as admit of a p l u r a l i t y o f forms i n a manner no t determined by any c e r t a i n r u l e , bu t v a r i o u s l y , accord ing to the choice o f the poet who used them. Among the var ious types quoted and analysed by Hephaest t ion I f i n d the Apolelymena, "such poems as are w r i t t e n at random and w i t h o u t p resc r i bed m e t r e , " and the M e t r i k a A t k a t a , "such as have n e i t h e r s i m i l a r i t y to each o ther nor a n a k y k l e s i s , " which I take t o mean t h a t the " f e e t " vary a t the w i l l of the poet and tha t the re i s no r e p e t i t i o n o f the rhythmic p a t t e r n . . . . I t h i n k i t not o v e r s t r a i n i n g the evidence t o say t h a t something s t r a n g e l y s i m i l a r to modern f ree verse at l e a s t i n form e x i s t e d i n the Greek i s l ands about the s i x t h century B. C.4 Nor was t h i s knowledge only a. p o s t e r i o r i , or at l e a s t very l i t t l e so , s ince we have a re ference t o s i m i l a r antecedents i n a l e t t e r t o Amy Lowe l l of November 20, 1917 c i t e d by Charles Norman ( o r i g i n a l i n Harvard U n i v e r s i t y L i b r a r y ) , i n which w r i t e s A l d i n g t o n . I began t o w r i t e vers l i b r e about the e a r l y p a r t of 1911, p a r t l y because I was f a t i g u e d w i t h rhyme Richard A l d i n g t o n , "A Note on Free Verse" i n The Chapbook: A M i s c e l l a n y , no. 40, 1925. and p a r t l y because o f the i n t e r e s t I had i n p o e t i c exper iment . I d i d n ' t know Heine or Patmore's "Unknown E r o s , " and never suspected the ex is tence of the French vers l i b r i s t s . I got the i d e a f rom a chorus i n the H i p p o l i t e s o f Euripides.-> As A l f r e d Kreymborg p o i n t e d out i n 1929, Free verse was by no means new. The angry academes could have found i t i n the Greeks, the O r i e n t a l s , the Hebrews, Shakespear, M i l t o n , A r n o l d , Henley, e t c . Not to mention Walt Whitman. And not to ment ion the French Symbo l i s ts . ^ And as Foster Damon noted i n 1935, Besides ment ion ing the p r a c t i c e of Athens, Rome, China and Japan, one might quote Dryden. . .and Wordswor th . . . and Leigh Hunt 's Imag ina t ion and Fancy; w h i l e the i n f l u e n c e of Pope, through the French w r i t e r s , was unsuspectedly s t r o n g . . . We might a lso quote f rom such a hoary c l a s s i c as A r i s t o t l e ' s Poet ics (XXI I ) which emphasized tha t . . . t h e g rea tes t t h i n g by f a r i s to be a master o f metaphor. I t i s the one t h i n g t h a t cannot be l e a r n t f rom o t h e r s ; and i t i s a lso a s i g n o f gen ius , s ince a good metaphor imp l i es an i n t u i t i v e pe rcep t i on o f the s i m i l a r i t y of d i s - s i m i l a r s . Or again Francis Bacon i n the Advancement of Learn ing about the a r t o f l a c o n i c i m p l i c a t i o n or p r e s e n t a t i o n (Book I I ) . . . a p h o r i s m s , rep resen t ing a knowledge b roken , do i n v i t e me t o i n q u i r e f u r t h e r ; whereas methods c a r r y i n g the show o f a t o t a l , do secure men as i f they were at f a r t h e s t . And we f i n d an at l e a s t i m p l i c i t condemnation o f :f ime. i n W i l l i a m Webbe's A Discourse Eng l i sh P o e t r i e o f 1586, i n the l i n e s : Charles Norman, Ezra Pound (New York 1960) , p. 89. 'Kreymborg, Our S ing ing St rength (New York 1929) , p. 337. Foster Damon, Amy L o w e l l : A Chron ic le (Boston 1935), p. 199. 35 . . . s u r e l y we s h a l l s h o r t l y haue whole swarmes o f Poets : and euery one t h a t can frame a Booke i n Ryme, though f o r want of m a t t e r , i t be but i n commendations of Copper noses o r B o t t l e A le , w y l l catch at the gar lande due to P o e t s . . . 8 which sound very much l i k e an e a r l y c r i t i c i s m of l i q u o r advert isements and the general abuses of a d v e r t i s i n g , and o f Thomas Hardy. And i n 1600 Thomas Campion wrote a b r i e f t r e a t i s e Against Rhyme, which would normal ly be too long t o quote i n i t s e n t i r e t y bu t f o r the f a c t t h a t i t touches on both elements which j u s t i f i e d the p r a c t i c e s o f Imagisme i n terms bo th h i s t o r i c a l and l i n g u i s t i c : But the re i s ye t another f a u l t i n Rime a l t o g e t h e r i n t o l e r a b l e , which i s , t h a t i t i n f o r c e t h a man o f ten t imes to ab iure h i s ma t te r , and extend a shor t conce i t beyond a l l bounds o f a r t e : f o r i n Quat'orzens me t h i n k s the Poet handles h i s sub jec t as t y r a n i c a l l y as Procrustes the t h i e f e h i s p r i s o n e r s , whom when he had taken , he used t o cast upon a bed, which i f they were too sho r t t o f i l l he would s t r e t c h them longer , i f t oo l o n g , he would cut them s h o r t e r . B r i n g b e f o r e me now any the moste s e l f e - l o u ' d Rimer, and l e t me see i f w i t h o u t b l u s h i n g he be able t o read h i s lame h a l t i n g r imes. I s the re not a curse o f Nature l a i d upon such rude Poesie, when the w r i t e r i s h i m s e l f asham'd of i t , and the hearers i n contempt c a l l i t Riming and B a l l a t i n g ? What Deuine i n h i s Sermon, or graue Counsel ler i n h i s Ora t ion w i l l a l leage the tes t imon ie o f a rime? But the d e u i n i t y of the Romaines and Gret ians was a l l w r i t t e n i n ve rse : and A r i s t o t l e , Galene, and the books o f a l l the e x c e l l e n t Phi losophers are f u l l of the tes t imon ies of the o ld Poets , By them was l a i d the foundat ion o f a l l humane wisdome. and from them the knowledge of a l l a n t i q u i t i e i s de r iued . I w i l l propound but one q u e s t i o n , and so conclude t h i s p o i n t . I f t he I t a l i a n s , Frenchmen and Spanvards, t h a t w i t h commendation haue w r i t t e n i n Rime, were demaunded whether they had ra the r the bookes they haue p u b l i s h t ( i f t h e i r toong would beare i t ) should remaine as they are i n Rime, or be t r a n s l a t e d i n the auncient numbers o f the Greekes and Romaihes, would they not answere i n t o numbers? What honour were i t then f o r our Eng l i sh language to be the William Webbe, "Poe tas te rs " i n E l i zabethan and Jacobean Prose, ed. Kenneth Muir (Harmondsworth 1956) , p. 254. 36 f i r s t a f t e r so many years of barbar isme could second the p e r f e c t i o n of the i n d u s t r i o u s Gfeekes and Romairies.9 Transcr ibed i n t o modern d i c t i o n and syn tax , t h i s express ion o f p r e j u d i c e against the i n f l u e n c e of the medieval romance languages on Eng l i sh p o e t r y and o f fondness f o r the models o f r e a l a n t i q u i t y would descr ibe most c l e a r l y the p o s i t i o n of the Imag is tes , t h a t " . . . g r o u p of ardent H e l l e n i s t s who are pu rsu ing i n t e r e s t i n g experiments i n vers l i b r e ; t r y i n g to a t t a i n i n Eng l i sh c e r t a i n s u b t l e t i e s of cadence o f the k i n d which Mallarme and h i s f o l l o w e r s have s t u d i e d i n French."-'-^ The group t o which Amy Lowel l b r i e f l y found e n t r y , and which her b iog raphe r , Foster Damon, descr ibes as . . . v e r y much aware o f the s t e r i l e c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y i n t o which Eng l i sh and American verse had degenerated. Determined t o escape from t h i s l i t e r a r y p a r a l y s i s , they were search ing f o r new means and modes der ived f rom the p r a c t i c e s o f o ther n a t i o n s . The i r immediate i n s p i r a t i o n was the contemporary French p o e t r y , b u t they were a lso i n f l u e n c e d by the anc ient h i s t o r y of the Greeks and Romans and ( through t r a n s l a t i o n s ) l eg . H. A. Gi les and E. F. Feno l losa ] of the Chinese and Japanese.H This search f o r an escape f rom "modern" convent ions through the adopt ion of new technique could e a s i l y have been, as Richard Ellman p o i n t s out i n h i s Eminent Domain (N. Y. 1967), der ived by Imagisme from the suggest ion by Oscar Wi lde , i n "The Decay of L y i n g " , t h a t new methods may b r i n g new meanings. T. E. Hulme, o f what Pound c a l l s " t he f o r g o t t e n school of 1909" wrote i n h i s yThomas Campion, "Observat ions i n the A r t of Eng l i sh Poesie" i n Mu i r , p. 259. - ^V incen t Quinn, H i l d a D o o l i t t l e (New York 1967) , q u o t i n g a no te i n Poe t ry , November 1912, i n which Pound i d e n t i f i e s Imagisme. -'--'-Damon, Amy L o w e l l : A Chron ic le (Boston 1935) , p. 197. 37 Speculations: Essays on Humanism and the Philosophy of Art, published i n London i n 1924 by Herbert Read, but apparently written before Hulme's enlistment i n the 1914 war: We s h a l l not get any new efflorescence of verse u n t i l we get a new technique, a new convention, to turn ourselves loose i n . To the extent that the search for t h i s "new convention" took the Imagistes away from what might be c a l l e d the "mainstream" of English verse at l e a s t since Shakespear, i t was consistent with a desire f or a freedom wished for even by Dryden, whom some readers may have been surprised to f i n d l i s t e d by Kreymborg (p. 3) as a possible precursor of free verse; Dryden who wrote "On the Rhythms of S a t i r e " from "A Discourse concerning the O r i g i n a l and Progress of S a t i r e " i n the form of a dedication to the E a r l of Dorset of h i s translations from Juvenal i n 1693: ...I would pr e f e r the verse of ten s y l l a b l e s , which we c a l l the English heroic, to that of eight [which second was the ottava rima introduced by Chaucer from I t a l i a n models of the 13th and 14th centuries].... For t h i s s o r t of number i s more roomy; the thought can turn i t s e l f with greater ease i n a l a r g e r compass. When the rhyme comes too quick upon us, i t s t r a i t e n s the expression; we are thinking of the close, when we should be employed i n adorning the thought. It makes a poet giddy with turning i n a space too narrow f o r h i s imagination, without gaining one advantage.- 3 Obviously then, there was enough ferment for free verse, at least up to the eighteenth century; and enough precedent: the H e l l e n i s t i c and even p r e - H e l l e n i s t i c Greeks (the s i x t h century B. C. i s p r i o r to the hegemony of P h i l i p and Alexander of Macedon and T. E. Hulme, Speculations: Essays on Humanism and the Philosophy of Art (London 1924), p. 122. 13 38 as such cannot be considered as H e l l e n i s t i c ) , the o l d Testament and other documents contemporary w i t h i t , Shakespeare and the E l izabethans g e n e r a l l y , Dryden, the e igh teen th century i n Japan, which produced the h a i k u and i t s q u a n t i t a t i v e f r e e ve rse , numerous major and minor f i g u r e s o f the n i n e t e e n t h cen tu ry , n o t t o speak of the immediate, e a r l y - t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y predecessors of Imagisme. As C. K. Stead has p o i n t e d o u t : The Imagis ts were i n genera l t a k i n g Georgian innova t ions one step f u r t h e r . . . . Both poets have at tempted t o r e a l i z e w i t h p r e c i s i o n one i n t e n s e l y exper ienced moment i n which the p h y s i c a l s i t u a t i o n suggested something beyond i t s e l f las i n the modern sho r t s t o r y s ince the French masters of the 19th cen tu ry . ] - ' - 3 the d i f f e r e n c e be ing t h a t , as Lawrence D u r r e l l has noted The Georgian main t r a d i t i o n was b u c o l i c or p a s t o r a l . - ' - 4 Wordsworth might be s a i d to be the g r e a t - g r a n d f a t h e r of Georgianism, bu t where Wordsworth heard the t e r r i f y i n g organ-notes of the C h r i s t i a n God echoing everywhere i n na tu re the Georgians f e l t more at home on the fa rm. They were content w i t h b r i e f i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c sketches o f /123 / n a t u r e , a c lear and s c h o l a r l y enumeration o f day to day a f f a i r s i n the coun t rys ide . The i r g i f t was p r e c i s e observa t ion . They were o f t e n s e n t i m e n t a l , o f t e n weak, and a l l too o f t e n arch.15 I t i s probably wor th q u o t i n g Hulme's shor t poem c a l l e d "Autumn", pub l i shed by Pound as p a r t o f h i s p re - Imag is te Ripostes volume along w i t h a few o ther works by the same w r i t e r , under the heading "The Complete P o e t i c a l Works of T. E. Hulme" i n o rder t o show some of the c o n t i n u i t y of the " a l t e r n a t e t r a d i t i o n " of B r i t i s h p o e t r y . A touch o f co ld i n the Autumn n i g h t — I walked abroad, - ^ S t e a d , The New Poe t i c (London 1964), p. 101. l 4 D u r r e l l , A Key to Modern B r i t i s h Poetry ( U n i v e r s i t y o f Oklahoma 1964), p. 120. 1 5 i b i d , p. 122-3. 39 And saw the ruddy jmoon lean over a hedge L i ke a red - faced fa rmer . I d i d no t stop t o speak, bu t nodded, And round about were the w i s t f u l s t a r s Wi th w h i t e faces l i k e town c h i l d r e n . The l a s t l i n e may i n f a c t s i g n i f y one of the main d i f f e r e n c e s between the Georgians and the Imag is tes , the attempt on the p a r t of the l a t t e r t o i n c o r p o r a t e i n t h e i r work the cumulat ive c u l t u r e of the towns, the c i t i e s of Europe, and of the former t o ignore a l l t h a t . And even so , l i t e r a t e as i t i s , the He l len ism o f some of the Imagistes i s m a r g i n a l l y at l e a s t , b u c o l i c a l s o ; a l though we hear f rom S. K. Coffman t h a t "Pound had l i t t l e / 1 8 / use f o r the Wordsworthianism of the G e o r g i a n s . . . " , ^ and we see f rom the charac te r o f h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o Des Imagistes t h a t he was n e i t h e r " b u c o l i c " nor " p a s t o r a l " , the d i s t i n c t i o n i s not so c lear i f we compare the f i r s t anthology poems of H. D. and A ld ing ton t o those o f Georgianism, which D u r r e l l descr ibes as t y p i c a l of Eng l i sh l i t e r a t u r e , wh ich : . . .when i t i s at a loss f o r sub jec t ma t te r , always f a l l s back on the s i g h t s and sounds o f the Eng l ish c o u n t r y - s i d e , a l b e i t seen through the dense r e f r a c t i n g medium o f a c l a s s i c a l educat ion .18 The key word , o f course, i s " E n g l i s h " . I n t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i t reveals the r e g i o n a l i s t i c l i m i t a t i o n s which d i f f e r e n t i a t e d •^Hulme, Specu la t ions , p. 265. 1 7 C o f f m a n , Imagism: A Chapter f o r the H i s t o r y o f Modern Poetry ( U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma 1957) , p. 17. 18 D u r r e l l , A Key, p. 120. 40 Georgians f rom Imag is tes ; the l a t t e r were not only " town c h i l d r e n " bu t Europeans and cosmopol i tans, immigrants and e x p a t r i a t e s who had t o a la rge ex ten t ignored t h e i r own immediate roots to concent ra te on the cumulat ive roo t system of a l l Western c i v i l i z a t i o n , nay, a l l c i v i l i z a t i o n p e r i o d , i f we consider t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n th ings O r i e n t a l . This reg iona l i sm of the Georgians i s apparent i n the d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e i r p r i n c i p l e s which we f i n d i n Howard Seargent 's T r a d i t i o n i n the Making o f Modern Poe t ry : There was an i m p l i e d ban (not always s t r i c t l y observed) on the employment o f a rcha ic words, phrases and grammatical c o n s t r u c t i o n s . The grand m a j e s t i c manner and the p r o p h e t i c s t r a i n o f the n ine teen th century were equa l l y i n d i s f a v o u r . P a t r i o t i s m was admiss ib le i f i t found express ion through the a p p r e c i a t i o n o f l o c a l landscapes and a m i l d form o f r e g i o n a l i s m (Br idges and Housman. p rov ided the p a t t e r n s ) , r a the r than through the b l a t a n t i m p e r i a l i s m o f K i p l i n g or the Old-School m e n t a l i t y of Newbolt.19 As D u r r e l l again says: Seen at t h i s remove of t ime there i s l i t t l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e o f f the work o f the l e s s e r Imagis ts f rom the Georgians; the r e a c t i o n seems to be dependent more on i n t e l l e c t u a l d i f f e r e n c e s than on quest ions o f l i t e r a r y p r i n c i p l e . 2 0 C l e a r l y , t h e n , Imagisme d i d not s p r i n g f u l l - g r o w n from the head o f Hulme, or Pound, or anyone e l s e . I t s main d i s t i n c t i o n , speaking i n terms o f techn ique , i s t ha t i t was aggress ive ly voca l and t h a t i t a c t i v e l y sought p o s i t i v e models i n o the r c u l t u r e s r a t h e r than s imply f a l l i n g back on Eng l i sh b lank ve rse , f i n d i n g perhaps the bes t of these models i n the h a i k u , whose main i d e a l was to have each word ind ispensab le and i n a l t e r a b l e , no doubt a 1 9 Howard Seargent, T r a d i t i o n i n the Making o f Modern Poetry (London 1951) , p. 54. 2 0 D u r r e l l , A Key, p. 129. product o f the b r e v i t y o f the form. Very l i t t l e poet ry of w o r t h — a p a r t f rom Pound's Chinese poems and some o f the work of H. D .—had been w r i t t e n i n the Imagis t s t y l e when the group began t o lose i t s energy and vo i ce . But i t s e f f e c t was t o he lp prepare the read ing p u b l i c f o r the b e t t e r poet ry tha t f o l l o w e d . I t shook up the l i t e r a r y scene, c a l l e d i n t o ques t ion a l l the dogmas sacred t o the e s t a b l i s h e d j o u r n a l s and p u b l i s h e r s . I t f o l l o w e d the Pre-Raphae l i te b ro the rhood , and the A e s t h e t i c movement of the N i n e t i e s — t h e l a s t unsuccessfu l i n s u r r e c t i o n against c e r t a i n n i n e t e e n t h -century o r t h o d o x i e s ; and the best mo t i va t i ons and a t t i t u d e s of the th ree i n s u r r e c t i o n s lead d i r e c t l y towards the bes t poe t ry w r i t t e n s ince 1920.22 And what Pound learned f rom h i s imag is t p e r i o d , says G. S. Fraser : . . . ( a n d what i s perhaps permanently va luab le i n imagism) was a technique of c lean ly i s o l a t i n g an impress ion o r an emot ion, c u t t i n g i t f r e e f rom comment, and a technique a lso o f shaping verse o r e m o t i o n . . . 2 3 which i s a d e s c r i p t i o n as much o f the a r t o f the w r i t e r o f drama or of prose of i n t e g r i t y or even of honest speech as i t i s one of the a r t o f p o e t r y . I t i s a l s o , i n p a r t a t l e a s t , a d e s c r i p t i o n of the phenomenological method of sc ience. The e igh teen th century has not recorded any major spokesmen f o r freedom i n ve rse , indeed the con t ra ry i s probably t r u e , i f we consider such v o c a l and a u t h o r a t i v e t h e o r i s t s and c r i t i c s as Dr. Johnson or Pope. On the o t h e r hand, however, the e igh teen th century i s t h a t i n which prose emerged as the language o f v i t a l p o l i t i c a l , economic, s c i e n t i f i c , and p h i l o s o p h i c a l d ia logue . As l a t e as a t l e a s t the middle o f the seventeenth cen tu ry , Peckham reminds us, techniques o f p o e t i c ove r -de te rm ina t ion such as Donald Keene, Anthology o f Japanese L i t e r a t u r e (New York 1955) , p. 377. 22 Stead, The New P o e t i c , p. 98. 23 Fraser , Ezra Pound (London 1960) , p. 44. 42 a l l i t e r a t i o n , r i m e , e t c . were used i n t h e o l o g i c a l , p h i l o s o p h i c , s c i e n t i f i c and genera l humanis t i c prose d i s c o u r s e . 2 4 But something happened to prose i n the l a t e r seventeenth and throughout the e igh teen th cen tu ry . I t s t r i p p e d . i t s e l f o f such " g r a c e s " , i n order to engage i n a s t r u g g l e , and the prose which was the most s u c c e s s f u l , c u l t u r a l l y speak ing, was t h a t which burdened i t s e l f w i t h the l e a s t d e c o r a t i o n , and which c lung most t enac ious l y t o the r e a l i t y o f t h i n g s ; the prose o f Defoe, S w i f t , S te rne , Locke, Hume, Rousseau; the prose o f the Royal Soc ie t y , of s c i e n c e , o f emp i r i c i sm, of p o l i t i c a l p o l e m i c s . 2 ^ This was the century o f the prose n o v e l , whose p o p u l a r i t y was l i n k e d , as Ian Watt suggests i n The Ride of the Nove l , to the i n c r e a s i n g l y u n i v e r s a l l i t e r a c y o f the middle and lower classes i n the Eng l i sh -speak ing w o r l d , o f the common men whose speech was t o become Wordsworth's avowed model; the century o f S m o l l e t t , Mrs. Behn, Richardson, F i e l d i n g , Madame de S t a e l , and t h a t most s i g n i f i c a n t , and most neg lec ted spokesman o f the e igh teen th -cen tu ry mind, the Marquis de Sade. Prose was the language o f r e v o l u t i o n , the language of The Rights of Man, o f the American D e c l a r a t i o n of Independence. I n England, of course, i t was also the language o f r e a c t i o n , s ince f i r e must be fought w i t h f i r e , as w i t n e s s . t h e r o y a l i s m o f c e r t a i n passages i n G u l l i v e r ' s  T r a v e l s , i t s a n t i - s c i e n t i f i c b i a s , and the very a c t i v e conservat ism i n the Tale of a. Tub. 2 4 M o r s e Peckam, Man's Rage f o r Chaos (New York 1965)* p. 140. 2 - * i b i d , p. 141 : "Modern prose was e s t a b l i s h e d i n the l a t e r seventeenth century by John Dryden, the P u r i t a n s , and the s c i e n t i f i c a l l y o r i e n t e d Royal S o c i e t y . " But whether the sent iments o f the prose w r i t e r s o f the e igh teen th century were r e v o l u t i o n a r y or c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n a r y i s f a i r l y i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l f rom the p o i n t of view of. our study of l i n g u i s t i c a r t . The s i g n i f i c a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . o f t h i s p rose , whatever i t s con ten t , i s t h a t i t s w r i t e r s cared pass iona te l y about what they were w r i t i n g , and the fo rce of t ha t pass ion , which was bo th emot iona l and o f necess i t y p h y s i o l o g i c a l , determined the character of t h e i r w r i t i n g . They o f t e n achieved t h a t poignancy which Pound has p o i n t e d out i s the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c necessary to good p o e t r y ; and they were f u l l , most o f these prose w r i t i n g s , whether they were novels or s c i e n t i f i c r e p o r t s , . o f the concre te -r e f e r e n t s , o f t he "words t h a t c l i n g t o th ings" , which g ive a t a n g i b i l i t y , an undeniable p a l p a b i l i t y , t o the t e x t o f a l i n g u i s t i c a r t i f a c t . I t was t h i s q u a l i t y t h a t Pound was r e f e r r i n g t o when he wro te i n h i s a r t i c l e i n the New Age, February 1 1 , under the t i t l e " A f f i r m a t i o n s " , t h a t : . . .when words cease t o c l i n g c lose t o t h i n g s , kingdoms f a l l , empires wane and d imin ish .26 And p rose , which i s not only charged w i t h such words, bu t a lso w i t h the p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p h y s i o l o g i c a l f o rce which we have mentioned i s what Imagisme u l t i m a t e l y takes i t s form f rom, s i n c e , as T. E. Hulme s a i d i n "C inders-A New Weltanschauung": " A l l poe t ry i s an a f f a i r o f the b o d y — b e c a m e the model. I t i s i r o n i c perhaps t h a t Hulme made no re fe rence t o , gave no 26 Ezra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska; A Memoir (London 1960) 2 7 T . E. Hulme, "C inders-A New Weltanschauung", p. 242. evidence o f knowing about , t he awareness o f the p h y s i o l o g i c a l bas is of prose rhythm as i t came t o be recognized by.one o f Pound's French sources of d o c t r i n e , Remy de Gourmont. Aga in , as has o f t e n been remarked, we have an ins tance o f the same d e s c r i p t i v e terms be ing used t o de f ine poe t ry a s . w e l l as prose. This merging o f the c r i t i c a l vocabu la r ies o f poe t ry and prose i s only the n a t u r a l outcome of the r i s e t o s t y l i s t i c . r e f i n e m e n t o f a prose w h i c h , f o r over two c e n t u r i e s , had been. the cu r ren t i d i o m of the most pass ionate i n t e r c o u r s e , p o l i t i c a l , s c i e n t i f i c , s o c i a l ( i f we i n c l u d e de Sade and the whole t r a d i t i o n o f V i c t o r i a n pornography) , sexual , of European and Eng l i sh c i v i l i z a t i o n . I n s h o r t , those who wro te about what most concerned "common men" t h r o u g h t the e igh teen th and n i n e t e e n t h cen tu r ies d i d so , p e r f o r c e , i n " t h e language o f common men", and c a l l e d themselves prose w r i t e r s . Prose had become the language o f e x i s t e n t i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n f o r a growing ly democrat ic and p a r t i c i p a t o r y readersh ip i n bo th England and France, whose l i t e r a t u r e c h i e f l y concerns us i n t h i s s tudy , and i n the l i t e r a t u r e o f bo th these languages i t happened tha t through these two cen tu r ies u n t i l the b r i e f p e r i o d of peace be fo re the f i r s t w o r l d war , w r i t e r s of prose bo th expos i t o ry and imag ina t i ve d i sp layed t o the read ing p u b l i c a panorama of l i f e which was a larming i n the e x t r e m e — o f l i f e de f ined by i n e v i t a b l e and obscure i n s e c u r i t y , s t r u g g l e , c o n f l i c t , and death , f rom Hobbes, w i t h h i s view of l i f e as " s o l i t a r y nasty b r u t i s h and s h o r t " to the v i c i o u s but h i g h l y r e v e l a t o r y p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l v i s i o n s o f de Sade, t o the undeniable evidence i f no t argument o f K a r l Marx and o f n a t u r a l i s t i c w r i t e r s i n bo th France and England (and i n the TJ. S . , i f we count the example o f the l a t e r Twain)—an account o f l i f e , b o t h . r a t i o n a l and i ma g ina t i ve ( t he two a l t e r n a t e i n de Sade) w h i c h . a l l readers of i t recognized w i t h h o r r o r , no readers I suspect , more so than poe ts . Above a l l the account was b e l i e v a b l e because of i t s recogn iza-b i l i t y , because of i t s re fe rence to the darkest p o s s i b i l i t i e s , e i t h e r a c t u a l i z e d , o r perhaps worse, always i m p l i c i t i n even the q u i e t e s t and most b u c o l i c moments. What the e igh teen th and n ine teen th cen tu r ies i n prose d i d was t o l i f t , . w i t h the p o i n t o f Oscar W i l d e ' s r a p i e r , the c u r t a i n — t h e c u r t a i n . o f c u l t u r e ( c a r e f u l l y and p a i n s t a k i n g l y wrought s t u f f ) t h a t stands.between a l l human s o c i e t i e s and the hea r t o f darkness, f o r a gl impse o f the Abyss, the Vo id . I t was the age which gave b i r t h t o the sys temat ic study o f human group, behav io r , and t o t he .me taphor i ca l and r a t i o n a l ana lys i s o f human psychology i n depth. Not on ly was the darkness w i t h o u t revea led , but the darkness w i t h i n a l s o , and most o f the r e v e l a t i o n was done i n p rose . Something e lse happened a lso i n the n i n e t e e n t h . c e n t u r y which was t o make the development o f a new d e f i n i t i o n of poe t ry necessary; no t on ly d i d the s t y l e i n which r e a l i t y was i n t e r p r e t e d through language change, b u t r e a l i t y changed as w e l l , the " t h i n g s " t o which words had to c l i n g changed, and so d i d human exper ience, and one o f the most s i g n i f i c a n t changes t h a t took p lace i n the l a s t o f these was a marked qu icken ing o f i t s pace. As M a r t i n Gi lkes reminds us : « I t must be remembered tha t the n ine teen th century was an age o f s c i e n t i f i c progress a c t u a l l y u n p a r a l l e l e d 46 i n the whole of human h i s t o r y : and a f t e r the t u r n o f the century Science cont inued t o progress a t an equa l l y r a p i d pace. The steam eng ine, the p e t r o l eng ine , the aerop lane, the e l e c t r i c w i r e , Ithe te lephone, r a d i o , and cinema] the machine i n the f a c t o r y , the new comfort i n the home, completely r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the l i f e of man—at any r a t e the env i ronmenta l p a r t o f i t : and the poe t ry o f the e s t a b l i s h e d t r a d i t i o n was a t a loss to deal w i t h the r e s u l t s o f t h a t r e v o l u t i o n . 2 8 And Imagisme was a p a r t o f the t u r n i n g away from the dead p a r t s o f t h a t t r a d i t i o n , and of s t r e a m l i n i n g an id iom which had t o keep pace w i t h the phenomenology which i t sought t o i n t e r p r e t . I n the m ix tu re of archaism and c o l l o q u i a l moderni ty which we f i n d w i t h i n the pages of .Pes Imag is tes , we can see the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f an i d iom f rom one c h a r a c t e r i z e d by " p o e t i c " devices o f ove r -d e t e r m i n a t i o n , and one which would come t o draw on a l l the resources of language f o r i t s i n t e r p r e t i v e . a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n a l f o r c e . I n o p p o s i t i o n t o t h i s process of change, o r r a t h e r the l i n g u i s t i c dimension o f the o v e r a l l c u l t u r a l process o f i d i o m a t i c change, the re ran a p a r a l l e l , m a r g i n a l l y s u c c e s s f u l , and we must now see i n r e t r o s p e c t , always somewhat confused r e s i s t a n c e , t races o f which can s t i l l be found between the pages o f Pes  Imag is tes , j u s t as they can be found i n , say, Co le r idge , whose id iom i s dynamic enough, bu t whose concerns are a rcha ic t o a h igh degree, so t h a t he i s bo th o f . a n d n o t o f the r e v o l u t i o n a t the same t ime. Eve ry th ing now moved so f a s t , l i f e was so acce le ra ted by the Promethean extensions of man's senses and powers, and so many new th ings had been brought i n t o e x i s t e n c e , i n c l u d i n g the h e a v i e r -t h a n - a i r f l i g h t which Pr . Johnson had dec la red imposs ib le i n 2 8 G i l k e s , A Key t o Modern Eng l i sh Poetry (London 1937), p. 16. 47 Rasselas, and new words had a r i sen t o represent them i n the language, the language o f common men. Such s t range new words f o r such s t range new t h i n g s ! words w i t h o u t a ped ig ree , w i t h no r i c h s t o r e o f assoc ia t ions t o s t a r t t r a i n s of ideas i n the mind of the reader ! One might mention a horse and a c a r r i a g e , a cow or even a c a r t — a i l of them words w i t h a long and respectab le f a m i l y h i s t o r y — b u t what was t o be done w i t h the motor-car? A glamour could be thrown over a church, a house, a h a l l — e v e n at a p inch a f a c t o r y ( i f used a d j e c t i v a l l y o r c a r e f u l l y hyphenated w i t h another n o u n ) — b u t what about a gasometer or an e l e c t r i c power s t a t i o n ? At a l l costs poe t ry must be kept " p o e t i c a l " : w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t any poet who s tuck to the e s t a b l i s h e d t r a d i t i o n found h i m s e l f cut o f f a t l e a s t f rom one h a l f — a n d tha t the most impor tan t l i v i n g h a l f — o f contemporary l i f e . 2 9 But t h i s i s only a r e l a t i v e l y s u p e r f i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of what took p l a c e . I n f a c t , much of t h e . c u l t u r a l energy o f western c i v i l i z a t i o n i n the n ine teen th .and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century was d i r e c t e d t o t r y i n g t o c o n s t r u c t , out of the o l d s t u f f s o f c i v i l i z a -t i o n , out o f the "monuments of imaging i n t e l l e c t " , some s o r t o f new c u r t a i n , o r at l e a s t a patch to cover the ho le made i n i t by the r a p i e r of reason and s c i e n c e . * I n o rder t o f i g h t back against these d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e s , the a r t s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y p o e t r y , which was most i n t i m a t e l y concerned, s ince i t used as i t s raw m a t e r i a l the same language used by .sc ience and reason, became a f o c a l p o i n t o f t h a t energy because of i t s t r a d i t i o n a l concern w i t h mastery over language and through language—which i s i t s e l f a c u r t a i n between man and the abyss, imag ina t i ve mastery over pe rcep t i on and e xp e r i e n ce—had t o l e a r n to s t r u g g l e aga ins t the h i g h l y conv inc ing i n t e r p r e t i v e power o f prose w i t h the same methods t h a t gave prose 2 9 i b i d . *which at tempt was apparent i n v i r t u a l l y every aspect o f the p h y s i c a l environment. A r c h i t e c t u r e , f u r n i t u r e , d e c o r a t i o n , a l l these were p a r t of a succession and aggregate o f s t y l i s t i c " r e v i v a l s " . 48 i t s e l f t h a t p o w e r — i t s bona f i d e s o f c r e d i b i l i t y , i t s e f f i c i e n c y and capac i ty t o render r e f e r e n t i a l r e a l i t y . Even as e a r l y as Pope we have a w r i t e r work ing h e a v i l y w i t h syntax and w o r d . o r d e r , even w i t h i n the conf ines o f the h e r o i c rime coup le t , and by the t u r n of the t w e n t i e t h cen tu ry , a w r i t e r such as Ford Madox Ford, a c o n t r i b u t o r to Pes Imag is tes , was openly say ing tha t the modern poet was i n compet i t i on not only w i t h the great poets of the past bu t a lso w i t h great n o v e l i s t s , w i t h Turgenev, F l a u b e r t , S tendha l , J a m e s . 3 0 The best prose o f the e igh teen th and n i n e t e e n t h cen tu ry , by render ing a thorough ly r e p u l s i v e b u t conv inc ing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of human exper ience, fo rced verse to adopt equa l l y conv inc ing methods o f r e - o r d e r i n g t h a t exper ience. I t was e a r l y recognized t h a t the way t o a new p o e t i c and " a new Weltenschauung" was away f rom reason and conceptual i n t e r p r e t a t i o n or a n a l y s i s . The French poets o f the t u r n of the century found t h e i r j u s t i f i c a t i o n (as French poets must, i t seems,, always f i n d some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f rom a u t h o r i t y ) i n the suggest ions of the ph i losopher Henr i Bergson. Tancrede de V isan , i n desc r i b ing the a t t i t u d e o f the l y r i c i s t s o f h i s own t i m e , thus presented Bergson as h i s a u t h o r i t y : Or l a p h i l o s o p h i e de Bergson est un e f f o r t pour rompre l e corset de f e r du concept pur e t j p o u r de'gager de c e t t e armure r i g i d e l e corps me^me du Reel mouvant. Plus une idee est getie"rale, p lus e l l e est a b s t r a i t e e t v i d e , dec la re Bergson dans / 4 4 / sa ce'lebre No t i ce sur Ravaisson. P ' a b s t r a c t i o n en a b s t r a c t i o n , de g e n e r a l i t e en g e n e r a l i t e , on s'achemine au pur ne'ant. 3-'-J U P o n a l d Pav ie , Ezra Pound: Poet As Scu lp to r (London 1965), p. 36. 3 1 L ' A t t i t U d e du Lyrisme Contemporain (Par is 1911), p. 443. 49 Hulme a lso was aware, a lso through contact w i t h Bergs on, bo th academic and p e r s o n a l , of the new, or r a t h e r renewed (s ince H e r a c l i t u s had h e l d i t some t w e n t y - f i v e cen tu r ies be fo re ) d o c t r i n e of u n i v e r s a l f l u x , a f l u x of p a r t i c u l a r i t y . His .response t o the e x i s t e n t i a l i n s e c u r i t y a t tendant on accept ing the p r i n c i p l e o f u n i v e r s a l f l u x and the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of t h ings which i s no t amenable t o l o g i c a l r e d u c t i o n o r mastery, was a demand f o r what he c a l l e d "geometr ic a r t " , which he l a t e r descr ibed i n m o r e - s p e c i f i c terms as the a r t o f p a r t i c u l a r i t y and the concre te , i n which the poem would not only present s e l e c t e d and s i g n i f i c a n t pa r t s o f r e f e r e n t i a l r e a l i t y bu t i t s e l f become, by the concreteness and conc is ion o f i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n , i t s e l f a s o l i d p a r t o f t h a t . r e a l i t y . Each poem would become a k i n d of I m p e r i a l Easter Egg, an absurd wonder of minute craf tsmanship on a minute sca le at f i r s t g lance , bu t con ta in ing some image, e i t h e r a d imin ished and ,per fec t r e p l i c a of some p iece of p a r t i c u l a r i t y , a bush of wrought gold i n which perched a t i n y mechanical peacock, or a p o r t r a i t o f some p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l o r sma l l group of i n d i v i d u a l s . This t a l i s m a n i c concept o f the poem.as the work of a master j e w e l e r , a go ldsmi th reproduc ing r e a l i t y on a.much reduced, bu t much he ightened s c a l e , was a European response. Having found " f e a r i n a h a n d f u l l of dust " the European had t o fash ion something out o f the d u s t , t o mark h i s own p lace i n the f l u x of t ime and change, however t i n y t h a t monument might be . The o l d devices of p o e t i c d e t e r m i n a t i o n , of c o n t r o l l i n g language, as Peckham has p o i n t e d o u t , . r e p r e s e n t e d at l e a s t a sense of be ing adequate t o the o r d e r i n g of r e a l i t y . The modern European poet was humbled by the 50 l e a r n i n g exper ience o f the two preceding c e n t u r i e s , and he no longer had t h a t sense o f adequacy. He was content to e i t h e r l i m i t h i m s e l f t o render ing some s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l of exper ience, or i f he was more amb i t i ous , he at l e a s t sought the suppor t o f those who had once had or worked at a t t a i n i n g . t h a t sense o f adequacy w i t h some degree of success: i n t h i s the poet had h i s hands f u l l ; no encumbrances o r a r b i t r a r y r e s t r i c t i o n s could be t o l e r a t e d . I n the un i ted S ta tes , where an analogous ferment f o r freedom from fo rmal r e s t r i c t i o n s was growing, the only prose a r t i f a c t of the e igh teen th century seemingly a t t e n d e d . t o was The Rights of  Man, mod i f i ed t o some ex ten t by the r e l i g i o u s p r i m i t i v i s m o f the P u r i t a n s , and g iven an eno rmous , . i f ambiguous energy o f e f f e c t by the c o l o s s a l and r a p i d growth i n p o p u l a t i o n and i n d u s t r y of the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y America. There appears t o have been no widespread or w i d e l y known movement toward r e s t r a i n t , ( w i t h the p o s s i b l e ou ts tand ing except ion of Emily D ick inson , whose r e l a t i o n t o Imagisme w i l l be discussed e lsewhere) . whitman, the f i r s t major w r i t e r o f what may be c a l l e d f r e e verse i n p o s t - c o l o n i a l America t r u s t e d the cosmos to the p o i n t of a c t u a l l y t r y i n g t o i n c a r n a t e i t i n h i m s e l f and i n h i s p o e t r y — t o incarna te the d o c t r i n e o f f l u x , s t a b i l i z e d only by the h e b r a i c i s o s y n t a c t i c s o l i d i t y o f h i s grammar, and the r e g u l a r , o rgan ic rhythms o f h i s long l i n e s . whereas the European and Eng l i sh response to the v i s i o n o f the "Void seems t o have been t o hang onto and to create as many more and as conv inc ing as poss ib le new "monuments t o unaging i n t e l l e c t " out of t h e i r "heap of broken images"—paradigms o f the r e c u r r e n t 51 and cumula t i ve , and t h e r e f o r e immorta l l i f e of the human exper ience and mind, the American response was a l e t t i n g go, a t r u s t i n g , t o the f l u x , which i s bes t a r t i c u l a t e d i n the p re face t o the 1855 e d i t i o n o f Leaves of Grass. America t r u s t e d to the Lord and Whitman and the C o n s t i t u t i o n and expor ted Edgar .Poe. to England where h e , w i t h h i s r a t and g a r r e t v i s i o n s , belonged... "The g rea tes t p o e t " , says Whitman, "has less, a marked s t y l e and i s more the channel o f thoughts and t h i n g s w i t h o u t increase or d i m i n u t i o n , and i s the f ree channel of h i m s e l f . He swears t o h i s a r t , I w i l l no t be meddlesome, I w i l l no t have i n my w r i t i n g any elegance or e f f e c t or o r i g i n a l i t y to hang i n . t h e way between me and the r e s t l i k e c u r t a i n s . I w i l l have n o t h i n g hang i n the way, not the r i c h e s t c u r t a i n s . " 3 2 The American response, t hen , i s t o make an apparent insouc iance (backed by some sound s e c u r i t y l i k e the B i b l e and C a p i t a l ) a form of elegance i n i t s e l f . To some e x t e n t , o f course, the p o s i t i o n o f Whitman i s i r o n i c ; i n any case i t is' d i f f e r e n t , and produced a d i f f e r e n t a r t , than the European response, whi'eh was more o v e r t , and bes t c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the i n f e r e n t i a l unders tanding of S tendha l ' s d ic tum "Le s t y l e , c ' e s t l 'homme". The European poet .wanted t o be sure t h a t he would be remembered through h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o an i d e n t i f i a b l e c o n t i n u i t y , even i f he made h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n i n a s t y l e not cu r ren t i n h i s own t i m e , (eg. the Pre-Raphael i tes and a l l t ha t resembled them, i n c l u d i n g some o f Imagisme) l i k e the man t r y i n g t o breed and r a i s e e x c e p t i o n a l c h i l d r e n i n an a rcha ic way, 3 2 W a l t Whitman, Leaves o f Grass (Garden C i ty 1926) , p. 16. 52 i n an e f f o r t t o prove t h a t , though e f f e m i n a t e , he i s h e t e r o s e x u a l , and tha t i n any case, ef feminacy i s s u p e r i o r t o m a s c u l i n i t y . The American, i f we take Whitman as an example, sensed t h a t t he re was more than one st ream to the main, t r u s t e d more t o h i s own impu lse , d i d no t have c h i l d r e n , d i d n o t l ay any jewe led eggs, wro te i n the s t y l e he f e l t most comfor tab le i n , which . turned out t o be tha t of the Old Testament which i s very much i n the p a t r i a r c h a l t r a d i t i o n and t h e r e f o r e very much w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n o f language a r t s . They were bo th r i g h t , the Jeweler chamber-musician and the rhapsode, they are both remembered—remembered because they are bo th paradigms i n a p o e t i c and c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n which i s much o lde r and more f i r m l y roo ted than any l a t i n a t e s t y l i s t i c i n n o v a t i o n , be i t Ear ly C h r i s t i a n , Norman, o r N e o - c l a s s i c a l . Some scho lars a t t r i b u t e t o Whitman some o f the groundwork which made Imagisme p o s s i b l e , and much of.modern p o e t r y , and Pound f o r example has been r e f e r r e d t o as i n f l u e n c e d by Wa l t—has even admi t ted be ing so. But i t i s d i f f i c u l t i f not imposs ib le to l i n k Whitman w i t h a s p e c i f i e d and d e t a i l e d d iscuss ion of European f r e e verse or t o such a programmatic statement as Imagisme, except perhaps i m p l i c i t l y , s ince Whitman t a l k s very l i t t l e about h i s c r a f t , as c r a f t . There i s an apoc r ipha l anecdote d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g p a i n t e r s on the one hand from c r i t i c s on the o the r : c r i t i c s t a l k about a r t ; p a i n t e r s t a l k about where t o get the best t u r p e n t i n e . Though Whitman i s only i m p l i c i t l y a c r i t i c ( v ide P r e f a c e ) , he c e r t a i n l y t a l k s l i k e one. He not only won ' t t e l l us where he gets h i s t u r p e n t i n e , b u t he imp l ies t ha t i n f a c t h i s p i c t u r e s are p a i n t e d 53 pu re l y w i t h h i s own prec ious but d ispensable b o d i l y f l u i d s and those o f a l l America as w e l l . His message to t h e . v i r g i n poet would be of very l i t t l e use as sex educa t ion , p a r t i c u l a r l y as prophylaxis to p r o t e c t aga ins t e v i l i n f l u e n c e s or unwanted progeny. Whitman, s y m b o l i c a l l y speak ing, had i n t e r c o u r s e on ly w i t h h i m s e l f , and consequently was always pregnant . I f what you are t r y i n g t o f i n d out about i s the techniques o f v i r t u o s i , i t . s e e m s . a waste o f t ime t o l i s t e n t o one who i n s i s t s . t h a t he i s a c t u a l l y an A o l i a n harp . I n any case, i f we are t o look f o r immediate, antecedents t o the Eng l i sh f r e e verse o f the p e r i o d be fo re the Great War, we must look t o France r a t h e r than America; f rom France? as rime had come w i t h W i l l i a m the Conqueror and Neo-c lass ic i sm w i t h the Renaissance and the T h i r t y - Y e a r s War, so f r e e verse came across the Channel w i t h A r t Nouveau and the f i n de s i e c l e . A r r i v i n g , i t met w i t h i n t e r n a l suppor t f rom the always present n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n of i n c i p i e n t r e b e l l i o n aga ins t a r b i t r a r y fo rma l i sm, and f rom, the general ferment of c u l t u r e and language which the preceding two cen tu r ies had produced; support a lso f rom the "young H e l l e n i s t s " o f Imagisme, and b e f o r e them, the Georgians. The l a t t e r responded w i t h . r e f e r e n c e t o the l i m i t e d p a s t o r a l and n a t i o n a l t r a d i t i o n we have al ready ment ioned; the former w i t h re ference t o a s c h o l a r l y a l l e g i a n c e t o an a c t u a l l y p r e - H e l l e n i c t r a d i t i o n of f r e e ve rse , going back through Homer and Sappho almost t o the o ld a r i s t o c r a c i e s o f the Indo-European p e r i o d i n the eastern Medi ter ranean. According to Haro ld Monro, the p u b l i s h e r o f Imagisme one might almost c a l l h i m , the Eng l ish poets recognized immediately the 54 correspondences between the French poets o f the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h century and themselves, a f f i r m i n g i n a sense, a p r e - l a t i n a t e , common C e l t i c l i n g u i s t i c bond. I n January 1912 the Poetry Review was founded. I t was crude and t e n t a t i v e : never the less i t t r i e d . t o ma in ta in a .s tandard of c r i t i c a l . j u d g m e n t , and i t . b r o u g h t , t oge the r s e v e r a l poets o f the younger g e n e r a t i o n . : F. S. F l i n t [another c o n t r i b u t o r t o Pes I m a g i s t e s ] . c o n t r i b u t e d some very f i n e essays on French p o e t r y : t o these p a r t l y can be t r a c e d the subsequent i n t e r e s t of c e r t a i n groups i n the i dea of vers l i b re ( s i c ) . 3 3 F l i n t , w r i t i n g on "Contemporary French Poet ry" , i n . t h e Review f o r August 1912, was reminding the Eng l i sh p o e t i c , cognoscent i t h a t : V e r l a i n e , i n f l u e n c e d by Rimbaud, gave the coup de grace t o the o l d a l e x a n d r i n e , which had been very much d i s l o c a t e d by the r o m a n t i c i s t s , bu t M. Gustave Kahn i s commonly supposed.to have inven ted the French vers  l i b re ( s i c ) . 3 4 F l i n t then went on t o ment ion .a whole l i s t o f young French poets who had abandoned the f o u r t e e n - s y l i a b l e (or more a p p r o p r i a t e l y , seven-s t ress) a lexa r i d r i n , which be t rays by i t s name i t s o r i g i n s i n the v e r s i f i c a t i o n of the l a t e Roman i f p re -Byzant ine Empire (known i n England i n E l izabethan t imes -as quatorzens and probably impor ted i n t o England along w i t h e a r l y i n s t i t u t i o n a l . C h r i s t i a n i t y a f t e r the f i n a l co l lapse of Byzantium b e f o r e the Turks) and who use r ime , i f a t a l l , then s e l e c t i v e l y , and f o r emphasis. The l i s t i nc ludes many poets now more o r less unknown, bu t g ives, ev idence, a t l e a s t , o f a popular movement on the con t inen t toward f r e e ve rse ; i t i nc ludes Henr i Gheon, Jean Royere, Andre S p i r e , the poets o f l 'Abbaye at C r e t e i l ( a sma l l and s h o r t l i v e d l i t e r a r y commune l i v i n g i n a 3 3 M o n r o , Some Contemporary Poets (London 1920) , p. 23. 3 4 F l i n t , Poetry Review, Vo l . 1 , no. v i i i . 55 ru ined abbey)near P a r i s , H e n r i - M a r t i n Barzun, Alexandre Mercereau, Theo V a r l e t , Paul Cast iaux , Georges P e r i n , Ju les Romains, Rene Arcos , George Duhamel, Charles V i l d r a c ; of which l i s t one a t l e a s t i s now famous f o r h i s p r o s e , and the l a s t two o f whom are mentioned by Pound as c r i t i c a l r e f e r e n t s . I t was t h i s same F l i n t who l a t e r t r a n s l a t e d the work of Emile Verhaeren, of which Rene L a l o u , i n h i s Contemporary French L i t e r a t u r e (London 1925) wrote t h a t i t wou ld : . . . s u f f i c e t o j u s t i f y the necess i t y o f f ree ve rse . L i b e r t y i s h i s so le d e m a n d — l i b e r t y i n the rhythm as w e l l as i n the d i c t i o n — n o o ther form than t h a t which w i l l render h i s f l a s h i n g v i s i o n more i n t e n s e l y . — a n d o f whom Georges Duhamel, one of Pound's own c r i t i c a l touchstones, descr ibes i n Les Poetes e t l a Poesie 1912-13 (Par is 1914) as: . . . u n homme responsable de son i n s p i r a t i o n et s 'exercan t a un c o n t r o l e severe et con t i nu As so o f t e n occurs i n the study of modern l i t e r a t u r e , those two words, s u p e r f i c i a l l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y , bu t a c t u a l l y i n a l i e n a b l y r e l a t e d , l i b e r t y and c o n t r o l — f r e e d o m and c o n t r o l — f r e e d o m and s e l f - c o n t r o l . I t i s almost as though modern poe t ry were the a r t i s t i c equ iva len t i f no t of r e v o l u t i o n , then at l e a s t o f r e f o r m a t i o n . The r e l i g i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n and p a r a l l e l should not be l o s t ; modern poe t ry i s a compos i t iona l equ i va len t o f p r i v a t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sacred t e x t s or i n s p i r a t i o n s ; a k i n d of p o e t i c Joan of A rc , whose adherents o r i g i n a l l y had t o endure a c e r t a i n amount of r o a s t i n g at the hands o f c r i t i c s and h i s t o r i a n s ded icated t o the uphold ing o f 3 5 F . S. F l i n t , The Love Poems of Emile Verhaeren (London 1916) 36 L a l o u , p. 141. 56 a u t h o r i t y . S t r i c t l y speak ing, o f course, even moderately s t r i c t l y speak ing, Gustave Kahn d id not " i n v e n t French f ree v e r s e " . He was, l i k e most p o e t s , most a r t i s t s , only one o f the many c o n t r i b u t o r s to a t r a d i t i o n , i n t h i s case a t r a d i t i o n o l d e r than He l l en i sm, and i n a s p e c i f i c a l l y French c o n t e x t , n o t complete ly .absent even from the Middle Ages. L. E. Kas tner , i n h i s A H i s t o r y o f French V e r s i f i c a t i o n (London 1903) gives a q u i t e p l a u s i b l e summary o f the career o f the element of f r e e verse i n the l a r g e r t r a d i t i o n o f French p o e t r y . Kastner t e l l s us tha t vers b l a n e s , t h a t i s , t r u e b lank verse l i n e s , are unknown i n Old French v e r s i f i c a t i o n , except f o r a r imeless l i n e , found i n some chansons de ges te , which was s h o r t e r than the preceding l i n e s ( these no doubt composed i n some i m i t a t i o n of the o r d e r l y s t y l e of what was then l a r g e l y known as " c l a s s i c a l " poe t ry which was a c t u a l l y the v e r s i f i c a t i o n o f the l a t e and decadent Roman Empi re) , at the end of the l a i s s e or s e c t i o n , p o s s i b l y as a t e r m i n a l i n d i c a t i o n . 3 7 The same p e c u l a r i t y occurs , a p p a r e n t l y , i n the l y r i c a l p a r t s o f the chantefab le of Aucassin e t N i c o l e t t e and i n a few medieval r e l i g i o u s poems. Again s t r i c t l y speak ing, f o r the sake o f h i s t o r i c a l accuracy, the term vers l i b r e s t r a d i t i o n a l l y used i n d iscuss ions r e f e r s not t o the same t h i n g as the Eng l ish term f ree v e r s e , the l a t t e r cover ing a much broader f i e l d . According again t o Kastner , vers l i b r e s are genera l l y regarded as rimes melees (which a l t e r n a t e between Kas tner , p. 309. 57 mascul ine and feminine forms [ i n the f i n a l word] which are a lso o f d i f f e r e n t l e n g t h . The e a r l i e s t of these vers l i b r e s , or androginous and v a r i a b l e l i n e - l e n g t h poems, apparent ly f i r s t occur i n the work of M e l l i n de Sa in t -Ge la i s (1487-1558) and were probably w r i t t e n i n i m i t a t i o n o f I t a l i a n madr igals and p a s q u i l l i . 3 9 . I t was apparent ly not u n t i l the seventeenth century t h a t such verses appeared i n any s i g n i f i c a n t number, i n the guise of madr igals and e p i s t l e s , which were much favoured by the poets o f the H o t e l de Ramboui l le t , S a r r a s i n , V o i t u r e , P e l l i s s o n , e t c . — a n d o ther l i t e r a r y c o t e r i e s of p rec ieuses . At f i r s t t h i s k i n d of verse was conf ined to the madr iga l and e p i s t l e , and g e n e r a l l y t o t h a t branch o f poe t ry which the French c a l l po£sie enjouee ( p l a y f u l or f a n c i f u l ) . About the middle o f the seventeenth cen tu ry , however, we see i t ga in ground and g radua l l y extend t o o ther branches o f l i t e r a t u r e . Segrais i n t r o d u c e d i t i n the ec logue, Le Moyne i n h i s L e t t r e s Mora les, the Marguis de B i l l e n e s i n the Elegies Choisies des Amours d 'Ov ide, and Madame Deshoul ieres i n he r I d y l l e s . Vers l i b res were used also about the same t ime by La Fontaine i n some of the Contes and i n n e a r l y a l l o f the Fables, and have s ince remained the accepted verse f o r the f a b l e , a H e l l e n i c or P e r i c l e a n p r e - H e l l e n i c form mentioned as school t e x t i n h i s t o r i e s o f pr imary educat ion du r ing the re igns o f P h i l i p and Alexander the Great of 3 8 Peckam, Chaos, p. 144. . " . . . w h e n the l a s t s y l l a b l e i n any l i n e i s uns t ressed , the l i n e ending i s r e f e r r e d t o as " f e m i n i n e " and i s sometimes assoc ia ted w i t h acceptance." Kastner , p. 68. 58 Macedonia, the reappearance o f which as a popular form suggests a grow i n t e r e s t of the p e r i o d i n pre-Roman models. Other examples o f vers  l i b res o r vers i r r e g u l i e r s , as they were sometimes c a l l e d , are t o be found i n C o r n e i l l e ' s Agesi las (1666) , i n M o l i e r e ' s Amphitryon (1668) , and the t r a g e d i e - b a l l e t o f Psyche (1671) by the two poets i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n . The choruses o f Racine's Esther and A t h a l i e can also be r a n k e d . i n the same c l a s s . They cont inued t o be used i n the e p i t r e by V o l t a i r e and i n the f a b l e by F l o r i a n (1755-94) and Jean Andr ieux (1759-1833). Kastner i s i n disagreement w i t h F l i n t on the r o l e o f the French r o m a n t i c i s t s , however, which the l a t t e r may have confused w i t h the Eng l i sh Romantics, and p o i n t s out tha t excep t ing the f a b l e (V iennet , e t c . ) , and A l f r e d de Musset 's S i l v i a , Jeanne d ' A r c , Le Songe d'Auguste such verses have been avoided by the Romant ic is ts and t h e i r successors the Parnassiens. HeLis, however, c lear i n i d e n t i f y i n g the r o l e o f the Symbol ists i n the 1880's and 90 's who extended the freedom of vers i r r e g u l i e r s t o i n c l u d e complete freedom as t o a l t e r n a t e l i n e l e n g t h s . Vers b l a n e s , or what we would c a l l , b lank v e r s e , on the o ther hand, was at tempted by a few poets o f the s i x t e e n t h cen tu ry , such as Bonaventure des Per ie rs (d ied 1543 c ) , who used r imeless verse t 40 i n h i s t r a n s l a t i o n - o f one of Horace s Odes. A cons iderab le c o l l e c t i o n o f vers blanes i n the s i x t e e n t h century i s a t t r i b u t a b l e t o B l a i s e de B igenere, who i n 1558 t r a n s l a t e d the Psalms i n vers l i b res or prose  mesuree, as he c a l l e d i t ( i n which de Vigenere emulated, consc ious ly 4 0 K a s t n e r , p. 309. 59 or o t h e r w i s e ) , two Ear l y C h r i s t i a n w r i t e r s , the two A p o l l i n a r i i , f a t h e r and son, who rewro te , i n the f i r s t p a r t o f the f o u r t h century A.D. , the Pentateuch i n the s t y l e o f Homer, the h i s t o r i c a l books o f the Oid Testament i n the s t y l e of drama, and so on, us ing every k i n d of l i t e r a r y form and a l l manner of metres, f rom Merianders comedies to P i n d a r i c odes, i n c l u d i n g the New Testament i n the form of P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e s ) . 4 1 I n the beg inn ing o f the seventeenth century the Academician M e z i r i a c used vers b l a n c s , o r r imeless ve rse , i n h i s commentary to h i s t r a n s l a t i o n o f Ov id ' s E p i s t l e s , t r a n s l a t i n g s e v e r a l passages f rom c l a s s i c a l poets i n t o t h i s s t y l e . La te r i n the same century i t was used by d 'U r fe i n h i s p a s t o r a l p lay S i l v a n i r e (as b e f i t t i n g , presumably, the more casual ambiance o f Arcady) of 1 6 2 7 . 4 2 I n the n i n e t e e n t h century vers b lancs were recommended by the poet Marc Monnier f o r t r a n s l a t i o n s , and had an a c t i v e suppor te r and p r a c t i c i o n e r i n the mys t i c Fabre d ' O l i v e t ( 1 7 6 8 - 1 8 2 5 ) — l o o s e l y speaking a French contemporary and e q u i v a l e n t o f B lake , who was h i m s e l f a p a r t y to the s t r u g g l e aga ins t the posthumous tyranny o f the Augustans bo th Roman and Eng l i sh—who recommended r imeless verse v a r y i n g i n gender f rom one l i n e t o another or vers eumolpiques, ( a f t e r the founder of the myster ies of E leus is ) f o r p h i l o s o p h i c , theosoph ic , and ep ic p o e t r y , and genera l l y f o r a l l poet ry i n which ser ious thoughts are the pr imary elements. He l e f t Les vers dores de Pythagore 4 l H . I . Marrou, Educat ion i n A n t i q u i t y (Toron to , 1965) , p. 432. 4 2 K a s t n e r , p. 311. 60 t r a d u i t s en vers eumolpiques f r a n c a i s (1813) . A few years l a t e r d ' O l i v e t was succeeded i n h i s support of b lank verse by the Comte de Sa in t -Leu (Louis Bonapar te ) , who wrote an Essai sur l a v e r s i f i c a t i o n (1825) , i n which he represents r ime as a h indrance t o French poe t ry and proposes i t s abandonment . 4 3 Obvious ly , t h e n , f a r f rom having " i n v e n t e d French f ree v e r s e " , Gustave Kahn was only the r e c i p i e n t of a cumulat ive t r a d i t i o n t r a c e a b l e t o a p e r i o d i n France contemporary w i t h Byzantium a t l e a s t ; and a f a i r l y conserva t ive r e c i p i e n t at t h a t , corresponding perhaps, i n theory more than i n p r a c t i c e , t o t h a t t r a n s i t i o n a l and ambiguous poet A r thu r Symons. Kahn's own poems, i n Le L i v r e d'Images (Par is 1897) use r ime , i f . f l e x i b l y , then p e r s i s t e n t l y , though there i s cons iderab le v a r i e t y i n l eng th of l i n e s th roughout the c o l l e c t i o n , i n poems whose stanzas are f r e q u e n t l y longer than e n t i r e Imag is te . poems (eg. "La Reine M a r g i a n e " ) . . Seldom, however, except i n " l e Pont de Trayes" and "Le Vieux Mendiant " , i s the re any th ing l i k e p l o t , and then i t i s i n the s t r u c t u r a l . s t y l e of sho r t s t o r y p l o t . The most s i g n i f i c a n t element of resemblance between the poems o f the L i v r e d'Images and of Des Imagistes i s t h a t i n bo th books are f r e q u e n t l y found a focuss ing o f p o e t i c a t t e n t i o n on one symbol ic or s i g n i f i c a n t ob jec t or i n d i v i d u a l i n what I can only c a l l a "snapshot" e f f e c t . Except f o r the deepening i n f l u e n c e o f the medium language and i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s , and the t a n g i b i l i t y o f a human vo i ce present at l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y , you are reminded of the " s h o r t s u b j e c t s " o f the Lumiere b r o t h e r s , sho r t v i g n e t t e s or a c t i o n sequences focuss ing on one o b j e c t , an ima l , or a c t o r , f i l m e d i n the ' N i n e t i e s . 4 3 K a s t n e r , p. 312. 61 I n h i s volume of the prev ious y e a r , La P l u i e e t l e Beau Temps (Par is 1896), the same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are n o t a b l e : rimes are casua l , no t u n i f o r m , there are f requent a l l i t e r a t i v e and t o n a l e f f e c t s , and l i n e l eng th seems t o be o f t e n determined by s y n t a c t i c d i v i s i o n s . I n " N u i t d ' E t e , " Kahn uses the t i t l e word N igh t t o g ive s t a b i l i t y to h i s l i n e s by beg inn ing many l i n e s w i t h i t , r e c a l l i n g the i s o s y n t a c t i c i s m of Whitman. By r i m i n g only every second l i n e , or every t h i r d , as he f r e q u e n t l y does, Kahn lengthens and so f tens h i s l a r g e r rhythms. By i n t e r l a c i n g h i s r imes, he creates a mutual i n t e r n a l i t y o f rime between l i n e s . We are reminded of the s u b t l e r i m i n g i n the e a r l y Pound, which came t o h im by way o f h i s Provencal and o ther a rcha ic exper iments. I n h i s pre face t o La Lyre Turque of Dr. Abdul lah Djevdet Bey ( P a r i s , 1902) (obv ious ly a p iece o f hack w o r k ) , Kahn gen t l y c r i t i c i s e s the doctor f o r h i s d i s regard of what i s e s s e n t i a l l y a prose d i s c i p l i n e — a respect f o r the word , l e mot j u s t e of F l a u b e r t , and chides h im f o r h i s perhaps too or thodox fo rma l i sm: Ce q u i vous g'ene p a r f o i s c' es t 1 ' i ns t rument du v e r s ; vous mettez t r o p de s o i n a l ' a c c o r d e r s t r i c t e m e n t e t p a r f o i s vous neg l igez l ' e s s e n t i e l , l e mot, pour c e t t e chose seconda i re , 1 ' u n i t e de l a cadence.44 Pound has mentioned Jules La forgue, o f whom J . W. Cohen says: The new p o e t i c language and rhythm owe f a r more to the l e s s e r French poet o f the e i g h t i e s , Ju les La forgue, than t o Browning or Whitman. La forgue, a s e n s i t i v e i r o n i s t w i t h an ear f o r f o l k - s o n g , m u s i c - h a l l p a t t e r and the new s lang of the c i t i e s p e r f e c t e d i n h i s l a s t poems the s u b t l y cadenced l i n e t h a t E l i o t took over f rom h im f o r " P r u f r o c k " and t h a t was adapted a lso by such French poets as Gui l l iaume A p p o l i n a i r e a year or so l a t e r . 4 ^ 4 4 K a h n , p. x . 4 5 C o h e n , Poetry o f This Age^ 1908-1958 (London 1959) This i s the Jules Laforgue whom Rene La lou descr ibes as hav ing " . . . r e m a i n e d the i d o l o f mediocre j o u r n a l i s t s who learned from h i s example t h a t i gnob le disparagement could take the p lace of p o e t i c g i f t , " 4 ^ i n s h o r t , j u s t the s o r t o f cantankerous p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t would appeal t o the l a c o n i c Pound. I n the ma t te r of rime and l i n e l e n g t h , rhythm, we can e a s i l y f i n d p l e n t y of antecedents t o Imagisme a lso on Eng l ish s o i l . There i s the f a m i l i a r re ferencer i to B lake , who when he wro te "Of the Measure i n Which Jerusalem i s W r i t t e n " i n 1820, s a i d t h a t : When t h i s Verse was f i r s t d i c t a t e d t o me, I considered a Monotonous Cadence, l i k e t h a t used by M i l t o n & Shakespeare [ a t h i s w o r s t ] & a l l w r i t e r s o f Eng l i sh Blank Verse, de r i ved f rom. the modern bondage of Rhyming, t o be a necessary and ind ispensab le p a r t of Verse. But I soon found t h a t i n the mouth o f a t r u e Orator such monotony was not on ly awkward, bu t as much a bondage as rhyme i t s e l f . I t h e r e f o r e have produced a v a r i e t y i n every l i n e , bo th o f cadences & numbers o f s y l l a b l e s . Every word and every l e t t e r i s s t u d i e d and put i n t o i t s f i t p l a c e , the t e r r i f i c numbers are reserved f o r . t h e t e r r i f i c p a r t s , the m i l d and gen t le f o r the m i l d and g e n t l e p a r t s , and the p rosa ic f o r i n f e r i o r p a r t s ; a l l are necessary t o each o t h e r . 4 7 The d e s c r i p t i o n i s o f a modulated, bu t cont inuous and f l o w i n g speech. I n the p a r t i c u l a r poem, which was not burdened w i t h B lake ' s e s o t e r i c mythology, i t i s a speech c lose enough t o Wordsworth's "speech o f common men". Jumping over Tennyson and A r n o l d , we f i n d Hopkins w i t h h i s "sprung rhythm" and h i s " rove o v e r " , which l a t t e r sounds l i k e a"Do" f rom Pound's "A Few Do's and D o n ' t ' s f o r I m a g i s t s " : 4 6 L a l o u , Contemporary French Poetry (London 1925), p. 1 0 1 . . 4 7 G e o f f r e y Keynes, ed. Poetry and Prose of W i l l i a m Blake (New York 1927) , p. 551. 63 Remark a lso t h a t i t i s n a t u r a l i n Sprung Rhythm f o r the l i n e s t o be rove over , t h a t i s , f o r the scanning of each l i n e immediately t o take up t h a t of the one b e f o r e , so tha t i f the f i r s t has one or more s y l l a b l e s at i t s end the o ther must have so many the less at i t s b e g i n n i n g ; -and i n f a c t the scanning runs on w i t h o u t break f rom the. b e g i n n i n g , say, o f a s tanza to the end and a l l the s tanza i s one long s t r a i n though w r i t t e n i n l i n e s asunder.48 — w h i c h sounds remarkably l i k e some advice g iven by Pound i n the March 1913 issue of Poe t ry . Don ' t make each l i n e stop dead at the end, and then beg in every nex t l i n e w i t h a heave. Let the beg inn ing of the next l i n e catch the r i s e o f the rhythm wave, unless you want a d e f i n i t e l o n g i s h p a u s e . 4 9 I t becomes obvious t h e n , i f we examine as we have bo th the Eng l i sh language and genera l European or Western t r a d i t i o n , t h a t Imagisme i s only a smal l p a r t . o f what might be c a l l e d , i f such l o c u t i o n i s p o s s i b l e , the " a l t e r n a t e mainstream" of p o e t r y , and t h a t i t s imply serves to mark a p o i n t , a t r a n s i t i o n a l p o i n t , i n a t u r n i n g , (o r r e t u r n i n g i f we coun t . the p r e - h e l l e n i s t i c Greek r e f e r r e n t s ) o f p o e t i c energy toward a d e f i n i t i o n o f poe t ry as a k i n d of super-prose o r super -speech—a t u r n i n g o r r e t u r n i n g tfcoward a u s t e r i t y — t o w a r d what I have a l ready c a l l e d a r e f o r m a t i o n . The Imagis ts were not even r a d i c a l exper imentors , as Charles Norman says i n h i s book Ezra Pound (New York 1960) . . . a n d even Bridges and Hopkins, f o r a l l t h e i r experiments w i t h "Sprung Rhythm" were c loser t o t h e i r predecessors than some l i k e t o t h i n k . For the f a c t i s t h a t the b a s i c Eng l i sh l i n e , which i s an iambic l i n e , cannot be changed; i t can only be v a r i e d , and t h i s a l l good poets have done, f rom Chaucer t o E l i o t . . . . Each language has i t s own p a r t i c u l a r gen ius ; the genius o f the Eng l i sh language i s iambic .50 'George H e m p h i l l , e d . , Discussions of Poetry (Boston 1961) , p. 48. Pound, L i t e r a r y Essays, ed. T. S. E l i o t (New York 1954) , p. 6. Charles Norman, Ezra Pound (New York 1960) , p. 94. The " c r i t i c a l demarcat ion" which Pound descr ibed i n h i s r e j e c t i o n of Imagisme a few years l a t e r , as Noel Stock has p o i n t e d . out i n Poet i n E x i l e (New York 1964) , was f a r f rom be ing r e v o l u t i o n a r y , except perhaps i n i t s unconscious programmatic and s t r u c t u r a l p a r a l l e l t o c inemat ic f i l m m o n t a g e — i t s e l f only r e v o l u t i o n a r y i f regarded as any th ing b u t the organ ic t e c h n o l o g i c a l concomitant and product o f n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y emp i r i c i sm and phenomenology. As f o r Pound h i m s e l f a s . p u b l i c i s t : Much of h i s best c r i t i c i s m . d u r i n g the London years was w r i t t e n aga ins t a contemporary c u r r e n t , bu t t he re i s a g rea t dea l o f d i f f e r e n c e between a man work ing aga ins t the c u r r e n t , which i s a form o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the l i t e r a r y l i f e o f the t i m e , and one who i s ou ts ide the st ream a l t o g e t h e r and goes h is .own way [ l i k e M a r i n e t t i and the F u t u r i s t s , f o r example. ]51 Compare, f o r example, t h e / I m a g i s t e s w i t h M a r i n e t t i ' s F u t u r i s t s . Launched i n 1909 by the e d i t o r o f Poes ia , a t f i r s t a l i t e r a r y movement, Fu tur ism a lso a f f e c t e d p a i n t i n g ( the p a r a l l e l w i t h Pound's rapprochement t o the graphic and p l a s t i c a r t s under V o r t i c i s m i s obv ious, and i n f a c t the s t y l e s o f the p a i n t i n g s were somewhat s i m i l a r ) . One of the adherent s c u l p t o r s , Umberto B o c c i o n i , i n h i s " T e c h n i c a l Mani festo of F u t u r i s t Scu lp tu re " A p r i l 1 1 , 1912, denounces the "who l l y l i t e r a r y and t r a d i t i o n a l n o b i l i t y o f marble 52 and o f b ronze" — t h i s at a t ime when Pound g r e a t l y admired Gaudier, who s c u l p t e d almost e x c l u s i v e l y i n these m a t e r i a l s . The F u t u r i s t s promoted " f r e e w o r d s " , " p a r o l e l i b r a " , and used words, r e f e r e n t i a l and o the rw ise , as elements i n graphics and montage, i n a way which suggested the concrete poe t ry of today. 5 1 Norman, p. 239. 52 Joshua C. T a y l o r , Futur ism (New York 1961), p. 7. 65 Most of the c o n t r i b u t o r s t o Pes Imagistes were i n v o l v e d i n t r a d i t i o n a l c l a s s i c a l and romant ic imagery and themat ics , they p r a c t i c e d a more or less n o t i c e a b l e amount o f r e s t r a i n t , they were f a r f rom b u r s t i n g the bounds of language, as the F u t u r i s t s had done. Pound, the main c o n t r i b u t o r , i n terms o f adherence t o the p r i n c i p l e s of the M a n i f e s t o , was perhaps the f a r t h e s t f rom t a k i n g e x t r a - l i n g u i s t i c l i b e r t i e s , • d e s p i t e h i s emphasis on image i n , say, the "Fan-P iece" . I n many ways Pound h i m s e l f was a l i b e r a l i n thought and f e e l i n g , w i t h a d i s p o s i t i o n towards d e s t r u c t i o n and i n t e r r u p t i o n , b u t he knew so much about c e r t a i n / 7 1 / areas of past l i t e r a t u r e , and loved them so w e l l and deep ly , t h a t he understood t h e i r re levance t o the stagnant c o n d i t i o n o f Eng l i sh l i t e r a t u r e i n 1910, and was a f i t t i n g ins t rument f o r what was i n e f f e c t a conservat ive assessment o f the t r a d i t i o n . 5 3 The f a c t t h a t the Imagistes and t h e i r Man i fes to r a i s e d a c e r t a i n amount o f r e a c t i o n among c r i t i c s and h i s t o r i a n s , and even popular l i t t e r a t e u r s such as Michael A r l en may have been due more than any th ing to the vehement way i n which t h e y , and among them e s p e c i a l l y E. P . , p u b l i c i s e d the p r i n c i p l e s of t h e i r p r a c t i c e and t o the f a c t t ha t the re was perhaps to the more gentlemanly of the Eng l i sh poets something v u l g a r and t radesmanl ike about d i scuss ing verse i n a t e c h n i c a l l y d e s c r i p t i v e way. Edward S t o r e r , whose B a l l a d of the Mad B i r d and Narc i ssus , the l a t t e r p a r t i c u l a r l y , seem t o predate Pes Imagistes i n the p u b l i c a t i o n o f f r ee verse s t y l e , gives a f a i r l y s a t i s f a c t o r y account of the a t t i t u d e s toward verse i n pre-war London, and a p l a u s i b l e e v a l u a t i o n o f the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f Imagis te l i n e and rime re fo rm; the account , though r e l a t i v e l y l o n g , i s wor th reproduc ing f o r the f a c t t h a t i t i s thorough and w i l l perhaps save us a good deal o f t i m e : 53Noel Stock, Poet i n E x i l e (New York 1964), p. 70. 66 H i t h e r t o , among a l l verse forms i n E n g l i s h , perhaps the most l i m p i d and amorphous known i s t h a t o f b lank ve rse , which g e n e r a l l y means verses o f f i v e f e e t i n iambs, and i t i s by a p o e t ' s b lank verse tha t he stands or f a l l s . I f he i s only a t r i c k s t e r , a C i n q u e v a l l i o f s y l l a b l e s and rhymes, he w i l l no t be able t o d isgu ise t h i s f a c t . i n h i s b lank ve rse . For t h i s reason, the very best and the very wors t poe t ry i n our language i s w r i t t e n i n t h i s form. Here a poet i s on h i s m e t t l e t o w r i t e p o e t r y , and i f he has not got i t i n h i m , n o t h i n g i n the form /109 / w i l l he lp h im. I f he has, he s u f f e r s no' insane c o n s t r i c t i o n of a "w ine" o r a " l o v e " or a "sky" by reason of which he must keep h i s i n s p i r a t i o n w i t h i n the r a d i u s — n e c e s s a r i l y a l i m i t e d o n e — a f f o r d e d by phrases which con ta in a rhyme t o these or s i m i l a r words. The a r t i s t , the great poe t , t r iumphs over t h i s d i f f i c u l t y ; the rhyme seems i n e v i t a b l e and n o t c o n v e n t i o n a l , you say. Yes; he t r iumphs over the obs tac le he has h i m s e l f r a i s e d a n d . . . l o s e s energy and f o r c e of express ion i n the p r o c e s s . . . . I f b lank ve rse , however, i s cut up and spaced, so t h a t the l i n e s are not always o f equal l e n g t h , bu t r i s e and f a l l w i t h the s w e l l of thought and imagery, a s t i l l more p l a s t i c and more n a t u r a l form i s ob ta ined even than b lank verse of u n f a i l i n g l y r e g u l a r l i n e s . The eye, t o o , does not s u f f e r tha t hopeless sense o f weariness and labour t h a t a great s o l i d chunk o f verse i s apt t o i n s p i r e . I t i s r e l i e v e d at o n c e . . . . Such a method a lso serves to "phrase" the poe t ry i n a way t h a t mere punc tua t ion can never do.-> 4 I n d i r e c t agreement i s F. S. F l i n t ' s a r t i c l e on "Contemporary French Poet ry" f o r the Review of August 1912: The vers l i b r e i s the most d i f f i c u l t fo rm o f a l l . Indeed, on ly when a p o e t ' s i n s p i r a t i o n i s upon h im at i t s s t r o n g e s t , on ly when he i s r e a l l y under the i n f l u e n c e o f the s t range b u r s t i n g e x a l t a t i o n which goes w i t h a l l c r e a t i o n , i s he capable of vers l i b re [ s i c ] , 55 and bo th m e n — S t o r e r and F l i n t b o t h — a r e only echoing the words of Tancrede de Visan i n 1 ' A t t i t u d e 1 : On a u r a i t t o r t de prendre l e vers l i b r e pour une l t i c h e t e , et de penser q u ' a i n s i on e'v i te les pretendues d i f f i c u l t ^ des reg ies de n o t r e p rosod ie . C'est precisement l e c o n t r a i r e . Rien n ' e s t p lus f a c i l e pour des v i r t u o s e s que d ' e c r i r e au courant de l a plume des poemes en vers ^ E d w a r d S t o r e r , M i r r o r s of I l l u s i o n (London ) p. 108. 5 5 T h e Poetry Review, Volume 1 , no. v i i i . 67 r e g u l i e r s , i f s u f f i t d 'un peu d 'hab i tude e t de quelque m e t i e r . On a r r i v e r a meW a b i i c l e r a i n s i des l i b r e s t r e s honorab les , des sonnets pa r fa i tement harmonieux et e n s o l e i l l e s au d e r n i e r v e r s . Le vers l i b r e suppose une o r e i l l e autrement f i n e et un gout autrement su r .56 But not on ly does S to re r f i v e vo ice to a whole movement, much more genera l and broad than Imagisme, and encompassing i t , bu t he also gives us a summary o f the re levance o f the examples we have looked at i n the h i s t o r y of bo th Eng l i sh and French poe t ry i n our attempt t o put Des Imagistes i n t o some s o r t o f h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e ; and i n h i s summary, p laces f o r us j u s t the pe rspec t i ve we have been seek ing . Phrasa l b lank ve rse , not i n the sequence o f the metronome but i n the sequence of the mus ica l phrase, says S t o r e r , i s : . . . o f course, only the vers l i b r e I s i c J , supposed t o be the i n v e n t i o n of H. Gustave Kahn, and s ince t h e n , adopted by French poets l i k e Verhaeren, V i e l e - G r i f f i n , Henr i de Regnier , Cte Robert de Montesquiou [he o f the e legant p o r t r a i t by B o l d i n i J , e t c . , and the Eng l i sh poets l i k e Henley and Francis Thomson. As a mat ter o f f a c t , however, we were us ing vers l i b r e i n England w i t h o u t making a fuss about i t long be fo re i t rose t o the eminence of a movement i n France. Sydney D o b e l l , Alexander Smi th , Coler idge even, a l l used i t a t t imes . I n a sense, n e a r l y a l l the Eng l ish poets have been v e r s - l i b r i s t s , f o r we have never i n s i s t e d on such r i g i d i t y of form as the French d i d , u n t i l t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s were shaken by the decadents, symbol is ts and v e r s - l i b r i s t s o f the l a s t twenty or t h i r t y years . S t i l l , t o do a t h i n g w i t h o u t say ing any th ing about i t , and t o do i t , make i t a p r i n c i p l e o f i t , and defend i t , are two d i f f e r e n t th ings i n England. You can do almost any th ing you l i k e i n t h i s coun t ry , p rov ided i t i s not aga ins t the laws, so long , as you do no t propound any reason, any phi losophy, f o r doing i t . But as soon as you attempt t o show. that your behav iour has an o r i g i n i n common sense, you make a great many people very angry. I n t e l l e c t u a l honesty i s a t h i n g w i t h a very sma l l market i n England.57 56iancrede de V isan , 1 ' A t t i t u d e , p. 463. 5 7 S t o r e r , op. c i t . , p. 110. 68 S t o r e r ' s h i l l metaphor, w i t h which t h i s p iece i s f r o n t e d , i s newly apt i f we i n f o r m i t w i t h the knowledge of modern l i n g u i s t i c s ; we have developed ins t ruments t h a t graph the r e l a t i v e r e g u l a r f low o f the Eng l ish language. I t s p r o f i l e does i n f a c t resemble waves o r swe l l s and accompanying t roughs, or h i l l s and v a l e s , and the h i l l s , i f we take the modern i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of poe t ry i n terms of s t resses as v a l i d , are a l i v e , so to speak, w i t h the sound of music; a l though perhaps, as Hemphi l l p o i n t s o u t , a mus ica l theory i s more u s e f u l , because i t accounts f o r a very impor tan t f a c t of E n g l i s h , i t s i sochron ism, t h a t i s , i t s tendency t o squeeze u n i t s i n t o r e l a t i v e l y equal t ime spans [Black Mountain c a l l s them "Brea th u n i t s " ] , marked by s t r e s s pu lses . The acous t i c ians can measure minute v a r i a t i o n s i n s t r e s s , pause and p i t c h , bu t t h e i r f i n d i n g s show no i n h e r e n t l y s i g n i f i c a n t p a t t e r n s . . . they can take n e i t h e r f o o t nor l i n e as a rche typa l p r e c i s e l y because every foo t or l i n e , accord ing t o t h e i r i n s t r u m e n t s , e x h i b i t s a d i f f e r e n t p a t t e r n . ^ 58 Seymour Chatman, "Robert F r o s t ' s 'Mowing ' : an I n q u i r y i n t o Prosodic S t r u c t u r e " , i n Discussions o f Poe t r y , George Hemphi l l ed. p. 83. 59 i b i d , p. 83. Americana Modern poets use f r e e r rhythms, but i n so doing they are not as modern as they seem. They are a c t u a l l y r e v e r t i n g t o e a r l y p r a c t i c e , and i f we want specimens of f r e e rhythm we need merely t u r n t o the pages of the King James v e r s i o n o f the B i b l e : The Lord i s my sheperd; I s h a l l no t want. He maketh me t o l i e . d o w n i n g reen .pas tu res : he leadeth me bes ide the s t i l l wa te r . He r e s t o r e t h my s o u l : he leadeth me i n the paths of r ighteousness f o r h i s name's sake. The Pur i tans sang the Psalms t o tunes i n measured rhythm, so they had to r e - t r a n s l a t e them to f i t t h e i r purpose. I n the Bay Psalm Book, f i r s t p r i n t e d a t Cambridge, Massachusetts, i n 1640, the 23rd Psalm was rendered t h u s : The Lord t o mee a shepheard i s , want t h e r e f o r e s h a l l not I . Hee i n the f o l d s o f t ender -g rasse , doth cause me downe t o l i e : To waters calme me gen t l y leads Restore my soule doth hee:. He doth i n paths o f . r i g h t e o u n e s s : f o r h i s names sake leade mee. l ! j . T. Howard and J . Lyons, Modern Music (New York 1958) , pp. 105-6. Though there i s l i t t l e room f o r a d e t a i l e d d iscuss ion of the American counterpar ts t o the Par is-London experiments and s t rugg les t o increase p o e t i c freedom which we have been d i s c u s s i n g , i t i s wor th n o t i n g summarily t h a t the re d i d develop, du r i ng the l a s t p a r t of the prev ious century and the beg inn ing of t h i s one, a l a r g e and a c t i v e American f r e e verse movement w h i c h , i n some ins tances a t . l e a s t and some r e s p e c t s , resembled the e f f o r t s o f the major Imag is tes , of which one, W i l l i a m s , always remained e s s e n t i a l American i n h i s l o c a l e and language. K i n d i l i e n , f o r example, us ing Emily Dick inson as h i s main example, p o i n t s out t h a t : The r e a l r e a c t i o n aga ins t convent iona l i sm began i n the f i n a l decade o f the n ine teen th cen tu ry : i n these poets attempts to .ass imi la te t r a d i t i o n a l forms and ideas and t o experiment w i t h new forms [which phrase a f t e r a l l descr ibes j u s t what Pound, H. D., and A l d i n g t o n were t r y i n g t o d o ] , one can mark the beginn ings of modern American poe t ry / 2 0 8 / . . . o n e may note t h a t the poets of the N i n e t i e s [eg. Santayana,. Robinson, Reese, Guiney] a n t i c i p a t e d many t rends o f modern American p o e t r y : they i n t r o d u c e d the French Symbol is ts , they wro te f r e e ve rse , they t r i e d t h e i r hand at a metaphys ica l p o e t r y , they p r o t e s t e d aga ins t the s o c i a l f laws of t h e i r c i v i l i z a t i o n , and they argued f o r a freedom of theme and fo rm. These were, a d m i t t e d l y , i s o l a t e d experiments i n a decade g iven t o F i e l d and R i l e y and Stoddard; y e t they are p a r t of the s cene . 2 As e a r l y as 1935 i n f a c t , Fos ter Damon had made a s i m i l a r re ference to Emily Dick inson as a key f i g u r e i n modern American v e r s e , C a r l i n T. K i n d i l i e n , American Poetry i n the Eighteen N i n e t i e s (Providence 1956) , p. 207, 208. ' and had i d e n t i f i e d he r as a p recursor o f the I m a g i s t s . 3 The connec t ion , once made, becomes obvious; i n D ick inson ' s s h o r t , c l e a r , i m p l i c i t , d i s c i p l i n e d , and o f t e n h i g h l y i m a g i s t i c poems i t i s f a i r l y easy t o de tec t many o f the p r i n c i p l e s o f composi t ion o f the Mani fes to and o f Do's and D o n ' t s . Except f o r the more e x p l i c i t p h i l o s o p h i c a l elements and the scrupulous r ime , these poems' almost epigrammatic b r e v i t y bear comparison w i t h the Japanese h a i k u and. tanka i n which Pound became i n t e r e s t e d through the t r a n s l a t i o n s o f G i l e s , and l a t e r , through the i n f l u e n c e o f the Fenol losa papers. I t would be d i f f i c u l t n o t t o mention at l e a s t i n pass ing the perhaps j u v e n i l e bu t h i g h l y f o r c e f u l Black Eiders se r ies of Stephen Crane (1893) , s h o r t , and e i t h e r l y r i c a l or epigrammat ic, by t u r n s . Kreymborg, whatever may be our re luc tance to share h i s enthusiasm f o r c e r t a i n o f t he w r i t e r s he ment ions, reminds us t h a t : Meanwhile, o ther men and women had a r r i v e d a t f ree verse through s t i l l o the r channels. The movement was not con f ined t o London, P a r i s , Bos ton .or Grantwood N. J . . . . The r i c h Middle-Western-movement, w i t h i t s c a p i t a l i n Chicago, and i t s champion i n H a r r i e t Monroe, was ushered i n by Car l Sandburg and Edgar Lee Masters .4 I n h i s own perhaps elementary way, Kreymborg a lso es tab l i shes the p o l a r i t y d e f i n i n g the r e l a t i o n between Imagisme and i t s American contemporar ies. . . . t h e e a r l y f r e e verse movement had two major tendenc ies : Americans abroad looked t o l i t e r a t u r e f o r t h e i r models; those at home looked t o l i f e . 5 3Damon, Amy L o w e l l : A Chron ic le (Boston 1935), p. 175. 4 Kreymborg, Our S ing ing St rength (New York 1929) , p. 338. 5 i b i d , p. 340. 72 This of course i s an o v e r - s i m p l i f i c a t i o n f o r e f f e c t . L i t e r a t u r e a lso i s a p a r t of l i f e , and t o r e j e c t i t as a p o e t i c or imag ina t i ve source seems to betoken a somewhat p r i m i t i v i s t i c r e j e c t i o n o f i n t e l l e c t and h i s t o r y . Nor , s t r i c t l y speak ing, d i d a l l Americans at home t u r n e n t i r e l y to " l i f e " f o r t h e i r models, as Foster Damon's summary o f the same p e r i o d would suggest : At the beg inn ing of the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . . . . The C a l i f o r n i a n s were the Rad ica ls . Free v e r s e , i n the Whitman manner ( h i t h e r t o l i t t l e a t tempted ) , became q u i t e common.... Genera l l y , t h i s verse was o r a t o r i c a l r a t h e r than p o e t i c ; and l i k e the landscape which i n s p i r e d i t , i t lacked foreground a n d - c u l t i v a t i o n . 6 The Cantabr ig ians were the C o n s e r v a t i v e s . . . . Aware of the d i f f i c u l t i e s o f t h e i r a r t , they schooled themselves on the Pet rarchan sonnet ; aware, a l s o , however, of the danger of l i m i t i n g themselves t o the r e s t r i c t e d models then popular i n England, they s p e c i a l i z e d i n the freedom of the i r r e g u l a r ode and the p o e t i c drama, where the form could f i t the thought .as e x a c t l y as the s k i n f i t s the hand. Aware a lso of the d isease-o f p r e t t y ve rb iage , they e l i m i n a t e d p o e t i c i s m a f t e r p o e t i c i s m from t h e i r vocabu lary . But t h e i r , g reat f ea t was the red iscovery o f the l i t e r a r y value o f t h o u g h t — t h o u g h t , which had been d ivo rced so long from verse .7 This d e s c r i p t i o n , w i t h i t s emphasis on the r o l e of " t hough t " would seem t o amply j u s t i f y a connect ion between the East Coast o f the U. S. and the London.of Les Imag is tes . Obv ious ly , Kreymborg's p o l a r d i v i s i o n o f two main branches o f American poe t ry i n the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century serves only as a p o i n t of depar ture f o r a more d e t a i l e d account. I n any case, the London americans were f a r f rom eschewing " l i f e " as a source of technique or imag ina t i ve m a t e r i a l . We have al ready n o t i c e d c e r t a i n p a r a l l e l s between photography and cinema on the .one hand and Imagisme on the o the r i n the area o f j u x t a p o s i t i o n a l techn ique , Damon, Amy L o w e l l , p. 177. 7 i b i d , p. 178. 73 or montage. C r i t i c a l re ferences have been made by some h i s t o r i a n s t o apparent r e l a t i o n s between Imagisme and p a i n t i n g , and of. course we have as evidence Pound's many avowals o f a r t i s t i c k i n s h i p w i t h s c u l p t u r e , not on ly t ha t of h i s f r i e n d Gaudier, but t h a t a lso o f B rancus i , w i t h whom he e d i t e d , . e a r l y i n t h i s cen tu ry , the smal l and b e a u t i f u l book of photographs of s c u l p t u r e and o f epigrams by the l a t t e r (pub l i shed i n M i l a n , , i n French and I t a l i a n i n the same volume) and mentioned e a r l i e r i n the " U n g u i s t i q u e " s e c t i o n of t h i s s tudy . But Kreymborg's d i s t i n c t i o n , however o v e r s i m p l i f i e d , does serve at l e a s t t o i d e n t i f y a d i s t i n c t i o n i n emphases between Imagism and the contemporary poe t ry o f America. The d i s t i n c t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s o f the American r e g i o n a l i s t movements, and t h e i r d i s t i n c t i o n f rom the London, group, are perhaps b e t t e r descr ibed by Howard Sargent, however, when he says t h a t : . . . w h a t e v e r a c t i o n the. r e g i o n a l i s t s took i n t h e r e v o l t against the a n a c h r o n i s t i c a n d . d e v i t a l i z e d i d iom of the preceding gene ra t i on , i t must be admi t ted t h a t — a p a r t f rom F r o s t , who was work ing a r i c h seam o f h i s o w n — they were more concerned w i t h r e p u d i a t i n g n ine teen th century c r i t e r i a than w i t h r e p l a c i n g them by c r i t e r i a which could w i t h equal d i s c r i m i n a t i o n be r e l a t e d to the poe t ry o f bo th the past and the p resen t , and which would s tand the t e s t o f changing values and i d e o l o g i e s . I n t h i s respect they were as nega t i ve i n t h e i r achievement as the Georgians i n England. The I m a g i s t s , on the o t h e r hand, i n s i s t e d not only upon the need f o r new rhythms and accuracy i n express ion , bu t a lso upon t h e i r a l l e g i a n c e t o the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n . 8 I f the American scene, genera l l y speaking and probably exc lud ing New England, could be s a i d t o have something i n common, Howard Sergeant, T r a d i t i o n i n the Making of Modern Poetry (London 1951), p. 89. 74 through i t s Whitmanesque d i s r e g a r d of fo rm, i t would be t o the I t a l i a n movement of the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h cen tu ry , Fu tu r i sm, whose name.and program were announced f i r s t to the p u b l i c on the f r o n t page .o f . Le F igaro o f February 20, 1909 by the p o e t , e d i t o r , and ent repreneur of a r t i s t i c r e f o r m , F i l l i p o Tommaso M a r i n e t t i , whose. rev iew, .Poes ia became the organ of a r e f o r m i s t i c program which soon spread t o o ther media, g i v i n g Poesia and Futur ism an i n d e n t i t y somewhat p a r a l l e l t o B las t and the V o r t i c i s m of Pound, Wyndham Lewis e t a l . 9 I n h i s p a r t of the "Techn ica l Man i fes to o f F u t u r i s t S c u l p t u r e " of 1911, Umberto .Boccioni announced c a t e g o r i c a l l y t h a t : . There i s no such t h i n g as p a i n t i n g , s c u l p t u r e , music, o r p o e t r y ; there i s on ly c rea t i on !10 and i n the same a r t i c l e Bocc ion i r e j e c t s the . cumulat ive base of. h i s t o r y as complete ly as he r e j e c t s the n o t i o n of genre or medium: . . . t o c o n t i n u e . t o cons t ruc t and want to c r e a t e . w i t h Egyp t i an , Greek, or Michaelangelesque elements, i s l i k e want ing to draw water f rom a dry w e l l w i t h a bot tomless bucket . H I n f a c t , however, f o r a l l t h e i r apparent r e j e c t i o n of concern w i t h fo rm, many of the Americans were .s imp ly f a l l i n g back on the resources o f an o r a l t r a d i t i o n roo ted i n P u r i t a n p l a i n speech and n e o - c l a s s i c a l f e d e r a l o r a t o r y . The F u t u r i s t s , Tay lo r t e l l s us, c laimed t o be modern p r i m i t i v e s . This of course d i s t i n g u i s h e s them very c l e a r l y from Les Imagistes and f rom the contemporary New England and Southern poe ts , none o f whom c l a i m i n any way t o be " p r i m i t i v e s " . Indeed, i n s o f a r as they use e i t h e r European techniques o r symbols, and images, or anc ien t 9 Joshua C. T a y l o r , Fu tu r i sm (New York 1961), p. 7, (pub l i shed f o r the f i f t i e t h ann iversary of F u t u r i s t p a i n t i n g ) . 1 0 i b i d , p. 131 . H i b i d , p. 130. Greek, or O r i e n t a l ones, they p lace themselves a t the end o f a c e n t u r i e s - o l d t r a d i t i o n o f s t y l i z a t i o n and cra f tsmanship . The use o f words, f o r example, as co l lage items or g raph ic models by F u t u r i s t a r t i s t s such as Carra (eg. Free-word P a i n t i n g , 1914) may be i n t e r p r e t e d as a foreshadowing o f the entrance o f concrete poet ry i n t o the w o r l d ' s p o e t i c t r a d i t i o n , b u t such t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n i s i n no way r e l a t e d to the program or p r a c t i c e of Les Imag is tes . Imagism as i t i s man i fes t i n the 1914 anthology represents on ly a p a r t i a l and f ragmentary depar ture f rom the vocabulary or fo rmal r e p e r t o i r e o f Eng l i sh language or European p o e t r y . I f we compare much o f the mythopoeia o f the anthology w i t h the d e l i b e r a t e a n t i - c l a s s i c i s m o f the Whitmanesque americans and e s p e c i a l l y of the I t a l i a n s , we may see j u s t how sma l l i s the change a c t u a l l y c a r r i e d o u t , and t h a t no t at a l l c o n s i s t e n t l y , w i t h i n the pages o f Des Imag is tes . M a r i n e t t i and h i s f r i e n d s advocated not on ly f r ee v e r s e , bu t f r e e words (paro le l i b e r a ) • These were r e l a t e d on paper o r canvas or o ther sur face by means of mathemat ical symbols and s p a t i a l o r t y p o g r a p h i c a l arrangement. Such i n n o v a t i o n was more s i g n i f i c a n t t o the development o f concrete poetry- i n the t w e n t i e t h century than t o the development o f i n t e l l e c t u a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p h y s i o l o g i c a l poet ry o f which Imagisme was a p a r t . The d e s c r i p t i o n o f the c e n t r a l concerns and values o f the I t a l i a n F u t u r i s t s g iven by Kenneth Corne l l i n f a c t seems to put them c l e a r l y i n p a r a l l e l t o , p a r t i c u l a r l y , the Middle-Western element i n t u r n - o f - t h e - c e n t u r y American v e r s e ; speaking o f M a r i n e t t i h i m s e l f , C o r n e l l t e l l s us t h a t : 76 His February 20, 1909 mani festo i n Le F igaro proc la imed the tenets o f f u t u r i s m , the d o c t r i n e of energy, f e a r l e s s -ness, and love /150/ of danger, of modernism, o f speed, and of c o n q u e s t . I 2 The commentators of the Antho log ie de l a Nouvel le Poesie Francaise (Par is 1924) probably h i t on the one common s i g n i f i c a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of European, Eng l i sh and e x - p a t r i a t e American poe t ry on the one hand, and n a t i v e American verse on the o ther when they i d e n t i f y M a r i n e t t i and h i s f r i e n d s as a l a t e m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f romant ic ism. A l l th ree movements are h e i r s to a process of s t r u g g l e aga ins t the order o f the Augustans and the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l w o r l d which they represented i n the p r e - r e v o l u t i o n a r y e igh teen th cen tury . The Americans and I t a l i a n s appeared t o have supreme f a i t h i n t h e i r own p r e s e n t , i n i t s a b i l i t y t o f i l l the cu l tu ra l - vacuum created by the abandonment or d e s t r u c t i o n o f the c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . They seem t o have wanted to make themselves and t h e i r language the s tandard of a l l p o e t r y , of a l l a r t . The Imag is tes , on the other hand, more c o n s e r v a t i v e , s imply wanted t o re fo rm the language of poet ry i n such a way as to make the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n r e a l and access ib le to a modern i d iom. I n the broad sense, the Imagistes were f a r more " s c i e n t i f i c " than the Middle-West and West-Coast Americans and the I t a l i a n s , i n t h a t t h e i r method was cent red around a c r e a t i v e use o f an e s t a b l i s h e d c u l t u r a l base, and a des i re to b u i l d upon the work of t h e i r predecessors. Whatever may be s a i d aga ins t t h i s second approach, i t a t l e a s t gives some assurance t h a t the mistakes of the p a r t w i l l not be repeated unknowingly, and tha t t ime w i l l 1 2 K e n n e t h C o r n e l l , The Post -Symbol is t Per iod (New Haven 1958) , p. 149-150. not be l o s t doing what has a l ready been done. I n such a method, such an a t t i t u d e toward work a l ready done, we can see the i n f l u e n c e very s t r o n g l y of the r h e t o r , the teacher of eloquence, the sometime l e c t u r e r , Ezra Pound, o f Idaho. Les Imagistes . . . t h e s c h o l a r ' s sens i t i veness t o n a t u r e , bo th to the n a t u r a l th ings themselves and t o those s p i r i t u a l presences t h e r e i n , which age a f t e r age f i n d s i t most f i t t i n g t o w r i t e of i n the symbolism of the o l d Greek mytho logy.^ . . . i t w i l l u s u a l l y be found t h a t poets group themselves i n order to emphasize c e r t a i n aspects o f poet ry which they cons ider to be unduly n e g l e c t e d , or to denounce the a t t i t u d e s and mannerisms o f the / 1 0 / prev ious gene ra t i on . W i t h i n a few years such groups i n v a r i a b l y d isperse and the poets pursue t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l w a y s . 2 -"•Ezra Pound, The S p i r i t o f Romance ( N o r f o l k , Connect icut 1929), p. 227 [ t y p o g r a p h i c a l phras ing m ine ] . o ^Howard Sergeant, T r a d i t i o n i n the Making o f Modern Poetry (London 1951), pp. 9-10. To leave o f f a c o n t e x t u a l s tudy o f a h i s t o r i c a l even t , i n t h i s case the p u b l i c a t i o n o f the anthology Pes Imag is tes , w i t h o u t some account o f the r e l e v a n t — i n t h i s case c r i t i c a l and p o e t i c — h i s t o r i e s o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s would be t o leave the study incomple te . I have t h e r e f o r e gathered toge the r on the f o l l o w i n g pages a sma l l body of ev idences, some of them c r i t i c a l , some d e s c r i p t i v e , o f the careers o f the c o n t r i b u t o r s t o the anthology p r i o r t o and/or j u s t a f t e r i t s p u b l i c a t i o n . The s e l e c t i o n i s f a r f rom exhaus t i ve ; i t cons is ts o f what could be a c t u a l l y l oca ted r e l a t i n g t o these people and t h e i r p u b l i c a t i o n s i n the twenty years or so c e n t e r i n g roughly on 1914, as these p u b l i c a t i o n s were a v a i l a b l e i n the c o p y r i g h t l i b r a r y of the B r i t i s h Museum up t o September 1 , 1969. This i s the date o f the l a s t t r i p I have been a b l e . t o make t o B r i t a i n , and the p r o b a b i l i t y of the a c q u i s i t i o n o f f u r t h e r m a t e r i a l s i n the i n t e r v e n i n g four years seemed u n l i k e l y , i n view o f the f a c t t h a t much o f the contemporary material.-was ephemeral, and u n l i k e l y to reach the B. M. subsequent t o o r i g i n a l p u b l i c a t i o n i f i t d i d not do so a t t h a t t ime, i n keeping w i t h the requirements of c o p y r i g h t law. F i r s t of a l l , a few t h i n g s should probably be s a i d about the genera l charac te r of the group which i s represented i n Des Imagistes and the M a n i f e s t o , e s p e c i a l l y as i t becomes obvious to even very casual observa t ion t h a t the var ious c o n t r i b u t i o n ^ to the anthology i s ^ r a t h e r y he te rogen ious . As Glenn Hughes says i n Imagism and the  I m a g i s t s : 80 The man i fes to was n o t , could not b e , an.expression-~ o f the i n d i v i d u a l i t i e s o f the poe ts . The i r d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s had t o be c a r e f u l l y exc luded. Had. Mr. F l i n t , f o r example, drawn up the credo, i t would have been based on French i m p r e s s i o n i s m . . . 3 whereas H. D. and A l d i n g t o n would have drawn up a . p u r e l y H e l l e n i s t i c one. The o f f i c i a l imag is t credo, however, was not prepared u n t i l the p u b l i c a t i o n o f the 1915 an tho logy , when Pound was no longer a member o f the g r o u p . . . . To the 1915 anthology was at tached, a p r e f a c e , unsigned, and p u r p o r t i n g t o express the p r i n c i p l e s o f the group. This pre face was w r i t t e n , by Mr. A l d i n g t o n , and was s l i g h t l y rev i sed by Miss L o w e l l . I t o be found as Appendix Two appended t o t h i s p a p e r . ] 4 The second programmatic statement was more leng thy and l a t i t u d i n a r i a n than the o r i g i n a l M a n i f e s t o , bu t both o f them had had t o be f a i r l y genera l so as n o t to appear too i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the i n c l u s i o n w i t h i n e i t h e r anthology of a good dea l o f heterogeneous m a t e r i a l , whose h e t e r o g e n i t y can be best exp la ined by an analogy to another area o f a r t i s t i c and .c ra f t sman l i ke endeavour more or less contemporary w i t h Imagisme: A r t Nouveau, a category of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n f o r a r t i f a c t s which i s u s u a l l y d e f i n a b l e i n terms of two major elements which h e l p t o make up and t o e x p l a i n i t s sometimes apparent ly i n c o n s i s t e n t charac te r . The two p a r a l l e l and i n f a c t o f t e n interwoven.mainstreams o f A r t Nouveau, the s y m b o l i s t i c which harked back perhaps t o the n ine teen th and to e a r l i e r cen tu r ies and which o f t e n took the form o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l i s m , and the n o n - s y m b o l i s t i c which r e l a t e d to geometry and t o f u n c t i o n a l i s m i n ob jec ts o f use p a r t i c u l a r l y , can be exp la ined i n terms o f a l t e r n a t i v e , and sometimes simultaneous h u g h e s , (New York 1 9 6 0 - o r i g . Standord U. P. 1931) , p. 29. 4 i b i d , p. 39. attempts ( a c t u a l l y bo th a s i n g l e d r i v e toward expe r imen ta t i on , bu t w i t h more or less of n o s t a l g i a f o r the past o r modern i s t i c a f f e c t a t i o n ) on the p a r t o f a r t i s t s and a r t i s a n s t o e i t h e r asser t the supremacy o f craf tsmanship over technology through the complex i ty and assymetry of q u a l i t a t i v e achievement, or t o r a i s e the performance o f technology t o the l e v e l of c ra f tsmansh ip ; to e i t h e r overcome through q u a l i t a t i v e s u p e r i o r i t y , o r t o absorb the new t o o l s i n t o a t r a d i t i o n of exce l lence t h a t was p e c u l i a r l y human and not mechanical . I n ser ious poe t ry and prose the d r i v e f o r l i n g u i s t i c s u r v i v a l requ i red the overcoming through . q u a l i t a t i v e ref inement o r . t h e re fo rm ing o f the vas t q u a n t i t y o f l i n g u i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n — w i d e l y c i r c u l a t e d and o f t e n mechanica l ly produced magazines., newspapers, and o t h e r inexpens ive essays i n t o l i n g u i s t i c . e x p e r t i s e by and f o r , a r a p i d l y expanding read ing p u b l i c . I n music the d r i v e f o r what! might b e . c a l l e d " a u r a l s u r v i v a l " aga ins t the i n c r e a s i n g no is iness of an i n c r e a s i n g l y crowded and mechanica l ly no isy a u r a l c l i m a t e . ( a n d language) l e d t o the two d i s p a r a t e , bu t fundamenta l ly , r e l a t e d , phenomena o f , on the one hand S t r a v i n s k y , and on the other , o f Schoenberg. I n p o e t r y , the b i f u r c a t e b u t r e l a t e d d r i v e f o r s u r v i v a l was mani fes t i n the apparent ly incompat ib le bu t i n f a c t c l o s e l y r e l a t e d tendencies t o e i t h e r speak of the present i n an a rcha ic i d iom or t o speak of the past i n a modern one; bo th are at tempts at c u l t u r a l u n i t y and c o n t i n u i t y . And so we come to the u n i f i e d he te rogene i t y o f Des Imag is tes , a c o l l e c t i o n o f t r a n s i t i o n a l works by w r i t e r s committed to the 82 con t inu ing re levance o f poe t ry i n an age dominated by e x c e l l e n t prose and by the embryonic medium-par^excel lence o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , the cinema. Without the d u a l i s t i c analogies p rov ided by the contemporary c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t , i t would b e , as Louis Untermeyer remarked i n 1924; imposs ib le . . . t o a s c e r t a i n j u s t what there was i n common between Upward's competent prose adaptat ions ("Scented Leaves f rom a Chinese J a r " ) , Cournos i n o f f e n s i v e render ing o f K. T e t m a i r ' s none t o o . o r i g i n a l f a n t a s y , James Joyce 's e x c e l l e n t bu t remin iscent rhymes and Sk ipw i th Canne l l ' s d u l l Nocturnes.^ Without these analogies and the d u a l i s t i c u n i t y which they i m p l y , i t would be tempt ing to dismiss the anthology as merely fash ionab le and d e r i v a t i v e . A f t e r a l l , was not the u n i f y i n g te rm, the Logos, o f the book one to be . found elsewhere w i t h o u t d i f f i c u l t y ? Gustave Kahn c a l l e d one o f h i s f i r s t books, which was not so markedly modem, L i v r e d ' Images (Par is 1897) , Debussy t i t l e d h i s o r c h e s t r a l s u i t e o f 1909-12 Images. The term was cu r ren t and e a s i l y access ib le to anyone w i t h a casual knowledge o f c o n t i n e n t a l c u l t u r e and a t a s t e f o r the appeal of cross-Channel e x o t i c i s m . To be s u r e , as Gregory and Zaturenska have p o i n t e d ou t : . . . t h e phrase "Les Imag is tes" was not u n a t t r a c t i v e , and Pound bestowed i t s magic (and whatever mystery i t conta ined to the u n i n i t i a t e d ) upon a l l the poe t ry w r i t t e n by h i s f r i e n d s . He gave i t to Hulme, t o Richard A l d i n g t o n , t o F. S. F l i n t , t o John Cournos, t o Ford Madox F o r d — a n d most i m p o r t a n t l y , and w i t h arij'Iair o f c o n f e r r i n g a s p e c i a l honor upon her and her g i f t s , to H i l d a D o o l i t t l e , " H . D . " . 6 -TJhtermeyer, American Poetry s ince 1900 (London 1924) , p. 308. "Horace Gregory and Marya Zaturenska, A H i s t o r y o f American  Poetry 1900-1940 (New York 1946) , p. 169. 83 — H . D. , who wro te of the past i n a new i d i o m , new at l e a s t r h y t h m i c a l l y . I t w i l l n o t b e so d i f f i c u l t t o . f i n d between the t i t l e Pes  Imagistes and i t s con t r ibu to rs .some s i g n i f i c a n t k i n s h i p i f we keep i n mind the d u a l i s t i c u n i t y of a l l a r t i n the e a r l y p a r t of t h i s cen tury , expressed, as we have suggested, e i t h e r i n terms o f modern i d i o m a t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n , or a rcha ic a r t i c u l a t i o n o f the p r e s e n t , and o f a c o r o l l a r y t o these two b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s , the much more tenuous and d i f f i c u l t and vu lne rab le attempts a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the present i n . a n id iom completely o f the p r e s e n t — a c o r o l l a r y very l i t t l e m a n i f e s t , mind you , i n Pes Imag is tes , bu t t o be found occas iona l l y elsewhere i n the work o f i t s major c o n t r i b u t o r s , then and l a t e r . The f i r s t c o n t r i b u t o r , to . Pes Imagistes we.should probably consider i s the one about whom we can say the l e a s t , Sk ipw i th Canne l l , a myster ious and p o s s i b l y even f i c t i t i o u s f i g u r e . I n a l l the h o l d i n g s . o f the B. M. there i s n o t h i n g w r i t t e n . b y Sk ipw i th Cannel l e i t h e r be fo re o r a f t e r 1914;-no references appear t o . h i m i n any c r i t i c a l or s c h o l a r l y works w r i t t e n s i n c e . H i s . r a t h e r romant ic and c o n v e n t i o n a l l y sexua l and sen t imen ta l "Nocturnes" f i l l e d as they are w i t h " t h e e " and " t h o u " ' a r e not s t r i k i n g l y i m a g i s t i c ; t h e i r imagery i s i n f a c t s t r i c t l y c o n v e n t i o n a l : b i r d s , swans, l o v e , l i p s , webs o f g o l d , the vocabulary b r i s t l e s , as does o c c a s i o n a l l y t h a t o f o ther poems i n t h i s an tho logy , w i t h the semantics of a markedly " a e s t h e t i c " f l a v o u r . There i s not so much dramat ic i n t e n s i t y or i m p l i c i t drama, i n the e n t i r e sequence o f seven s h o r t movements as there i s i n the s i n g l e "comb" h a i k u o f 84 Bassho, f o r i n s t a n c e , o r the "Fan-piece f o r he r I m p e r i a l L o r d " o f Pound. The on ly p r i n c i p l e o f Imagisme t o which Cannel l seems to adhere i s t h a t o f l a y i n g out h i s u t terances i n " t he sequence o f the mus ica l p h r a s e " ; t h i s adherence i s probably the only c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f Canne l l ' s verse t h a t would seem t o j u s t i f y t h e i r i n c l u s i o n i n the an tho logy , even to make up a book " f o r the purpose o f launch ing H. D. and Richard b e f o r e e i t h e r o f them had enough s t u f f f o r a volume o f t h e i r o w n . " 7 James Joyce almost escapes t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n a l t o g e t h e r . H i s , " I Hear an Army", though i t c a l l s f o r t h echoes, I am sure unknowingly , metaphor ica l echoes of Crane's Black Riders s e r i e s , s t i l l r e l i e s on e x t e r n a l rime f o r u n i t y and rhythm, and be ing concerned w i t h the t rans iencey o f love f rom a p u r e l y s u b j e c t i v e v i e w p o i n t , h a r d l y seems to share i n the s p i r i t o f the M a n i f e s t o , which c a l l s , I t h i n k , f o r a more i m p l i c i t and detached p r e s e n t a t i o n . I n h i s f a i r l y f requent use o f i s o s y n t a c t i c i s m (eg. 4 l i n e s begun w i t h "They" and 2 l i n e s begun w i t h "My" i n a poem o f 12 l i n e s ) , however, to have a p p l i e d the p r i n c i p l e o f the Image i n an o v e r l y - l i t e r a l way, and o v e r l y , perhaps m e l o - d r a m a t i c a l l y t h e a t r i c a l way. Canne l l ' s sudden r e l a t i o n of the moon and the blow of a sword i n the l a s t movement o f h i s "Noc tu rnes" , be ing more o f a l i n k i n g o f d i s s i m i l a r s , i s perhaps more i n keeping w i t h the n o t i o n of the " p s y c h o l o g i c a l and emot ional complex presented i n a moment o f t i m e " : the re i s n o t h i n g s t a r t l i n g about the somewhat M i l t o n i c or even Romantic 7 E z r a Pound, L e t t e r s , ed. Glenn Hughes, p. 22* imagery o f Joyce 's C h a r i o t e e r s , and t h e i r at tempted connect ion w i t h the f i n a l two l i n e s con ta in ing the "address t o the be loved now depar ted" i s not so much s t a r t l i n g as u n j u s t i f i e d . I t i s d i f f i c u l t , i n f a c t , to connect the Joyce o f the Anthology w i t h the Joyce of D u b l i n e r s , U lysses, or Finnegans Wake: some a r t i s t s apparent ly cannot conceive i n terms of the m i n i a t u r e , the o r i e n t a l dyptLch or t r y p t i c h , they need more room, they order t h e i r u t te rances i n terms o f great q u a n t i t y , they p r e f e r w a l l s and g i g a n t i c f rescoes t o t i n y but e x q u i s i t e s k e t c h i n g . Joyce was one of these. And y e t , the re might be repayment f o r a s tudent who wanted to r e l a t e the p r i n c i p l e s of Imagisme and the Mani fes to t o the l a r g e r c rea t ions of Joyce; U lysses, t o name only an obvious example, i s a superb ly v i v i d p iece of p r e s e n t a t i o n , and the i m p l i c i t s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n o f the Bloom odyssey upon the o r i g i n a l Greek c l a s s i c a l model i s s e t t i n g i n pe rspec t i ve of a modern and a myth ic dimension o f r e a l i t y which the conceptual s t r u c t u r e s o f poems by A l d i n g t o n , such as " I n the V ia S e s t i n a " and " L e s b i a " , or H. D. 's "Hermes o f the Ways" and "P r iapus " i n which the m y t h i c a l r e a l i t y i s r e v i v i f i e d by be ing spoken o f i n the present t ense , can be seen w r i t l a r g e . Except f o r the genera l a e s t h e t i c c r i t i c i s m i n the P o r t r a i t o f the A r t i s t , Joyce i s no t noted f o r h i s pub l i shed statements on aes the t i cs or prose o r . ve rse c ra f tsmansh ip , and c e r t a i n l y not be fo re 1914. I n any case, as Joyce and h i s work are extremely w e l l known, we would be b r i n g i n g very l i t t l e new t o l i g h t i n c i t i n g such statements as precedent f o r h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o Pes Imag is tes . Joyce 's correspondence of the p e r i o d i n d i c a t e s t h a t he was i n 86 no way aware of any obvious k i n s h i p w i t h the o the r c o n t r i b u t o r s . W r i t i n g to G. Mol ineux Palmer, i n T r i e s t e on 20 January 1914, he says: Have you set I hear an army? Strange t o say t h i s poem has j u s t been chosen f o r i n c l u s i o n i n an anthology of Imag is t s . 8 Nor i s the re any o ther i n d i c a t i o n elsewhere t h a t Joyce ever thought of h i m s e l f as a poet i n the same sense as say Pound or W i l l i a m s , who were a lso c o n t r i b u t o r s , even though i t may be c l e a r t o us now t h a t he d i d become a.poet, bo th i n h i s hand l i ng o f the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f language as a phenomenon i n i t s e l f and h i s Homeric i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the n o v e l . The one poem by the second n o v e l i s t o r prose w r i t e r c o n t r i b u t i n g t o the anthology Calmost h a l f of those who had any a c t i v e w r i t i n g l i f e ou ts ide the b r i e f Imagiste. movement were n o v e l i s t s or prose w r i t e r s i f we count Cournos as a t r a n s l a t o r ) i s Ford Madox H u e f f e r ' s ( l a t e r t o be Ford Madox Ford i n response. to ant i -german f e e l i n g i n England du r ing the Great War). His " I n the l i t t l e Old Marketp lace" i s at f i r s t s t a r t l i n g i n i t s lack of resemblance t o any th ing e l se i n the antho logy. With i t s s h o r t - l i n e d r imes, i t s sub jec t m a t t e r , and i t s redundancy (apparent a t l e a s t ) , i t seems as though i t can h a r d l y be regarded as any th ing but a charming blague w r i t t e n f o r the occasion by a man whose own- s t y l e was q u i t e d i f f e r e n t , and who was perhaps only r e a c t i n g t o suddenly be ing t o l d t h a t he had t o produce something i n verse when he h a d n ' t read a poem s ince h i s nursery - r imes and l i m e r i c k s when f i r s t ^Richard El lman, L e t t e r s o f James Joyce, V o l . I I (New York 1966) , p. 328. 87 l e a r n i n g t o read. The sur face e f f e c t i s sometimes such as t o remind us o f Rudyard K i p l i n g a t h i s wors t or o f (Rabby) Burns (as parod ied by Pound at the back of the anthology under the t i t l e "Documents"). Y e t , r e p e t i t i v e though i t may seem, the poem does share w i t h the most f a i t h f u l l y I m a g i s t i c ones an at tempt t o present (even t o the p o i n t of render ing na i ve te through n a i v e t e and boredom through boredom) a t o n a l e f f e c t genuinely express ive o f the l ud i c rous i f charming scene which prov ides i t s imagery. Hue f fe r b e l i e v e d , as he s t a t e d i n Outlook f o r J u l y 10, 1915, ("A J u b i l e e " ) " . . . t h a t the r e n d e r i n g . o f the m a t e r i a l f a c t s of l i f e , w i t h o u t comment and i n exact language, i s p o e t r y , and tha t poe t ry i s the only impor tan t t h i n g i n l i f e . " He apparent ly saw h i m s e l f as an i m p r e s s i o n i s t , and "Marke tp lace" i s cons is ten t w i t h t h i s view i n s o f a r as i t does a t tempt , i n however clumsy a way, t o p resent an impress ion , even i f i t i s an impress ion o f what I cannot cha rac te r i ze as any th ing bu t k i t c h i n e s s . Two months be fo re the p u b l i c a t i o n o f Des Imag is tes , Hue f fe r was p u b l i s h i n g a s e r i e s o f a r t i c l e s runn ing s ince June o f the same year i n Poetry and Drama, t i t l e d "On Impress ion ism" , i n which he w r o t e : I t seems t o me t h a t one i s an I m p r e s s i o n i s t because one t r i e s to produce an i l l u s i o n o f r e a l i t y — o r r a t h e r the business of Impress ion ism i s t o produce t h a t i l l u s i o n . Noel Stock, i n h i s l i f e o f Ezra Pound (New York 1970) , claims t h a t t h i s se r ies was o r i g i n a l l y pub l i shed as " Impress ion ism: Some Specu la t ions" i n H a r r i e t Monroe's Poetry f o r August and September 1913. P u b l i c a t i o n i n e i t h e r case antedates Des Imag is tes . 88 H u e f f e r ' s d e f i n i t i o n ,of poet ry as " r e n d e r i n g the m a t e r i a l f a c t s of l i f e " was l a t e r taken up by the l i n g u i s t i c p ioneer Gertrude S te in i n her d e f i n i t i o n o f poet ry as d e s c r i p t i o n and o f d e s c r i p t i o n as exp lana t ion i n Lectures i n America. Since Imagisme i t s e l f i s what might be c a l l e d s e l e c t i v e impress ion ism, i t becomes obvious t h a t Pound was not e n t i r e l y mistaken i n i n c l u d i n g Hue f fe r i n the an tho logy , one could w ish tha t he had been a more severe e d i t o r , b u t he was o p e r a t i n g f rom a sense o f u n d e r l y i n g u n i t y between H u e f f e r ' s poem and the o t h e r s . That Hue f fe r was aware of the na tu re o f the complex or compound Image presented i n an i n s t a n t of t ime i s c l e a r f rom h i s a r t i c l e o f June 1914. " I n d e e d " says he , . . . I suppose t h a t Impressionism e x i s t s t o render those queer e f f e c t s o f r e a l l i f e t h a t are l i k e so many views seen through a b r i g h t g lass -g lass so b r i g h t t h a t w h i l s t you perce ive through i t a landscape or a backyard , you are aware t h a t , on i t s s u r f a c e , i t r e f l e c t s a face o f a person behind you. This i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of the technique o f s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n , which i s both c inemat ic and Imagis te i n charac te r . The most common s t r u c t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Imagis te poems, i n f a c t , i s s u p e r - i m p o s i t i o n : e i t h e r o f the past seen through the p resen t , the present through the p a s t , or of some view o f the present seen through a contemporary image. The k i n s h i p w i t h the Poundian technique o f ve rnacu la r p e r s o n i f i c a -t i o n regarded by some scho la rsh ip (and p l a u s i b l y ) d e r i v i n g f rom Pound's study o f Browning and Yeats i s . a p p a r e n t too i n H u e f f e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s own technique o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n the December a r t i c l e . Having g iven an example of de Maupassant's severe ly s e l e c t i v e use o f s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l and b e h a v i o r a l p o r t r a i t u r e , Hue f fe r t e l l s us t h a t : Maupassant, however, uses p h y s i c a l d e t a i l s more u s u a l l y as a method o f i n t r o d u c t i o n . o f h i s characters than I myse l f do. I am i n c l i n e d myse l f , when engaged i n a seduc t ive o p e r a t i o n , r a t h e r t o s t r i k e the keynote w i t h a speech than w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n of p e r s o n a l i t y , o r even w i t h an a c t i o n . — a p r i n c i p l e , which though n o t cons i s ten t w i t h "Marketp lace" is_ i n keeping w i t h the technique, o f Pound's cont r ibu t ions , "The Return" and " A f t e r Ch'u Yuan". John Cournos, t h o u g h . n e i t h e r a . t h e o r i s t nor a w r i t e r o f o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l d i d come to the anthology w i t h a background o f t r a n s l a t i o n of a l ong se r ies of Russian shor t s t o r i e s by Pushk in , Gogol, Turgenev, T o l s t o i , i n 1912, and Dostoevsky, Koro lenko, Sa rsh in , Chekov, Andreev, Gorky i n 1913. Of course i t could be suggested t h a t the i n c l u s i o n of h i s "Rose" may have been i n p a r t a mat ter of good w i l l gesture toward A l f r e d Kreymborg, f rom whom Cournos b rough t .an i n v i t a t i o n t o Pound t o p u b l i s h through the Glebe Press , s i n c e , as Noel Stock t e l l s us: Before Pound had found a p u b l i s h e r f o r h i s anthology o f Imagis t poet ry he rece ived a v i s i t f rom John Cournos bea r i ng a l e t t e r f rom a new American p e r i o d i c a l c a l l e d The Glebe whose e d i t o r s were search ing f o r c o n t r i b u t o r s . Pound o f f e r e d them the anthology which by e a r l y November they had accepted f o r p u b l i c a t i o n as soon as p o s s i b l e . 10 But we are s t i l l under some o b l i g a t i o n i n our search f o r unde r l y i ng u n i t y ( f o r as Gertrude S te in s a i d , what counts i s ; Stock, The L i f e o f Pound (New York 1970) , p. 143. 90 s i m i l a r i t y ; the abnormal i s so p r e d i c t a b l e ) to look f o r some programmatic or t e c h n i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the i n c l u s i o n of "The Rose." Though our f i r s t impress ion i s t ha t o f a s u p e r f i c i a l conve rsa t i on -a l charm and p l e a s a n t l y languorous rhythm; of a c e n t r a l image long t r i t e be fo re 1914, i n f a c t be fo re Chaucer and h i s " b o t o u n " , an image surrounded by colours o f s tock r e p e r t o r y gorgeousness—the whole s e r v i n g as a couching f o r the g e n e r a l i z a t i o n o f the l a s t two sentences—we cannot he lp bu t n o t i c e t h a t the poem does share the common Imagiste concern w i t h a s i n g l e c e n t r a l image and an i n s t a n t of emot iona l poignancy rendered through the concen t ra t i on o f p h y s i c a l d e t a i l . The sea becomes, w i t h i n the conf ines o f the page and poem, a s o r t o f Faberge 'min ia tu re o f the Med i te r ranean , made o f j e w e l s , prec ious meta ls , and never a t t emp t ing to pretend t h a t i t i s made o f any th ing but jewels and prec ious meta ls , s ince t h a t i s what makes i t d i s t i n c t f rom the r e a l ocean, which i s only raw m a t e r i a l o f p e r c e p t i o n . The poem i s , however, too long and i t s c e n t r a l metaphor too much o f a symbol t o a l low us t o regard i t s i n c l u s i o n as any th ing but suspec t , and perhaps due perhaps at l e a s t i n p a r t t o e d i t o r Pound's des i re to f i l l up the guest l i s t o f A l d i n g t o n and H. D. 's debut on the London p o e t i c scene. I n 1912, Amy L o w e l l pub l i shed A Dome of Many-Colored Glass; two c r i t i c s n o t p a r t i c u l a r l y devoted to the values o f Imagisme, TJntermeyer and Damon, ( the l a t t e r Miss L o w e l l ' s b iographer ) have descr ibed i t as o f dubious va lue and of no r e l a t i o n t o the work o f the London group. TJntermeyer f i n d s i t " d i f f i c u l t t o d iscover even 91 the p r o v e r b i a l ' p romise ' of most f i r s t books" and r e f e r s t o " t r i t e verses" "gems o f b a n a l i t y " , " coup le ts as t a w d r y " , " rubber-stamped i n v e r s i o n " , and f i n a l l y descr ibes i t as "On the w h o l e . . . a s t r a n g e l y unpromising f i r s t book."-'--'' Her b iographer i n h i s t u r n i s on ly able t o say t h a t " . . . a l t h o u g h her m a t e r i a l was genuine enough as f a r as i t went , the c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y 12 o f the express ion made i t unconv inc ing . " Both d e s c r i p t i o n s seem t o concur i n d i r e c t l y w i t h Pound's r e j e c t i o n of the book as u n r e l a t e d t o Imagisme i n h i s 1914 l e t t e r t o Miss Lowe l l . S ince, however, Pound does not r e j e c t her one c o n t r i b u t i o n to the an tho logy , we must look i n i t f o r some common element shared w i t h the c e n t r a l t r i o o f the group. " I n a Garden" does i n f a c t come c l o s e r t o the s t r u c t u r a l concept o f Imagisme, p robab ly , than Cournos' "The Rose" or H u e f f e r ' s "Marke tp lace" . I t s l i n e - l e n g t h s are v a r i e d f l e x i b l y , even " m u s i c a l l y " ; the focus on the c e n t r a l image and the c r e a t i o n of an i m p l i c i t , i n t h i s case c o o l l y e r o t i c , atmosphere w i t h i n few l i n e s . The only accusat ion one might make i s t ha t l i k e those a l ready d iscussed, the poem goes too f a r i n the d i r e c t i o n o f e x p l i c i t d e s c r i p t i o n ; lacks the e legant r e s t r a i n t o f the best p ieces i n the c o l l e c t i o n . A l l e n upward, the c o n t r i b u t o r of "Scented Leaves from a Chinese J a r " , comes to the anthology group f rom a h i g h l y v a r i e d career o f w r i t i n g o f t r a d i t i o n a l ve rse , and o f p rose , much of w h i c h , i t i s apparent by the na tu re and number of t i t l e s , was h a r d l y -'--'-Louis Untermeyer, American. Poetry Since 1900 (London, 1924) , p. 139. 12 Foster S. Damon, Amy L o w e l l : A Chron ic le (Boston 1935) , p. 170. 92 c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the r e s t r a i n t common to Imag is tes . S t a r t i n g i n 1894, we have: The Queen Against Owen The Pr ince o f B a l k i s t a n (1895) A Crown of Straw (1896) A Day's Tragedy: A Novel i n Rhyme (1897) God save the Queen: A Tale o f '37 (same) A B r i d e ' s Madness (same) A the is tane Ford (1899) The Accused Pr incess (1900) The Ambassador's (same) The Wonderful Career of Ebenezer Lobb (same) The Wrongdoer (same) Adventure (1901) High Treason: A Romance (same) The Ordeal by F i r e (1904) The Yel low Hand (same) The Phantom Torpedo-Boats (1905) Lord A l i s t a i r ' s Rebe l l i on (1909) The Discovery o f the Dead: A S to ry . Upward's only verse work appears to be a book o f c h i l d r e n ' s rimes i n r e g u l a r c o u p l e t s , t i t l e d Goldenhair and Curlyhead (London 1897) , which i s an extended n a r r a t i v e i n couplets and sonnet sequences. A l l o f t h i s , t h i s p r i o r a c t i v i t y , o f course, i s not n e c e s s a r i l y an i n d i c a t i o n o f l ack o f t a l e n t , or o f i n t e l l i g e n c e ; i f we want j u s t i f i c a t i o n we need only go to the Lord Peter Wimsey s e r i e s (eg. 93 Nine T a i l o r s ) of Dorothy L. Sayers f o r p a r a l l e l . I n f a c t , the r a t h e r a rch ly t i t l e d "Scented Leaves f rom a Chinese J a r " , though f ragmentary , a re , some o f them, l i k e "The B i t t e r Purp le W i l l o w s " , h i g h l y suggest ive i n t h e i r b r e v i t y and i m p l i c i t n e s s and a t l e a s t can be s a i d t o approach i n s p i r i t i f not i n execut ion the Chinese i m i t a t i o n s of Pound. Aga in , the p r i n c i p l e of i n c l u s i o n seems t o be the focus on a c e n t r a l image o f i m p l i c i t p o t e n t i a l . A l l the n ine leaves except "The Gold F i s h " are p r i n t e d as sho r t prose paragraph (which S t e i n designates as the l i n g u i s t i c - l i t e r a r y u n i t of the t w e n t i e t h cen tu ry , as opposed t o the sentence of the e igh teen th and the phrase o f the n i n e t e e n t h ) . The paragraphs are perhaps more d i s c u r s i v e than they need t o b e ; more c o n v e r s a t i o n a l ; . t h e language i s modern, which ought t o count as a " p l u s , " b e i n g i n the t r a d i t i o n . o f " t he speech o f common men", b u t i f we compare i t w i t h the d e l i b e r a t e archaism o f H. D. , A l d i n g t o n , and Pound, we see tha t t h i s l a s t i s at best an equ ivoca l f a c t o r , though s t r i c t l y speak ing, archaism and a focus on the past was never a c t u a l l y e x p l i c i t i n the programmatic s t a t e -ments of Imagisme, no r endemic t o a l l of i t s adherents , even though i t c h a r a c t e r i z e d the work o f the th ree c o n t r i b u t o r s usua l l y regarded as the main r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the group and o f the antho logy. W i l l i a m s , f o r i n s t a n c e , whose " P o s t l u d e " , o r i g i n a l l y pub l i shed i n The Tempers (London 1913), i s mythopoet ic enough, soon moved ou ts ide o f t h i s b i a s , and i n f a c t u l t i m a t e l y r e j e c t e d almost a l l elements o f h i s t o r i c a l symbolism or a l l u s i o n t o develop h i s own d i s t i n c t i v e ve rnacu la r s t y l e and.sense of concrete imagery. I n r e t r o s p e c t , W i l l i a m s , i n I wanted t o Wr i t e a Poem (London 94 1967) , c r i t i c i s e d f a i r l y strongly h i s own f i r s t book, Poems (1909) : The poems are obviously bad. I took the only form I knew, rhymed couplets, learned from Milton. The poems should be c l a s s i f i e d as sonnets, not the Shakespearian sonnet, but the sonnets of Keats and other romantic p o e t s . ^ Just as Lowell does so i m p l i c i t l y (e.g. i n the t i t l e of her f i r s t book), then, Williams e x p l i c i t l y avows h i s early r e l a t i o n to the Romantics. But c l e a r l y , the r e l a t i o n i s soon severed. Williams describes the time of The Tempers as, ...a period of f i n d i n g a poetry of my own, I wanted order, which I appreciated. The orderliness of verse appealed to me—as i t must to any man—but even more I wanted a new order. I was p o s i t i v e l y repelled by the^gld order, which to me, amounted to r e s t r i c t i o n . And i n The Tempers Williams shopped around f o r h i s new order. " E l Romancero" uses rime s e l e c t i v e l y , not mechanically, and has short i f not unusually i r r e g u l a r l i n e s , suggesting an early experiment with "phrasing". Generally, i n the poems of t h i s book (eg. "Peace on Earth"), rime i s used i r r e g u l a r l y , avoiding metronimic r e g u l a r i t y , involving only a few l i n e s i n each stanza or section. " F i r s t P r a i s e " has uneven l i n e s and only two rimes inv o l v i n g four l i n e s i n a seven l i n e stanza. Capitals begin every l i n e whether they begin an utterance or not, ( i . e . whether or not they are s y n t a c t i c a l l y j u s t i f i e d ) , but t h i s i s common enough among the works of the T r i n i t y of Des Imagistes also. There are s t i l l archaisms, such as "goeth" i n "Homage", but again these are 13 William Carlos Williams, I Wanted to Write a Poem, p. 22. 14 i b i d , p.29. no t out o f keeping w i t h the s p i r i t o f Imagisme, s ince i t s main p r a c t i c i o n e r s take archaism as an i m p l i c i t p r i n c i p l e in-most o f t h e i r works. I t seems to be only on "Contemporania" , which i s not on ly r i m e l e s s , bu t a lso s t r i p p e d o f archaisms t h a t Wi l l i ams p o i n t s the way beyond Pes Imag is tes , to h i s own l a t e r , more modern, more vernacu la r i d i o m , t o A l Que Quiere! (1917) , i n which as Whi taker puts i t : . . . w e f i r s t hear W i l l i a m s ' i n d i v i d u a l v o i c e . There he descends f rom f i x a t i o n upon the i d e a l and the pas t and opens h i m s e l f t o the d e s t r u c t i v e b u t n o u r i s h i n g fo rces o f h i s immediate g r o u n d . ^ " F . S. F l i n t ' s f i r s t book of poems, I n the Net o f S t a r s , " says Haro ld Monro, "precedes the movement so f a r as concerns i t s s t y l e . " Does i t ? The book conta ins f i f t y - o n e s h o r t poems, some rhymed some unrhymed. "Sunday i n London" f rom the "Preoccupat ion" s e r i e s makes use of rhyme s e l e c t i v e l y ; some l i n e s are l e f t unrhymed when t h e i r endings have n o t h i n g i n common of meaning w i t h o t h e r s . There i s q u i c k , spare , es tab l ishment of s e t t i n g through s e l e c t e d d e t a i l , though not through speech presented as such; s t a c c a t o rhythms. Though the "Foreword" on page f o r t y - t h r e e i s romant ic i n sub jec t and sent iment , and a l though the c o n t i n u i t y o f imagery suggests a W i l l i a m Mor r i s w a l l p a p e r , i t does e s t a b l i s h a s t y l i s t i c k i n s h i p t o the Imag is tes : i t has b r e v i t y , a f l e x i b l e r ime , a f l e x i b l e v e r s a t i l e l i n e . The r a t h e r complex i n t e r l i n k i n g rime scheme o f "Once i n Autumn" o f the "Mask o f Gold" s e r i e s , r e c a l l s 1 5Thomas R. wh i take r , W i l l i a m Carlos Wi l l i ams (New York 1968), p. 37. l 6 M o n r o , Some Contemporary Poets (1920) (London 1920), p. 95. 96 the i n t e r - s t a n z a i c rimes of Pound's Sonnets and B a l l a t e . In F l i n t ' s Cadences (London 1915), a restrospective work of 1909 to 1915, the period i n which he figured as a contributor to Des Imagistes, hi s idiom i s i n c r e a s i n g l y modern, stripped of archaisms, each utterance formed by i t s thought rather than the exigencies of an imposed sound pattern. Even ca p i t a l s have been dropped from the beginnings of l i n e s unless required to begin an utterance. The p r i n c i p l e of b r e v i t y i s not always adhered to, though, and "Easter" runs to some f i f t y - s e v e n l i n e s . O v e r a l l , an apparent transparency of s t y l e , producing a voice that prefigures that of the Black Mountaineers i n t h e i r early days, or Roethke— conversational, yet intensely intimate. But F l i n t i s never capable of the d i s c i p l i n e which characterizes Imagisme; even i n the 1918 anthology New Paths, F l i n t , i n "Oak" and "Swan" i s free with h i s l i n e s and h i s stanzas, and rimeless, but s t i l l at h i s trees and b i r d s , h i s standard f a c i l e English subjects, more l i k e a good Georgian than an Imagiste. Of the Big Three—Aldington, H.D., and Pound, we w i l l have to t a l k rather disproportionately. Aldington had been w r i t i n g verse before the p u b l i c a t i o n of Des Imagistes (though apparently not very much i f we are to t r u s t Pound's description of the purpose of the anthology), apparently, since h i s Images: 1910-1915 (London 1915) appears to cover half-a-decade of production. A progression i s noticeable i n . t h i s short c o l l e c t i o n ; Aldington gradually C. W. Beaumont and M.T. H. Sadler, New Paths: 1917-1918 (London 1918) 97 abandons the a rcha ic " t h e e " , " t h o u " and " t h y " language of an e s s e n t i a l l y E l i zabethan v in tage (o r of Quaker p la in -speech o r i g i n ) f o r a more modern i d iom. He con t inued , however, w i t h t r a n s l a t i o n s o f a rcha ic m a t e r i a l s , i n F i f t y Romance L y r i c Poems (1928) , and Medal l ions (Anyte , Meleager, the Anacreotea, L a t i n poets o f the Renaissance) (1921) , desp i te the f a c t t ha t the b u l k o f h i s w r i t i n g was done i n the prose nove l (seven i n a l l ) such as h i s 1934 Women  Must Work, which i s modern i n language and s t i l l very readab le , more so i n f a c t than say , the works o f Hemingway. Beaumont and Sadler i nc luded i n t h e i r New Paths: 1917-1918 1 8 "The Blood of the Young Men" (which i s long) and " S o l i l o q u y " (which i s s h o r t ) . I n these A l d i n g t o n i s s t i l l express ing h i m s e l f through the b lank verse i d iom developed dur ing the Imagis te days but w i t h o u t archaisms, and w i t h a choice o f words based obv ious ly on we igh t and c l a r i t y , on r e f e r e n t i a l re levance , r a t h e r than on grace or a n t i q u a r i a n o r parad igmat ic bases. The impact of the war i s obv ious ; no attempt i s made to f i l t e r the present through an A t t i c m u s l i n , t o superimpose one paradigm upon another f o r h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e ; the p r e s e n t a t i o n i s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , and i t i s t h a t o f modern v i o l e n t dea th , and the consciousness of death , f a r sharper than any sexua l s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , which marks the mind of the s o l d i e r . But i t i s not u n t i l 1921, i n "A Note on Poetry i n Prose" t h a t we hear any th ing programmatic o r c r i t i c a l f rom A ld ing ton. - ' - 9 I t i s 1 8Beaumont and Sad le r , (London 1918). 19 A l d i n g t o n , "A Note on Poetry i n Prose" i n The Chapbook: A Monthly M i s c e l l a n y , no. 22, A p r i l 2 1 , pp. 17-18. 98 here t h a t he f i n a l l y i n d i c a t e s t h a t , f rom h i s p o i n t o f view at l e a s t , Imagisme, i t s " c r i t i c a l demarca t ion" , was, and f o r h im s t i l l i s t h a t : A p iece o f w r i t i n g i s not poet ry i f i t has not " t h e word which creates an image, the unexpected and p r e c i s e l i e mot j u s t e ? ] phrase render ing ob jec ts pa lpab le t o the senses I l i k e the comb h a i k u ] , the a r t which creates i n the reader emotions, p e r c e p t i o n s , sensat ions s i m i l a r t o those o f the w r i t e r . " . . . I f "Poet " be the proudest t i t l e a w r i t e r can j u s t l y c l a i m — a n d i t i s — h o w can we be content w i t h an / 1 8 / a e s t h e t i c which grants t h a t t i t l e t o Mr. K i p l i n g and S i r W i l l i a m Watson and denies i t t o Mr. Conrad and James land H u e f f e r ] , The connect ion be ing c l e a r when we t u r n t o Conrad's Preface t o Lord J im My task which I am t r y i n g t o achieve i s , by the power o f the w r i t t e n word t o make you hear , t o make you f e e l — i t i s , be fo re a l l , to make you see.20 because F i c t i o n — i f i t a t a l l asp i res to be a r t — a p p e a l s t o temperament. And i n t r u t h i t must be , l i k e p a i n t i n g , l i k e music, l i k e a l l a r t , the appeal of one temperament t o a l l the o ther innumerable temperaments whose s u b t l e and r e s i s t l e s s power endows pass ing events w i t h t h e i r t r u e meaning, and creates the mora l , the e m o t i o n a l , atmosphere of the p lace and t ime . Such an appeal to be e f f e c t i v e must be an impress ion conveyed through the sense; and, i n f a c t , i t cannot be made any o t h e r way, because temperament, whether i n d i v i d u a l or c o l l e c t i v e , i s not amenable to pe rsuas ion .21 A l d i n g t o n d i d , however, remain f a i t h f u l to the main p r i n c i p l e s of the group. As l a t e as 1925 we can s t i l l f i n d h im g i v i n g what might be regarded as an Imag is te , or at any r a t e , a " f r e e ve rse" 2 0 J o s e p h Conrad, "The Cond i t ion o f A r t " , i n The Por tab le Conrad ed. Morton Dauken Zabel ( V i k i n g 1969), p. 708. 2 1 i b i d , p. 707. 99 r a t i o n a l e , again i n The Chapbook: Anyone can d is cover t ha t the e a r l y Anglo-Saxon poems Ipre-Roman, pre-Norman] had no rhyme and apparent ly no fo rma l m e t r i c a l schemes; / 3 8 / they had a t e r r i f i c a l l y s t r o n g l y marked accent , and s t ressed i t s t i l l f u r t h e r by a l l i t e r a t i o n . 2 2 — a re fe rence to the t r a d i t i o n of res i s tance to l a t i n a t e i n f l u e n c e s and Roman order which I have suggested through var ious examples i n the f i r s t p a r t o f my h i s t o r i c a l s e c t i o n . I n t h i s same "Note" we get a b r i e f r e t r o s p e c t i v e summary which i n d i c a t e s the charac te r o f a t l e a s t A l d i n g t o n ' s a l l e g i a n c e t o Imagisme: The people who fought the f i r s t b a t t l e s f o r f r ee verse twelve years ago i n England were always convinced t h a t they would capture the sympathy of new poe ts . This has proved t o be t r u e . I t was never our c la im tha t f ree verse would supersede a l l o ther p o e t i c measures; we only claimed tha t i t was an a d d i t i o n a l " v e h i c l e " which had great p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r poets who cared f o r s t y l e and f o r modern i ty .23 H. D., though a r e l a t i v e l y ephemeral l i t e r a r y presence, i s o f t e n i d e n t i f i e d as the most " i m a g i s t i c " of her set by c r i t i c s and h i s t o r i a n s . Lewis Untermeyer, speaking f a i r l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e l y f o r i n s t a n c e , says o f her t h a t : H. D. i s by a l l odds the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the group. She i s the most n e a r l y p e r f e c t o f the I m a g i s t s ; she i s , i n f a c t , the on ly t r ue Imag is t .24 and a l though h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s based c h i e f l y on the f i r s t L o w e l l - . organized anthology Some Imagis t Poets (1915) , i t shou ld not be i g n o r e d , p a r t i c u l a r l y when, i f completed by H. P. C o l l i n s , i t g ives us an impor tan t c lue as to what charac te r i ses the Imagistes g e n e r a l l y ; • ^ A l d i n g t o n , "A Note on Free Verse" , The Chapbook: A Monthly  M i s c e l l a n y , no. 40, 1925, p. 37. 2 3 A l d i n g t o n , i b i d , p. 4 1 . 24 Untermeyer, American Poetry Since 1900 (London 1924), p. 309. 100 C o l l i n s says o f he r t h a t : . . . t h e most remarkable t h i n g about her rhy thmic movement i s not " f r e e n e s s " bu t r e s t r a i n t . R e s t r a i n t is_ a t h i n g which may be bes t sought f o r i n the c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . 2 5 These are the terms w i t h which Haro ld Monroe had a l ready descr ibed her work i n 1920: Here i s an example of excessive r e s t r a i n t Jher " O r e a d " ] . This poem, l i k e the "Autumn" o f T. E. Hulme a l ready quoted, may be considered an i d e a l specimen of Imagis t theory and p r a c t i c e . 2 6 S. K. Coffman i n 1951 i s s t i l l - s a y i n g o f her t h a t : H. D. 's poe t ry i s c e r t a i n l y persona l and d i s t i n c t i v e i n i t s tone ; bu t her e a r l y poems j u s t as c e r t a i n l y l i m i t the f e e l i n g s so r i g i d l y to the concrete t h a t p e r s o n a l i t y has r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e meaning h e r e . Her poe t ry i s a means o f b r i n g i n g content under c a r e f u l , e f f i c i e n t c o n t r o l i n s t e a d o f a l l o w i n g i t t o over f low onto the page. Her techn ique, as w e l l as Hulme's and Pound's , demands i n t e l l e c t u a l e f f o r t f rom the w r i t e r by i n s i s t i n g upon s e l e c t i o n o f the most express ive i m a g e . . . . 27 Frank MacShane, as l a t e as 1965, says o f her t h a t . . . t h e only pu re l y Imag is t poe t ry t ha t i s l i k e l y t o endure i s t h a t of H. D.28 Despi te her r e l a t i v e l y ephemeral career and lack o f c r i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , she i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d . r e p e a t e d l y i n the c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l l i t e r a t u r e as a markedly and t y p i c a l l y Imagis te poe t . As l a t e as 1967, Vincent Quinn, i g n o r i n g the whole i ssue o f d i s p a r i t y between the e x p l i c i t terms of the Mani fes to and the i m p l i c i t emphasis among the B i g Three on mythopoeia and h i s t o r i c i t y , i n s i s t s t h a t : 2 5 C o l l i n s , Modern Poetry (London 1925) , p. 156. 26 Monro, Some Contemporary Poets (London 1920), p. 102. 2 7 C o f f m a n , Imagism (Norman 1951), p. 213. 2 8 MacShane, Ford Madox Ford (London 1965), p. 1021. For example "P r iapus " l a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o Des Imag is tes ] i l l u s t r a t e s bo th H. D . ' s l y r i c a l g i f t and the impor tan t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Imagism: b r e v i t y , concrete imagery, and f l e x i b l e v e r s i f i c a t i o n . 2 9 W i l l i a m s , u n l i k e A l d i n g t o n , H. D. , and some of the minor c o n t r i b u t o r s , d i d have some p u b l i s h i n g exper ience be fo re coming t o Des Imag is tes . He had w r i t t e n a sma l l f i r s t book, now very r a r e , and then The Tempers, o f which he says i n 1 Wanted t o Wr i t e a Poem: There i s a b i g jump f rom the f i r s t book to the poems f rom The Tempers. The l i n e s s t i l l beg in w i t h c a p i t a l s i n The Tempers, and there i s rhyming, very d e f i n i t e l y , bu t the rhyme schemes are q u i t e c o m p l i c a t e d . . . i r r e g u l a r rhyme schemes, y e t u n i t i v e , c a r r y i n g f rom beg inn ing t o e n d . 3 0 — w h i c h puts h im i n very much the same p o s i t i o n as the e a r l y Pound, whose experiments w i t h u n i t i v e rime schemes, though r e g u l a r , were l a rge and c e r t a i n l y not obv ious ly r e s t r i c t i v e or a r b i t r a r y . At l a s t ( thought we 'd never get there d i d n ' t you?) we come to the r e a l nougat i n t h i s bonbonniere, the a l l - d a y - s u c k e r o f a l l t i m e , Ezra Pound of Idaho, by whom and about whom so much has been w r i t t e n o f ana lys is and d e s c r i p t i o n o f poet ry i n genera l and Imagisme i n p a r t i c u l a r , t h a t i t i s a major task t o s o r t out the u s e f u l i n s i g h t s f rom the p e r s i f l a g e . As e a r l y as October 1908 Pound h i m s e l f was apparent ly w r i t i n g to W. C. Wi l l i ams a l e t t e r d iscuss ing h i s p re - Imag is te p u b l i c a t i o n o f A Lume Spento i n which he exp la ined t h a t h i s " u l t i m a t e aim" was: 1 . To p a i n t the t h i n g as I see i t . 2. Beauty. 3. Freedom from d i d a c t i c i s m . Quinn, H i l d a D o o l i t t l e (New York 1967), p. 22. 'W i l l i ams , I Wanted to W r i t e a Poem, p. 27. 102 4. I t i s only good manners i f you repeat a few o ther men t o at l e a s t do i t b e t t e r or more b r i e f l y . 3 1 This i s obv ious ly not the same t h i n g as the l i s t of p r i n c i p l e s agreed on by the B i g Three i n 1912, as descr ibed by Pound h i m s e l f i n h i s L i t e r a r y Essays; i n which he t e l l s us I n the s p r i n g or e a r l y summer o f 1912, ' H . D . 1 , Richard A l d i n g t o n and mysel f decided t h a t we were agreed upon the th ree p r i n c i p l e s f o l l o w i n g : 1 . D i r e c t t reatment of the ' t h i n g ' whether s u b j e c t i v e or o b j e c t i v e . 2. To use abso lu te l y no word t h a t does not c o n t r i b u t e to the p r e s e n t a t i o n . 3. As regard ing rhy thm: t o compose i n the sequence o f the mus ica l phrase, no t i n sequence o f a metronome.32 There i s no re ference i n the second statement o f compos i t iona l p r i n c i p l e s to " r e p e a t i n g o the r men"; the omission may be s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h a t i t s i gna l s a growing from dependence on var ious masters and archa ic s t y l e s — a growing whose achievement o f m a t u r i t y i s probably f i n a l l y marked by "Hugh Selwyn Mauber ley" , and of which Imagisme i s a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t . Nor i s there any re ference to "Beau ty " , e i t h e r because i t has become subord ina ted to p o e t i c i n t e g r i t y or because Pound (and presumably the other two adherents t o the p r i n c i p l e s ) had come t o f e e l con f iden t t h a t beauty was i n f a c t i nhe ren t i n t h e i r work , and not a goal so much t o be sought a f t e r as i t once had been. The one p r i n c i p l e remaining f rom the statement of 1908 i s the emphasis on what I have a l ready r e f e r r e d t o as p o e t i c i n t e g r i t y — t h a t has remained. 3 1 N o e l Stock, The L i f e o f Ezra Pound (New York 1970), p. 54. 32 Ezra Loomis Pound, L i t e r a r y Essays (New York 1954) , ed. T. S. E l i o t , p. 3. Pound's concern then had become focussed on t h i s common p r i n c i p l e o f i n t e g r i t y , and f o r h im i t s c o r o l l a r i e s were e s s e n t i a l l y on ly t h a t — s u b s i d i a r y pa r t s o f a genera l p r i n c i p l e , b r e v i t y and c o n c i s i o n , m u s i c a l i t y o f rhythm, which i s to say, respect f o r the mus ica l p h r a s a l i t y o f language. I n Poetry f o r March 1913, Pound r e i t e r a t e d h i s c e n t r a l p r i n c i p l e by recourse t o the example of sc ience, wh ich , at i t s b e s t , i s i n t e g r i t y i t s e l f : Consider the way of the s c i e n t i s t s r a t h e r than the way of an a d v e r t i s i n g agent f o r a new soap.33 t o whom, as Peckham has p o i n t e d ou t , a f t e r a l l , belongs the same common language, and the same vocabulary of devices of l i n g u i s t i c overde te rmina t ion ( i . e . the same verse t r a d i t i o n ) . I n the same a r t i c l e he makes h i s commitment to the semantic r e f e r e n t i a l aspect of language, t o the l e x i c o n o f th ing-words which l i n k s language most s o l i d l y t o concrete r e a l i t y : I b e l i e v e t h a t the proper and p e r f e c t symbol i s the n a t u r a l o b j e c t . . . . 3 4 F i n a l l y , i n January 1914, i n the same magazine, E. P. r e j e c t s a l l n o n - l i n g u i s t i c l i m i t a t i o n s t h a t might be p laced on language, except t h a t which i s i nheren t i n the f low o f modulated sound: The movement o f poe t ry i s l i m i t e d only by the na tu re o f s y l l a b l e s and o f a r t i c u l a t e sound, and by /150 / the laws of music, of melodic rhythm. 35 One month l a t e r , Des Imagistes appeared as the February 1914 number o f The G l e b e . 3 ^ On the second of March the same sheets bound 33 Pound, Essays, p. 6. 3 4 i b i d , p. 9. 3 5 S t o c k , The L i f e , p. 149. 3 6 i b i d , p. 147. 104 i n b lue c l o t h board were issued as a book by A l b e r t and Charles Boni o f 96 F i f t h Avenue, now long de func t , and i n A p r i l by the Poetry Bookshop i n London, a lso now long de func t . Pound had s i x poems i n t h i s an tho logy , f o u r of them der i ved f rom t r a n s l a t i o n s o f Chinese poems which he had found i n the works of the S i n o l o g i s t H. A. G i l e s . They were r e s t r i c t e d by only one n o n - l i n g u i s t i c p r i n c i p l e , one de r i ved very l i k e l y f rom the h a i k u t r a d i t i o n — t h a t of b r e v i t y . Pound had a r r i v e d at t h i s r a t h e r h igh degree o f freedom, i f t r a n s l a t i o n or adap ta t ion o f t r a n s l a t i o n , however s k i l l f u l ^ c a n be regarded as f r e e , by a long and f a m i l i a r road. As DeNagy p o i n t s out i n h i s The Poetry o f Ezra Pound: The Pre- Imag is t Stage (Bern, 1960) : Between "Canzoni" (1911) and " L u s t r a " (1916) Pound's s t y l e and general ou t look underwent a complete change: i n 1909 two poems o f h i s were i nc luded i n "The Oxford Book o f V i c t o r i a n Verse" , and i n 1914 he was the c h i e f l i t e r a r y c o n t r i b u t o r t o " B l a s t " . 3 7 As G. S. Fraser has remarked, the d i c t i o n of most, i f not q u i t e a l l , of the poems up to R ipos tes , i n which he i nc luded the "Complete P o e t i c a l Works o f T. E. Hulme", i s o l d w o r l d , and even o lde -wor lde (even Wardour s t r e e t ) . The l e x i c o n i s s t i l l l i m i t e d to poet ic isms of the t r a d i t i o n a l s o r t , r a t h e r than composed o f " n a t u r a l " o b j e c t -38 words. ' People who d i s l i k e Pound and want t o do h im down can, i n the poems up t o about 1910, f i n d p l e n t y o f s t u f f as embarrassing i n i t s l i n g o as the h i s t o r i c a l novels o f Maurice Hewle t t (Pound loved these, and was a great chum of H e w l e t t ' s ) Twhom he c i t e s i n h i s a r t i c l e of 3 ' 7 N . Chr is toph DeNagy, The Poetry of Ezra Pound: The Pre - Imag is t Stage, p. 19. 3 8 G. S. F raser , Ezra Pound (London 1960), p. 37. 105 March 1913 f o r P o e t r y ] , o r Stevenson's Black A r r o w . 3 9 The connect ion w i t h the h i s t o r i c i t y of a c e r t a i n branch o f the p o e t i c t r a d i t i o n of Europe w i l l be complete i f we note t h a t another wel l -known ( i f dubious) f i g u r e who was i n s p i r e d by Dante, as Pound (as v ide the L i t e r a r y Essays and many other p roo fs ) was—was G a b r i e l l e D'Annunzio, o f whom Ford Madox Ford wrote t h a t he had been tou ted t o h im as the w o r l d ' s g rea tes t l i v i n g poet on the s t r e n g t h o f the f a c t t ha t he has used some 2,000 a rcha ic w o r d s . i n one o f h i s books, t h a t he was v i r t u a l l y incomprehensible t o a modern I t a l i a n w i t h o u t a medieval g l o s s a r y . 4 0 We are p r e t t y f a r f rom Walt Whitman now. Fo l low ing h i s study o f Dante, whom he p r a i s e d and va lued f o r " d e f i n i t e n e s s o f p r e s e n t a t i o n " as l a t e as March 1913, c o n t r a s t i n g him a p p o s i t i v e l y w i t h what he c a l l e d " t h e r h e t o r i c o f M i l t o n " , Pound pub l i shed Provenca (1910) (more s t r i c t l y connected w i t h h i s study o f the troubadours perhaps) and Canzoni ( 1 9 1 1 ) . 4 l None of the poems ever went i n t o the c o l l e c t e d poems. Though they must have seemed wor thwh i le at t ha t t ime , they were a l l subsequent ly r e j e c t e d by Pound as not a c t u a l l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f h i s work. As Stock p o i n t s o u t : Much of Canzoni was a f f e c t e d and ' l i t e r a r y ' t o a hopeless degree.42 but at the same t ime he p o i n t s out two at tempts a t what he c a l l s modern i t y , t o l i v e up to what Whitman would have c a l l e d ' t h e t e s t of 39 j .b id , p. 37. 4 0 G . A. Borghese, La Harche du Fascisme (Montreal 1945), p. 33 ( t r a d u i t de 1 'ang la i s par E t i e m b l e ) . ^ L i t e r a r y Essays, p. 7. 4 2 S t o c k , The L i f e , p. 80. 106 t o d a y ' ; these are i n "Und Drang" and i n "Au Sa lon" . But even o f t hese , one seems se l f -damn ing : How our moderni ty Nerve-wracked and b roken , tu rns Agains t t i m e ' s w a y . . . 43 B u t , nerve-wracked and broken o r n o t , the t u r n i n g had begun: the t u r n i n g away f rom the appren t i cesh ip i n ant ique r e s t o r a t i o n o f Ezra Pound of Idaho. I n response, f i n a l l y , to two cen tu r ies o f f o r c e f u l prose and one century at l eas t o f at tempts at p o e t i c r e v o l u t i o n , of B lake , whitman, Wordsworth, (perhaps T. E. Hulme) H u e f f e r , James Conrad, French n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y p rose , French n i n e t e e n t h - and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y p o e t r y , and modern psychology, and the cinema, Ezra Pound of Idaho began t o t u r n away f rom the a n t i q u a r i a n i s m of h i s own e a r l y co l lege days, and the r e a c t i o n a r y p r i m i t i s m of V i c t o r i a n England, t o something l i k e " t he speech of common men" i n the f i r s t p a r t of h i s own century . His R ipos tes , dedicated t o W i l l i a m C a r l o s - W i l l i a m s , was pub l i shed by Sw i f t & Co. i n October, a b i g step forward f rom CanzOni. I n twenty- two out o f t w e n t y - s i x poems he d isp lays a new c e r t a i n t y o f phras ing and movement, having cast o f f a number of s t i l t e d mannerisms and got c l o s e r t o the d i rec tness he was s e e k i n g . . . . most n o t i c e a b l e i s the gain i n s i m p l i c i t y [eg. "An Ob jec t " , " Q u i e s " , "Phasel lus I l l e " ] and the r i g h t word tu rns out t o be the everyday word given new l i f e . l e g . "The P l u n g e " ] . / 125 / I n only two of the poems, 'Salve P o n t i f e x ' and ' E f f e c t s o f Music upon a Company o f People' , bo th o f them l o n g , does the mat te r remain ou ts ide the c o n t r o l o f the poet and of h i s v e r s i f i c a t i o n and ou ts ide t h e r e f o r e of the p o e m . 4 4 The t u r n has begun, as we come near i n t ime t o Des Imag is tes . I n Poetry and Drama f o r March 1914 Pound pub l ishes the r imeless and 4 3 i b i d , p. 97. 4 4 i b i d , pp. 124-125. 107 l a c o n i c " A l b a t r e " , " S o c i e t y " , "To Formianus", "Young Lady F r i e n d " , " C o i t u s " , "Hea the r " , "The Faun", and "Tempora", a l l very s y n t a c t i c a l of l i n e , and the no less s y n t a c t i c a l or r i m e l e s s , i f l o n g e r , "A T r a n s l a t i o n f rom the Provencal o f En Ber t rans de Bo rn " . The only convent iona l device tha t remains obvious i s the t y p o g r a p h i c a l b r i s t l i n g o f c a p i t a l s a t the beg inn ing of every l i n e . We have reached the p e r i o d of common agreement among.the th ree major c o n t r i b u t o r s on the p r i n c i p l e o f p o e t i c and l i n g u i s t i c i n t e g r i t y and freedom o f s e l f - r e s t r a i n t as opposed t o e x t r i n s i c conven t iona l r e s t r a i n t . I t had been some t ime now t h a t Pound had been shaking o f f e x t r i n s i c elements i n h i s work. As DeNagy t e l l s us: "Canzoni" (1911) i s t h e . l a s t of Pound's volumes o f poe t ry t h a t can be discussed i n terms o f t h e i r dependence on the verse of the f i n de s i e c l e or of the Troubadours. The " T r a n s l a t i o n s o f . t h e Sonnets and B a l l a t e of Guido Cava lcan t i " (1912) were pub l i shed i n a year of t r a n s i t i o n , i n which Pound, i n h i s own words, i s search ing f o r a "new language". I n "R ipos tes " he tu rns away from bo th the decora t i ve technique o f the p re -Raphae l i tes and the symbo l i s t technique of the ' N i n e t i e s . The " I m a g i s t " poe t ry which he now develops i s a poe t ry o f " s t a t e m e n t s " , hard and conc ise. The i n f l u e n c e of R o s s e t t i , Swinburne, Yea ts , Dowson, F iona MacLeod, s t r o n g i n the e a r l y volumes, i s , a f t e r 1912, supplanted by the g r a d u a l l y growing i n f l u e n c e of French poe ts : Gau t ie r , Henr i Regnier , Laurent Ta i l hade , Ju les L a f o r g u e . 4 ^ I n Poetry f o r A p r i l 1913, Pound pub l i shed h i s "Contemporania" : . . . a c o l l e c t i o n of s h o r t poems i n which he sought t o render th ings d i r e c t l y and c l e a r l y i n verse t h a t was c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o the spoken language.46 4 5 DeNagy, The Poetry o f , p. 20. 4 6 S t o c k , The L i f e o f Ezra Pound, p. 134. 108 i And so we f i n d ou rse lves , so t o speak, a t m i d - t u r n i n g w i t h Pound (s ince the f u l l r e v o l u t i o n i s probably s i g n i f i e d by Hugh  Selwyri). There are s t i l l archaisms i n h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n s to Des  Imag is tes , as i n the apostrophe of. " D o r i a " , and of course, the re i s the suppor t i ng , , and r e s t r i c t i v e , frame o f the austere q u a n t i t a t i v e requirements o f Japanese p o e t r y , der i ved f rom the work of Gi les the o r i e n t a l i s t , and perhaps, more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , a lso from the papers of the l a t e Ernest Feno l losa , g iven to Pound p e r s o n a l l y by Mrs. Feno l losa towards the end of 1913, bu t t h a t i s a l l . 4 7 Otherwise a l l the o ld forms, the o l d , obvious devices of Western p o e t r y , the customary devices o f l i n g u i s t i c ove rde te rm ina t i on , o f p o e t i c de termina-t i o n , are gone. The th ree b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s are l e f t on l y : i n t e g r i t y , b r e v i t y , mus ica l p h r a s i n g , a l l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s possessed, t o a perhaps l esse r degree, by p rose , and by speech. For Pound, the d i s t i n c t i o n between poe t ry and prose has become one no t o f k i n d , bu t of degree. 4 7 i b i d , p. 148. CONCLUSION I t would appear as i f Imagisme was i n f a c t more than " . . . s h o r t f o r p o e t r y . . . l i k e " n i g h t i e " f o r n i g h t i n g a l e . . . " , - ' - as Michael A r l e n , a young man whom Scot t F i t z g e r a l d t o l d i n 1926 t h a t he would rep lace him as " t h e most popu lar f i c t i o n w r i t e r o f the d a y " , 2 descr ibed i t i n h i s n o v e l , The Green Hat (which had f o r i t s t i t l e and emblem a " n a t u r a l image" ) . Imagisme, and Anglo-American verse i n g e n e r a l , was i n f a c t a programmatic movement o f r e a l , i f not i s o l a t e d c u l t u r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e ; i n i t s at tempts to r e i n t e r p r e t a t r a d i t i o n , and t o develop an i n t e r n a t i o n a l and i n t e g r a t e d i d e a . o f c u l t u r e i n modern i d i o m a t i c terms, i t was repub l i can i n charac te r , work ing a t a l e v e l l i n g up i n c u l t u r a l i n t e g r a t i o n , i n con t ras t t o the democrat ic mid-western and C a l i f o r n i a n poet ry t h a t was i t s contemporary, which seemed r a t h e r t o aim at a l e v e l l i n g down not on ly t o the id iom but to the l i m i t e d h i s t o r i c a l and c u l t u r a l resources of the "common language" of the f o l k or urban "common men" of America. Republ ican i n cha rac te r , Imagisme was n e c e s s a r i l y conse rva t i ve , i n the l i t e r a l sense of the word. But i f i t was consc ious ly and e c l e c t i c a l l y conservat ive i t does not f o l l o w t h a t the more democrat ic (again i n the l i t e r a l r a t h e r than the customary sense o f the word) American verse was any less s o ; the main d i s t i n c t i o n was perhaps tha t the l a t t e r was more nar rowly conserva t i ve . 1 A r l e n , The Green Hat (London 1924) , p. 24. 2Nancy M i l f o r d , Ze lda , p. 121 . *whose r e a l name was D ik ran Kouyoumdjian. Growing, as the democrat ic verse does, out of the b i b l i c a l i d iom of p ioneer fundamental ism and the o r a t o r i c a l language of a t r a n s p l a n t e d n e o - c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n o f p o l i t i c a l p u b l i c s p e a k i n g — i . e . out o f the t r a d i t i o n o f p reach ing i n c o l o n i a l A m e r i c a — i t -is even more conse rva t i ve , i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l s e l e c t i v i t y , than the more repub l i can and i n c l u s i v e verse of Anglo-American composi t ion. The repub l i can ve rse , at l e a s t , can c la im to be i n f l u e n c e d by the secu la r and e m p i r i c a l language o f e x p e r i e n t i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n w i d e l y cu r ren t i n Europe a t l e a s t s ince Roger Bacon, the whole bu r then o f whom, as Wel ls reminds us , was "exper iment , e x p e r i m e n t " 3 whereas the democrat ic has i t s roo ts i n the immigra t ion t o the New World o f a r e l i g i o u s fundamental ism which sought t o escape not only r e l i g i o u s p e r s e c u t i o n , l e t i t be s a i d hones t l y f o r once, bu t a lso t o save f rom d e s t r u c t i v e s c r u t i n y a mythology and an i d iom s t r o n g l y th rea tened by the s p i r i t o f s c i e n t i f i c and p h i l o s o -p h i c a l s c e p t i c i s m . The Anglo-American and European ve rse , hark back though i t may to the Renaissance or the E l i zabe thans , i s modern i n the sense of be ing p a r t o f an e m p i r i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n of e x p e r i e n t i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , whereas the American reaches i n t o a p r e - s c i e n t i f i c succession o f paradigms tha t i s m y s t i c a l and t r i b a l — d o u b l y t r i b a l i n t h a t i t i s the r e s u l t o f the merging of an o r i g i n a l t r i b a l , b i b l i c a l , h e b r a i c , even Sumerian, i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n and of the s t i l l - t r i b a l c u l t u r e encountered by the fundamenta l i s t emigrants among the i nd ig inous res iden ts of the American c o n t i n e n t , themselves % . G. W e l l s , A Short H i s t o r y o f the World (Harmondsworth 1958) , p. 213. t r i b a l f undamen ta l i s t s , and f u r t h e r b u t t r e s s e d by the t r i b a l idioms and mythologies impor ted a long w i t h the b l a c k A f r i c a n s which c o l o n i a l America saw. f i t t o de f ine as beasts o f burden f o r the sake o f the aggrandizement o f i t s p a t r i a r c h a l power. I n the l i g h t o f the d i s t i n c t i o n which I have t r i e d to suggest , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o see the b i f u r c a t i o n o f modern verse i n t o two broad s t reams, one predominant ly s e l f - c o n s c i o u s , i n t e l l e c t u a l and e v a l u a t i v e i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and the o ther predominant ly r i t u a l i s t i c and i n v o c a t i o n a l ; t he one concerned w i t h ach iev ing an i n t e g r a t i o n of man and h i s cosmos through unders tand ing, the o the r through the persuasive and h y p n o t i c power of r i t u a l u t te rance and f a i t h . The former i s European, the l a t t e r i s n e a r - o r i e n t a l and represents the c l o s i n g of a h i s t o r i c a l cyc le o f p o p u l a t i o n growth and m i g r a t i o n and the r e a f f i r m a t i o n o f a p o e t i c t r a d i t i o n t h a t i s as o l d , and perhaps o l d e r t h a n , language. I t i s no acc ident t h a t America has so e a s i l y espoused the mys t i c i sm o f , f o r i n s t a n c e , I n d i a — n o t on ly r e c e n t l y b u t f rom the days of Emerson, Bronson A l l c o t t and the T r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t s — s ince i t s h i s t o r y , the h i s t o r y of America, has always been based, as were i t s o r i g i n s i n c o l o n i z a t i o n , on the f a i t h and growth which are the pr imary elements i n f e r t i l i t y - o r i e n t e d anc ient o r i e n t a l t r i b a l c u l t u r e s . I t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s c u l t u r a l emphasis on f a i t h and growth , almost the obsession w i t h i t , and on f e r t i l i t y as an organic c o r r e l a t i v e of these two p r i n c i p l e s of e x i s t e n t i a l adap ta t ion t h a t determines the d i r e c t i o n not on ly o f the p o e t i c but o f the o v e r a l l c u l t u r a l l i f e of America, and which i s r a p i d l y b r i n g i n g about a 112 c o n f l i c t between the two ends o f the cyc le of growth on the p lane t e a r t h . Sumeria, a t t he end o f a f i v e - t h o u s a n d year process o f g rowth , has met i t s e l f coming back and the push o f f e r t i l i t y has now c a r r i e d r i g h t round the g lobe. Ginsberg and Nixon are bo th p a r t of a t r i b a l t e r r i t o r i a l and demographic impetus now r e s u l t a n t i n a c o n f l i c t i n South-East A s i a w i t h the p h y s i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n i n the present o f i t s own age-o ld t r i b a l o r i g i n s , and Pound, f o r a l l h i s s u p e r f i c i a l a l l e g i a n c e t o a fasc ism which i s a lso t r i b a l and p a t e r n a l i s t i c , and those who f o l l o w e d i n h i s methodo log ica l f o o t s t e p s , are less t o blame ( i f the concept o f blame i s o f any s i g n i f i c a n c e f rom the pe rspec t i ve we have gained) f o r the present and f u t u r e s t r u g g l e and p a i n , because they have a t l e a s t t r i e d t o promote and exempl i fy a l i n g u i s t i c and c u l t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of s e l f - c o n t a i n m e n t and s e l f - r e s t r a i n t , w h i c h , had i t been adopted u n i v e r s a l l y , at any t ime s ince our ancestors l e f t the v a l l e y s o f the T i g r i s and the Uphrates, might have g r e a t l y l i m i t e d the s u m - t o t a l o f q u a n t i t a t i v e human s u f f e r i n g . FIN BIBLIOGRAPHY A l d i n g t o n , R ichard , "A Note on Poetry i n Prose" , The Chapbook: A Monthly M i s c e l l a n y , no. 22, A p r i l 2 1 , 1921. , "A Note on Free Verse" , The Chapbook: A Monthly M i s c e l l a n y , no. 40, 1925. A r l e n , M i c h a l , The Green Hat (London 1924). Beaumont, C. W. & Sad le r , T. H . , New Paths, 1917-1918 (London 1918). B lake , W i l l i a m , Poetry and Prose o f , ed. Geoffrey Keynes (New York 1927). Borghese, G. A . , La Marche du Fascisme (Montreal 1945). Coffman, S. K., Imagism: A Chapter f o r the H i s t o r y of Modern  Poetry ( U n i v e r s i t y o f Oklahoma 1957). , Imagism (Norman 1951) . Cohen, J . W., Poetry o f This Age 1908-1958 (London 1958). C o l l i n s , H. P . , Modern Poetry (London 1925). Conrad, Joseph, "The Cond i t ion o f A r t " , The Por tab le Conrad, ed. Morton Dauwen Zabel ( V i k i n g 1969). C o r n e l l , Kenneth, The Pos t -Symbol is t P e r i o d (New Haven 1958) . Damon, Foster S . , Amy L o w e l l : A Chronic le (Boston 1935). Davie, Donald, Ezra Pound: Poet as Scu lp to r (London 1955). De Nagy, Chr is toph N . , The Poetry o f Ezra Pound: The Pre - Imag is t  Stage (Bern 1960). D u r r e l l , Lawrence, A Key t o Modern B r i t i s h Poetry ( U n i v e r s i t y o f Oklahoma 1964). El lman, R ichard , L e t t e r s of James Joyce, v o l . I I (New York 1966). F l i n t , F. S . , "Contemporary French P o e t r y " , The Poetry Review, v o l . I , no. v i i i , August 1912. , The Love Poems o f Emile Verhaeren (London 1916). Fraser , G. S. , Ezra Pound (London 1960). G i l k e s , M a r t i n , A Key to Modern Eng l i sh Poetry (London 1937). Gregory, Horace, & Zaturenska, Marya, A H i s t o r y of American Poetry  1900-1940 (New York 1946). Howard, J . T. & Lyons, J . , Modern Music (New York 1958). Hughes, Glenn, Imagism and the Imagis ts (New York 1960). Hulme, T. E . , Specu la t ions : Essays on Humanism and the Phi losophy  o f A r t , Herber t Read (London 1924). Kas tner , L. E . , A H i s t o r y of French V e r s i f i c a t i o n (London 1903). Keene, Donald, Anthology o f Japanese L i t e r a t u r e (London 1955). Kenner, Hugh, The Poetry of Ezra Pound (London 1951). K i n d i l i e n , C a r l i n T . , American Poetry i n the Eighteen N i n e t i e s (Providence 1956). Kreymborg, A l f r e d , Our S ing ing S t rength (New York 1929). L a l o u , Rene, Contemporary French L i t e r a t u r e (London 1925). MacShane, Frank, Ford Madox Ford (London 1965) . Marrou, H. I . , Educat ion i n A n t i q u i t y (Toronto 1965). M i l f o r d , Nancy, Ze lda : A Biography; (New York 1970). Monro, H a r o l d , Some Contemporary Poets (London 1920). M u i r , Kenneth, ed. E l i zabe than and Jacobean Prose (Harmondsworth 1956). Norman, Char les, Ezra Pound (New York 1960). Peckham, Morse, Man's Rage f o r Chaos: b i o l o g y , behav io r , and the  a r t s (New York 1965). Pound, Ez ra , Brancusi (Mi lan 1957). , Des Imag is tes : An Anthology (New York 1914). , Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir (London 1960). , L e t t e r s , ed. D. D. Paige (London 1951). , L i t e r a r y Essays, ed. T. S. E l i o t (New York 1954).. 116 , The S p i r i t of Romance ( N o r f o l k , 1929). Quinn, V i n c e n t , H i l d a D b o l i t t l e (New York 1967). Sergeant, Howard, T r a d i t i o n i n the Making o f Modern Poetry (London 1951). Stead, C. K., The New Poe t i c (London 1964) . S t e i n , Ger t rude, Lectures i n America (Boston 1935). Stock, Noe l , The L i f e o f Ezra Pound (New York 1970). S t o r e r , Edward, M i r r o r s o f I l l u s i o n (London T a y l o r , Joshua C. , Fu tu r i sm (New York 1961). Untermeyer:; Lou i s , American Poetry Since 1900 (London 1924) . V isan , Tancrede de, L ' A t t i t u d e du Lyrisme Contemporain (Par is 1911). Whi taker , Thomas R. , W i l l i a m Carlos Wi l l i ams (New York 1968) . Whitman, W a l t , Leaves o f Grass (Garden C i ty 1926). W i l l i a m s , W i l l i a m Car los , I Wanted t o W r i t e a Poem (London 1967). APPENDIX ONE I n Eng l i sh poe t ry the technique o f overde te rmina t ion i s f a i r l y l i m i t e d . I t b o i l s down to a more f requent r e p e t i t i o n of phonemes or category o f phonemes (such as vowels) than i s t o be found i n o r d i n a r y u t t e r a n c e . To a speaker of a language who knows no o t h e r — t h e case when a l l poe t ry was o r i g i n a t e d , how long ago there i s no t e l l i n g — t h e normal phonemic f low i s p e r -ce ived as random. Any o v e r d e t e r m i n a t i o n , consequent ly , i s p e r c e i v e d , by c o n t r a s t , as o rdered. I n Eng l i sh the techniques of ove r -de te rm ina t i on are few bu t i n e x h a u s t i b l e : rhyme, the r e p e t i t i o n o f the same sound combinat ion a t regu la r i n t e r v a l s or sets o f r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s ; a l l i t e r a t i o n , the s e l e c t i o n o f words to p rov ide a more than normal ly f requent recurrence o f the same consonant; assonance,, the s e l e c t i o n o f words to p rov ide a more than normal ly f requent recurrence of the same vowel or groups o f vowels (such as f r o n t or back v o w e l s ) ; rhythm, the r e g u l a r r e p e t i t i o n o f s t r e s s ; and j u n c t u r a l r e g u l a r i t y , o r the r e g u l a r r e p e t i t i o n o f j u n c t u r e , a term I use here w i t h n o n - t e c h n i c a l fuzz iness t o i n d i c a t e pauses i n the st ream of spoken sound. Such pauses are p a r t l y j u s t i f i e d i n w r i t t e n language by punc tua t i on marks. -•-Morse Peckham, JMan' s Rage f o r Chaos: b i o l o g y , b e h a v i o r , and the a r t s (New York 1965) , p. 139. APPENDIX TWO To use the language of common speech, bu t t o employ always the exact word , n o t the n e a r l y - e x a c t , nor the merely decora t i ve word. To create new rhy thms—as the express ion o f new moods— and n o t t o copy o l d rhythms, which merely echo o l d moods. We do not i n s i s t upon " f r e e verse" as the only method of w r i t i n g p o e t r y . We f i g h t f o r i t as f o r a p r i n c i p l e of l i b e r t y . We b e l i e v e t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l i t y o f a poet may o f t e n be b e t t e r expressed i n f r e e verse than i n convent iona l forms. I n p o e t r y , a new cadence means a new i d e a . To a l low absolute freedom i n the choice of s u b j e c t . I t i s no t good a r t t o w r i t e bad ly about aeroplanes and automobi les ; nor i s i t n e c e s s a r i l y bad a r t t o w r i t e w e l l about the p a s t . We b e l i e v e . p a s s i o n a t e l y i n the a r t i s t i c value o f modern l i f e , bu t we wish t o p o i n t out t h a t t h e r e i s n o t h i n g so u n i n s p i r i n g nor so o l d -fash ioned as an aeroplane o f the year 1911.1 Glenn Hughes, Imagism and the Imagisits (New York 1960) , p. 39. 

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