Ezra Pound as an imagist poet                                                          A Report              Submitted to the Council of the College of Language at Salahaddin                                                    University –Erbil                                                                                                                     By                                          Danaz Abubaker Abdullah                                                 English Department                                                         Literature                                                                                                               To                                    Asst.Prof.Dr. Sherzad Shafi Barzani                                                 Erbil, KURDISTAN                                                      January 2018Introduction       The Influential period in all fields of arts, considered to be Modernism because of its remarkable terms such as “Imagism”. Imagism was a movement that appeared after World War I and it was responsible for changing the poetic style. The Imagists used free verse which was somehow strange according to classics that use blank verse. Generally in poetry the Imagist used clear and few words to show their image and also they were free for choosing the subject with a language of every day speech.      Ezra Pound ,an American poet that regarded as a great figure in English poetry in a result of his imagist poems. He gave the movement its name “Imagism” as well as he produced the main principles of imagism. His poems are a strong example of the movement such as (In a station of the metro, The garden and The pact).     This report contains the biography of Ezra pound and also the information about imagism movement and the analysis of the three significant poems of Ezra pound as an imagist poet.1.   Biography of Ezra PoundEzra Pound, an American Poet born on October 30,1885 in Hailey,Idaho.(Galens,2002) He raised in Philadelphia. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and at Hamilton College, from which he received a Ph.B in 1905.(Hodgins,1996)     Pound attributed with creating, supporting and educating the imagist poets. (Galens,2002) The impact of Pound’s thinking on twentieth century writing was immense. He influenced a change of style in the verse of the well-known Irish poet W.B Yeats. He encouraged T.S Eliot to write in the ways he advocated, and he edited Eliot’s most famous poem, The Waste Land. Also his thoughts are reflected in the poetry of William Carlos Williams and the fiction of Ernest Hemingway. Pound tirelessly supported that he liked, including Eliot, James Joyce, and Robert Frost, and on many occasions he helped them financially.  (Hodgins,1996)     His poem” In a Station of Metro” considered embracing the tents of Imagism as a Movement. Pound’s collection Ripostes (1912) represents the beginning of his involvement with imagist poetry and he also created the first anthology of imagist poetry under the title Des Imagistes (1914). He recognized with his popular slogan in modernism which was “make it new”.(Galens,2002) Hodgins states that “Pound defined the image as ‘an intellectual and emotional complex presented in an instant of time. ‘Those two aspects of this definition are important: poets must look for “complex” thoughts and feelings; and they must compress such complexity in to a single moment.” (1996).      Pound served his connection with the imagists and, in a famous joke, declared that his ideas had been renewed from imagism to “Amygism”. Pound’s own poetry is complex and often difficult to understand (Hodgins,1996) He would go on to win Dial award for eminent service to American letters, the Bollingen Library of Congress Award (1949),and the Academy of American Poets fellowship(1963). (Galens,2002)     He lived a life full of political problems died in Venice, Italy on November 1,1972 (Galens,2002)2.   Imagism         Imagism has been described as the most influential movement and also as a first innovative movement that started in early 20th century (1912) in modern American poetry. In its emphasis on new rhythms, exact images, and language that is “hard and clear,” it influenced and continues to influence modern poets. With the efforts of Ezra Pound, an American poet that gave the movement its name and defined its main principles:  1. Focusing directly on the “image” itself.2. Using the language of common speech, always the exact word.3. Creating new rhythms.4. Complete freedom in choosing the subject. (Hodgins.1996)     The best known poets in the movement were Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, T.E. Hulme, Richard Aldington and Hilda Dolittle. They also believed in those principles that defined by Ezra Pound. ( Cuddon,2013)       Pratt asserts that “sometimes Imagism has been viewed as ‘a succession of creative moments’ to capture emotions of that moments rather than any continuous or sustained period of development.” (2001) Imagism flourished in Britain and in the United States for a short-term period that is usually considered to be somewhere between 1909 and 1917. As part of the modernist movement, The Imagist poets rejected and rebelled against the sentimentality and moralizing tone of nineteenth- century Romantic and Victorian poetry. The imagist poet looked to so many sources to help them in creating a new poetic expression. For present effects, the imagists attempted to study the French symbolists, who were experimenting with free verse (vers libre), a verse form that used a rhythm that signified natural speech rather than the accustomed rhythm of metrical lines. The rules of rhyming were also considered nonessential. As well as with the use of ancient form of Japanese haiku poetry that influenced the imagists to focus on one simple image. Greek and Roman classical poetry inspired some of the imagists to endeavor for a high quality of writing that would bear. (Galens,2002)     As Davidson declared that Imagism refunded to what were seen before as more Classical values, like directness of presentation and economy of language, as well as a willingness to experiment with non-traditional verse forms because Imagist poets use free verse. During 1914 and 1917 the publications of the movement appeared, and contained works by many of the most noticeable modernist figures. The Imagists were centered in London, with members from Great Britain, Ireland and the United States. Somewhat unusually for the time, a number of women writers were major Imagist figures. (1997)3.   Analysis of the poems                                                         3.1  In a Station of the Metro                                               The apparition of these faces in the crowd;                                                        Petals on a wet, black bough.Analysis;    The poem has been written by Ezra Pound under the title “In a station of the metro”. The location of the poem is a “metro” station at La Concorde in Paris. In this poem Pound like other imagist poets influenced by Japanese Haiku.(Abrams,2005) The poem considered as an imagist poem, with the use of only fourteen words throughout the poem, it stands to reason that each one was chosen specifically for one particular conveyed image. For example, the word “apparition” in the first line suggests the nature of travelling in a crowd. It is a momentary action, so much so that people seem like ghosts, In one moment there are so many faces which come and go, a beautiful face of woman, and then another and another, and then a beautiful child’s face, and then another beautiful woman and likely will never be remembered by the mind. They are apparitions, in one place for one moment, and then gone forever in the next. “In a station of metro” has two obvious images and the relationship between the two moments creates the meaning, also the real engine of this poem is the metaphor of likening faces in a crowd to Petals on a wet, black bough .(Nelson, 2008)    The first image of the poem is absolutely created by humans, and the second image is completely a phenomenon of the natural world. The relationship between this two ideas is an abstract one, but by pairing them together, Pound seems to suggest that there is that specific kind of beauty in the station of a metro, and that the passing apparitions of people wandering through is no different than the drooping nature of a petal stuck to a wet tree. The petal weathers, the petal is rained on, and ultimately, that petal droops and dies, just like everyone entering and leaving the life. There are similarities and noticeable differences between the two images in the poem, however the structure of the poem is a verbless imagist poem of fourteen words, but it is the definition of an unusual emotion. The poem published in 1913 in a literary magazine, and was written based on an emotion that Pound had felt during a moment standing in a Paris underground metro station. (Gundersen.Boghani,2014)    The important agent of this work is the metaphor likening faces in a crowd to petals on a wet, black bough (referring to the main branch of a tree). The relationship between the two moments is produces meaning in this work. In the following image “petals on a wet, black bough,” there is the idea of small, fleeting, and weak elements of beauty within the natural world. It is difficult to describe the feeling of appreciation of a momentary natural phenomenon, that is why Pound chose this specific image to stand in for a feeling that can’t be easily described. (Gundersen.Boghani,2014)        According to Nelson, Ezra pound writes “I wrote a thirty-line poem, and destroyed it because it was what we call work ‘of second intensity.’ Six months later I made a poem half that length; a year later I made the haiku like sentence”(2008)3.2   Analysis of The Garden        The poem ‘The Garden’, has been written by Ezra Pound as an imagist poem, that ?rst published in 1913. It is written in a common language and the general idea of the poem is mainly about the life. (Piette ,24) The poem is about a young upper-class woman who walks in the garden watching the children of the community. The woman is obviously upset about the children of low class in the society, knowing that they are the future of this world. She feels the need to talk to someone, but she couldn’t because of her social class. (Mulakunnam ,2013)                                              ” Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall                                 She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,                                                    And she is dying piece-meal ”                                                    of a sort of emotional anemia.First line of the poem starts with the Simile (like) and shows that the woman is noble but restricted in her social life. The Metaphor in Lines 3-4 shows that the lady is gradually getting tired of her situation, dying little by little because of the life with a lack of romantic relation and the special ideals that ruled her life. (Mulakunnam ,2013)                                                  ” And round about there is a rabble                                  Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.                                                      They shall inherit the earth.                                                     In her is the end of breeding”     The second stanza of the poem draws attention to the lower class children and how they will be the next generation. It shows the differences between the two classes. Line 8 explains the end of the era of aristocracy which means the end of high class and growing lower class generation. In the poem there is Allusion to the Bible “They shall inherit the earth”. (Mulakunnam ,2013)                                                   Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.                                           She would like someone to speak to her,                                                      And is almost afraid that I                                                     will commit that indiscretion.      In the third stanza, line 9 describes her boredom from living a comfortable life. This always about the young upper class to clarify that being wealthy isn’t always as great as it looks. The last two lines show that the lady feels lonely and she wishes to speak to someone; although it is socially unacceptable for her to speak to anyone that isn’t related to her class. There is similarity between the children from lower class and the lady from upper-class in Loneliness. The lady is lonely and not comfortable with the boundaries of her class, as well as the children that are left alone by the world. (Mulakunnam ,2013)        3.3   ‘A Pact’ Analysis        “A Pact” the poem has been written by Ezra Pound. It strongly explains Pound’s emotion toward an American poet, Walt Whitman that regarded as a great principle of poetry in 19th century and also as a ‘father’ of free verse – a form of poetry with no regular meter or line length. When the poem “A Pact” Pound showed the feeling of hatred toward Walt Whitman, writing that he’s “detested him long enough,” and offering to make a pact. Pound declares that he has come to identify the ways in which Whitman has paved the way for his own work. He ends the poem with accepting the inspiration that Whitman has given him. (gradesaver)                                             “I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman–                                                 I have detested you long enough.                                                  I come to you as a grown child                                                 Who has had a pig-headed father;”     In the first stanza, Pound offers his friendship to Whitman, it is clear that he disliked Whitman long enough and now it is a time to make a pact with you. Pound describes himself as “a grown child who has had a pig headed father,” and it becomes obvious that Pound once viewed Whitman as his creative leader. He describes Whitman as a father figure, and he is a “grown child” and his views have appropriately progressed and changed. Comparing Whitman to a father figure, Pound implies that he felt daunted by Whitman’s success. There is also a more evident interpretation of this father and son metaphor; Whitman was writing along time before Pound, that is why it is natural that modern poets would learn from their precursors’ work, just like a son that could learn from his father. (gradesaver)                                              “I am old enough now to make friends.                                               It was you that broke the new wood,                                                     Now is a time for carving.                                                  We have one sap and one root–                                              Let there be commerce between us.”     At the last part of the poem, even though Pound has accepted Whitman’s influence, he still offers an indirect praise that He writes, “it was you who broke the new wood, now it is time for carving.” Pound describes Whitman’s aim in the poetic world as lesser than his own. He explained that Whitman paved the way simply just only by discovering the new wood and offering it to the world, but it is Pound’s turn to produce and improve creative masterworks. So at the end Pound gives a more friendly view of the American poet than he has in the past, he suggests delicate reminders that his view will never change. In the last lines of the poem Pound uses natural metaphors like wood, sap, and roots, which are all parts of trees. It could also be representative of Whitman’s “crudity” because according to Pound; nature is crude, raw which is how Pound saw Whitman’s writing. Meanwhile, Pound sees his role as carving the raw wood that Whitman has first broken the new wood. (gradesaver)   Conclusion        Imagism is an innovative movement in Modernism with its effects on literature generally and poetry specifically. Imagism was different from traditional poetry in rhythms, language and important figure (direct image). Ezra Pound was the founder of imagism with the roots that he created in early twentieth century such as direct concentration on “image”, choosing the subject freely and using the language of common speech. The poems that viewed in this report are regarded as an imagist poem because of it’s heavily depend on the main principles of imagism.     References1. Abrams,M.H (2005) A Glossary of Literary Terms. 8th ed. Australia. Thomson Wadsworth.p (130)2. Cuddon, J.A (2013) A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 5th ed. UK. Wiley- Blackwell.p(357)3. Davidson, Michael (1997) Ghostlier demarcations: modern poetry and the material word. University of California Press, p(11–13)4. Galens, David (2002) Literary Movements for Students. New York. Gale.p(125-150)5. Gundersen, Kathryn. Boghani, Ami ed. (2014) Ezra Pound: Poems ,In a Station of the Metro (1913) Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver6. Hodgins, Francis et al. (1996) Adventures in American Literature. Athena ed. New York. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.p(757-765)7. Mulakunnam, Kevin (2013) The Garden. https://prezi.com  8. Nelson, Cary. ed. (2008) On ‘In a Station of a Metro. Modern American Poetry. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 9. Piette, A. Pound’s ‘the Garden as modernist imitation: Samain,Lowell,HD. Translation and Literature. University of Shef?eld. 17(1).P 21-4610. Pratt, William. (2001) The Imagist Poem, Modern Poetry in Miniature .Story Line Press 11. www.gradesaver.com/ezra-pound-poems/study-guide/summary-a-pact-1916   

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