from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (noun) A movement by American and British poets early in the 20th century in reaction to Victorian sentimentality; used common speech in free verse with clear concrete imagery.
Imagism, we are told, aims to use always the language of common speech, but to employ always the exact word, not the nearly-exact nor the merely decorative word; to create new rhythms--as the expression of new moods--and not to copy old rhythms, which merely echo old moods; to allow absolute freedom in the choice of a subject; to present an image, rendering particulars exactly; to produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred or indefinite; to secure condensation.
Two months later, having created Imagism from nothing more than a few such poems, Pound sent Doolittle's verses to Harriet Monroe, the editor of Poetry magazine, praising them: '... no excessive use of adjectives, no metaphors that won't permit examination. It's straight talk, straight as the Greek!’
The American poet Hilda Doolittle, or H. D. as she preferred to be called, is probably best known today as an avatar of Imagism, that minimalist school of poetry that flourished briefly in the shadow of World War I.
The term ‘imagism’ was coined by poet Ezra Pound.