A. Critical and Comparative Studies

5. Leonard, William Ellery. ‘The New Poetry—A Critique, II’. Chicago Evening Post, 24 September 1915, p. 9.

In his attack on the principles and poetics of the Imagists Leonard assails their use of Japanese materials. Their work is ‘prettily adorned with occult references to Japanese poetry and criticism, with much expenditure of printer’s ink in spelling out exotic-looking syllables in ki, ka, and ko’, and it is, indeed, ‘skilful in the artistic use of the exotic’, but this is ‘strange’, for ‘the psychology of the exotic’ requires ‘the generation of a mood’ that can scarcely be accomplished by the ‘one poetic cathartic [of] the image’. By September 1915 Fletcher and Lowell had published collections making use of Japanese materials (BH1 and BI1), and Flint had published critical articles about the influence (A2 and A3), but Leonard’s remarks would have been directed mainly at Pound, his Fortnightly Review article of the previous September (BK12), and his adaptations of Fenollosa’s versions of the nô (BK8, 13, and 17). See also A7.





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