BK. Ezra Pound: Primary Materials

1. Flint, F. S. [and Pound]. ‘Imagisme’. Poetry 1 (March 1913): 198-200.

A statement of ‘facts’ about Imagisme that Flint has ‘gleaned’ from ‘an imagiste’, Pound, whose draft Flint rewrote for the publication (see Gallup [107] C73a and C1900). As with Pound’s famous ‘Don’ts for an Imagiste’ (2), which follows this work in the same issue of Poetry, no direct mention is made of Japanese poetry in justification for the poetics outlined, but a correspondence to Pound’s understanding of Japanese poetics is unmistakable, and on evidence provided both by Flint (see A2 and A3) and Pound himself (see especially 3, 4, and 12), as well as by later critics—Miner’s ‘Haiku and the Image’ (A25, pp. 123-27) is particularly good on this point, but see also, for example, Hughes (A19), Harmer (A51), and Coffman (96)—Japanese poetry in general and the ‘hokku’ in particular had along with other influences provided a theoretical grounding for the principles outlined here, including the three ‘rules’ of Imagism, ‘direct treatment of the “thing,” whether subjective or objective’, ‘to use absolutely no word that [does] not contribute to the presentation’, and ‘to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not the sequence of the metronome’. Note might be made as well that if the dates Pound provides in ‘Vorticism’ (12) are correct, his understanding of the ‘hokku’-derived ‘form of super-position’ and his ‘hokku-like sentence’ that became In a Station of the Metro (3)—first printed in the following issue of Poetry—preceded the composition both of this work and the ‘Don’ts for an Imagiste’.





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