BK. Ezra Pound

2. ‘A Few Don’ts for an Imagiste’. Poetry 1 (March 1913): 200-06.

‘An “Image”’, Pound writes, ‘is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time’, and the would-be poet who would draw sustenance from this insight will escape ‘many a crime of production’ if he avoids the ‘don’ts’ (and obeys the dos) Pound outlines here, including several which parallel lessons he elsewhere allies with interest in Japanese poetry: ‘Use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something’; don’t ‘[mix] . . . abstraction with the concrete’, for ‘the natural object is always the adequate symbol’; and ‘use either no ornament or good ornament’. As in the definition of Imagism that precedes this work in Poetry (1), Pound does not directly invoke Japanese poetics in justification of Imagist principles, but see notes at 1 for reference to work by Pound and others that allies both the definition of the image and the ‘don’ts’ to principles in part derived from and justified by his understanding of Japanese poetry, particularly the ‘hokku’. Reprinted in 29. For notes about the influence of the work see BG5g and BH2.





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