Thanks CR. I still find myself mystified by some Imagist poems, not always productively! For example, can anyone tell me what this poem signifies besides the visual image? In addition  of course to displaying Williams' genius with line-breaks. Diana
 
The Red Wheelbarrow

William Carlos Williams


so much depends

upon
 
a red wheel

barrow
 
glazed with rain

water
 
beside the white

chickens.



 

Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 09:29:29 -0800
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Imagism (Was Re: War and Justice)
To: [log in to unmask]

Thanks, Diana, for starting this engaging discussion on an important
aspect of poetry. "Imagism", indeed, proved to be a turning point in
the history of poetic technique, stand as it does at the threshold of
modernist poetry. Time stood still for a while -- captured in a camera
-- before unwinding its dynamics along a new road.
 
CR


Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Carrol, someone riding in an elevator would not be interested in information about the engineering that makes it work. A visitor to the Empire State Building would probably not be interested in learning about reinforced concrete or how Art Deco differs from Bauhaus architecture. Builders of elevators, skyscrapers or poems need certain kinds of information that end-users of those things do not.
 
Intellectual knowledge is only one tool -- it does not replace talent or intuition, but it is useful.
 
Diana

> Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 12:07:16 -0600
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: War and Justice
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> Diana Manister wrote:
> >
> > Carrol wrote:
> >
> > "I've read the poems for 50 years without ever thinking of them as
> > "imagist" or "vorticist" or any other "ist." What evidence is there
> > that attending to these abstractions would transform my reading?"
> >
> > Carrol,
> >
> > If one is simply consuming poems then an awareness of various
> > contemporaneous styles in relation to which the poet has positioned
> > hinself aesthetically probably will not enhance the read.
>
> I guess I should have repeated a passage from an earlier post: "It seems
> to me that your concern with those slogans is acting as a barrier
> between you and the poems (and the world of 1910-20). Setting these big
> abstractions against each other takes us off on a voyage to Arcturus.
> And intellectual and emotional complex is clearly a tremendously ACTIVE
> and even violent complex."
>
> _Any_ use of the poems, including literary history, cultural history,
> comparison of Eliot and Pound, accounting for Pound's whole career,
> relating Pound and/or Eliot to earlier literary traditions, establishing
> the political and/or social significance of both the criticism and the
> poems -- _all_ these (and any other you can think of) are incompatible
> with beginning with the abstractions (pretty empty abstractions I
> believe) "vorticism" and "imagism." They are relevant, if relevant at
> all, _only_ in the final stages of any treatment of either the poetry
> _or_ the criticism of Pound and/or Eliot. Note: I really am challenging
> the relevance of these to labels to the _criticism_ or critical theory
> of Pound. I think you can understand even passages in which he _uses_
> the word "vorticism" or "imagism" if you ignore those terms to begin
> with.
>
> Carrol



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