Much of Ezra Pound's literary criticism was intended to reform literature, distilling poetry to its most pure form, the image. His theories of poetry are most succinctly summarized in the aphoristic essay, "A Few Don'ts by an Imagiste", which first appeared in Poetry magazine in 1913. This essay, to a great degree, is a diatribe against the traditional English poetry of the Augustans and major Victorians.
In the essay, he claims that the essence of poetry is the "image", an intellectual and emotional complex seen in an instant of time, and thinks that the language that best evokes images is simple, specific, and concrete. In his comments about images, he suggests that adjectives, especially abstract ones, often dilute and weaken images. He especially objects to the use of adjectives to pad out metrical forms. He prefers use of strong verbs and nouns to over-reliance on adjectives and adverbs.