What are the main themes of Imagist poets?  

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The sensual and immediate experience of an image, a direct confrontation with the world, unmediated by ideological or ritualistic influences, Imagist poetry was a move away from sentimental Romantic/Victorian poetry and also a move away from rhythm and meter to a freer form of verse. The imagists wanted to focus on single images and symbols, such as William Carlos William’s “The Red Wheelbarrow”, Hilda Doolittle’s “Sea Poppies,” and Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro.” Imagism was partly influenced by the Japanese haiku which often focused on a single image. Amy Lowell wrote in ‘polyphonic’ verse which was written in prose form but sounded/read like poetry. One of the general ideas of imagist poetry was that ideas are best expressed through things. Since imagist poets wrote in freer verse than their predecessors, they likewise wanted to free up their subject matter, so they wrote on any image; even a red wheelbarrow. This was a modernist trait: to present abstract ideas, feelings or meanings by describing things – rather than describing those abstracts themselves.

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