Some Imagist Poets 1916. An annual anthology.ALDINGTON, Richard; H.D.; FLETCHER, John Gould; FLINT, S.; LAWRENCE, D.H.; LOWELL, Amy
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1916.
First edition. 8vo. 220x145mm. pp. 96. Green paper-covered card. Black lettering and design on upper cover, black lettering on spine. Some fading on spine. A very good copy.
This is second of Amy Lowell’s anthologies of Imagist Poets. The first, in 1915 was published in response to Ezra Pound’s own 1914 anthology, Des Imagistes which included Amy Lowell’s work. The Imagist movement had a short and fractious life. It began in 1908, when poet T.E. Hulme formed a group of poets, including Ezra Pound, as the “School of Images.” Hulme brought these poets together to discuss elements of poetic craft, with particular attention to the vers libre of the French Symbolists and Japanese haiku. Pound soon assumed control of the group (as was his wont) and adopted the term Imagiste.
Lowell’s 1916 anthology contains work by the same six poets who appeared in the previous year’s volume. Her introductory essay expands on the celebrated essay from the 1915 anthology seeking to make clear that “’Imagism’ does not mean merely the presentation of pictures. [It] refers to the manner of presentation, not to the subject. It means a clear presentation of whatever the author wishes to convey”. Pound’s response to Lowell’s anthologies was to abandon his notions of Imagism and, indeed most take the view that the Imagist movement ended with Lowell’s 1917 anthology. However, the spirit which informed Imagism became the guiding principle of twentieth-century high culture. As Amy Lowell herself wrote in the preface to this volume, “We are young, we are experimentalists, but we ask to be judged by our own standards, not by those which have governed other men at other times”.