Some Imagist Poets
An Anthology







IN March, 1914, a volume appeared entitled "Des Imagistes." It was a collection of the work of various young poets, presented together as a school. This school has been widely discussed by those interested in new movements in the arts, and has already become a household word. Differences of taste and judgment, however, have arisen among the contributors to that book; growing tendencies are forcing them along different paths. Those of us whose work appears in this volume have therefore decided to publish our collection under a new title, and we have been joined by two or three poets who did not contribute to the first volume, our wider scope making this possible.

In this new book we have followed a slightly different arrangement to that of the former Anthology. Instead of an arbitrary selection by an editor, each poet has been permitted to represent himself by the work he considers his best, the only stipulation being that it should not yet have appeared in book form. A sort of informal committee – consisting of more than half the authors here represented – have arranged the book and decided what should be printed and [VI] what omitted, but, as a general rule, the poets have been allowed absolute freedom in this direction, limitations of space only being imposed upon them. Also, to avoid any appearance of precedence, they have been put in alphabetical order.

As it has been suggested that much of the misunderstanding of the former volume was due to the fact that we did not explain ourselves in a preface, we have thought it wise to tell the public what our aims are, and why we are banded together between one set of covers.

The poets in this volume do not represent a clique. Several of them are personally unknown to the others, but they are united by certain common principles, arrived at independently. These principles are not new; they have fallen into desuetude. They are the essentials of all great poetry, indeed of all great literature, and they are simply these: –

1. To use the language of common speech, but to employ always the exact word, not the nearly-exact, nor the merely decorative word.

2. To create new rhythms – as the expression of new moods – and not to copy old rhythms, which merely echo old moods. We do not insist upon "free-verse" as the only method of writing poetry. We fight for it as for a principle of liberty. We believe that the individuality of a poet may [VII] often be better expressed in free-verse than in conventional forms. In poetry, a new cadence means a new idea.

3. To allow absolute freedom in the choice of subject. It is not good art to write badly about aeroplanes and automobiles; nor is it necessarily bad art to write well about the past. We believe passionately in the artistic value of modern life, but we wish to point out that there is nothing so uninspiring nor so old-fashioned as an aeroplane of the year 1911.

4. To present an image (hence the name: "Imagist"). We are not a school of painters, but we believe that poetry should render particulars exactly and not deal in vague generalities, however magnificent and sonorous. It is for this reason that we oppose the cosmic poet, who seems to us to shirk the real difficulties of art.

5. To produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.

6. Finally, most of us believe that concentration is of the very essence of poetry.

The subject of free-verse is too complicated to be discussed here. We may say briefly, that we attach the term to all that increasing amount of writing whose cadence is more marked, more definite, and closer knit than that of prose, but which is not so violently nor so obviously accented as the so-called "regular verse." We refer those interested in the question to [VIII] the Greek Melic poets, and to the many excellent French studies on the subject by such distinguished and well-equipped authors as Remy de Gourmont, Gustave Hahn, Georges Duhamel, Charles Vildrac, Henri Ghéon, Robert de Souza, André Spire, etc.

We wish it to be clearly understood that we do not represent an exclusive artistic sect; we publish our work together because of mutual artistic sympathy, and we propose to bring out our coöperative volume each year for a short term of years, until we have made a place for ourselves and our principles such as we desire.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

Some Imagist Poets. An Anthology.
Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company 1915, S. V-VIII.


Druckvermerk: Published April 1915.


Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien)

Für die Zuschreibung vgl.
Gould 1975, S. 176: " ... written by Aldington but tinkered with and revised by everyone".
Marek 2004, S. 158: "Other imagists contributed ideas ... but the final version seems to have been written by Aldington and modified by Lowell in small but significant ways".
Copp 2009, S. 48: "In April 1915 the anthology Some Imagist Poets 1915, was published for which Aldington anonymously supplied the Preface".





Bellew, Paul Bradley: "At the Mercy of Editorial Selection": Amy Lowell, Ezra Pound, and the Imagist Anthologies. In: Journal of Modern Literature 40.2 (2017), S. 22-40.

Beyers, Chris: A History of Free Verse. Fayetteville 2001.

Braddock, Jeremy: collecting as modernist practice. Baltimore, Md. 2012.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Copp, Michael (Hrsg.): Imagist Dialogues. Letters between Aldington, Flint, and Others. Cambridge 2009.

Genette, Gérard: Paratexte. Das Buch vom Beiwerk des Buches. Frankfurt a.M. 2001 (= suhrkamp taschenbuch wissenschaft, 1510).

Gery, John u.a. (Hrsg.): Imagism: Essays on Its Initiation, Impact and Influence. New Orleans, La. 2013.

Gioia, Dana u.a. (Hrsg.): Twentieth-Century American Poetics. Poets on the Art of Poetry. Boston, Mass. 2004.

Göske, Daniel: Poets and Great Audiences. Amerikanische Dichtung in Anthologien, 1745 - 1950. Frankfurt a.M. u.a. 2005 (= Mainzer Studien zur Amerikanistik, 49).

Hay, Andrew: On the Shore of Interpretation. The Theory and Reading of the Image in Imagism. In: Connotations 21.2-3 (2011/2012), S. 304-326.

Jones, Peter (Hrsg.): Imagist Poetry. Harmondsworth u.a.: Penguin Books 2001 (= Penguin Classics).

Kappeler, Erin: Editing America. Nationalism and the New Poetry. In: Modernism/Modernity 21 (2014), S. 899-918.

Kelly, Lionel (Hrsg.): Richard Aldington. Papers from the Reading Symposium. Reading 1987.

Lethbridge, Stefanie: Lyrik in Gebrauch. Gedichtanthologien in der englischen Druckkultur 1557 – 2007. Heidelberg 2014 (= Anglistische Forschungen, 442).

Marek, Jayne E.: Amy Lowell, Some Imagist Poets and the Context of the New Poetry. In: Amy Lowell, American Modern. Hrsg. von Adrienne Munich u.a. New Brunswick, N.J. u.a. 2004, S. 154-166.

Newcomb, John T.: How Did Poetry Survive? The Making of Modern American Verse. Urbana, Ill. u.a. 2012.

Newcomb, John T.: The Emergence of "The New Poetry". In: The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry. Hrsg. von Walter Kalaidjian. Cambridge 2015, S. 11-22.

Newcomb, John T.: The Twentieth Century Begins. In: The Cambridge History of American Poetry. Hrsg. von Alfred Bendixen u.a. Cambridge 2015, S. 497-518.

Peppis, Paul: Schools, movements, manifestoes. In: The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Poetry. Hrsg. von Alex Davis u.a. New York 2007, S. 28-50.

Pondrom, Cyrena N.: The Road from Paris. French Influence on English Poetry, 1900 – 1920. Cambridge: University Press 2010.

Thacker, Andrew: The Imagist Poets. Tavistock 2011.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer