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Write a short poem in the style of the Imagists and explain what you think the Imagists were trying to do with their radically new approach to language.

Coming Home

I saw the light under your door

which means either you’re here or you just forgot.


where did I go

that I don’t know

where you went

or if



The Imagists forged a new literary path with their approach to language. Almost suddenly they conjured a new paradigm for poetic technique that contrasted almost entirely from the existing. Poetry before Imagism was word-heavy, and more often than not were focused on subjects of nobility or grandeur. The Imagists sought to completely shift this with the introduction of minimalist poems whose subjects were lacking the grandeur that the former held in abundance. I believe that this new approach was undertaken for a multitude of reasons, but prominently to provide accessibility. To understand poetry of that time, the dense, near superfluous verses and stanzas that were embedded with hard to understand images and metaphors, one would have to be well educated. In creating minimalist poems that tended to use simple, common words that could be understood simply. What this did, was shift the concept of meaning behind poetry. No longer did a poem hold one, or a few, preordained, objective meanings. Rather meaning became inherently subjective, as each individual was and still is able to interpret the ambiguity of the choice words of an Imagist poem and discern their own meaning.


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1 Comment

  1. You capture in your poem and your comment the essentials of Imagism. Well done
    *Please attend to editing your work carefully. Here is what I have picked up:
    *….that contrasted almost entirely WITH the existing modes.
    * Imagism….. were focussed= Imagism….. WAS focussed- Agreement of Subject and Verb. Plural nouns need plural verbs and singular nouns need singular verbs. What should this be?


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