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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.64, No.2, 273 ~ 299, 2018
Title
Amygism or Imagism?: Re-Vision of Amy Lowell’s Discourse of Imagism
Jihee Han
abstract
This paper, postulating that Lowell’s Imagism is not some “Amygism” that wobbles with “emotional slither,” “mushy technique” and “general floppiness” as Pound once mocked, but another kind of poetic discourse that deserves the fullest re-consideration, goes back to the very scene where Pound left for Vorticism, condescendingly allowing Lowell and her supporters to use the name “Imagism” for three years. There, it tries to illuminate how Lowell, making the most of the opportunity given to her, picked up what Pound had left behind, grafted it on the soil of America, and finally fulfilled her literary passion to awaken the common reading public to the taste for poetry reading. For the purpose, it looks into her critical reviews in Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, and stresses her creative critical efforts to re-address Pound’s principles of “Imagisme.” In particular, given the limit of space, it focuses only on the second principle of her Imagism and examines the modernity of her concepts of “a cadence,” “suggestion,” and “the real poem beyond.” Then it reads “Patterns” in the context of Japanese poetry and Noh drama and analyzes the poetic patterns that Lowell made through a creative adaptation of Japanese aesthetics for Imagist poetics. In doing so, this paper aims to provide reasonable evidences to evaluate the modernity of Lowell’s Imagist ars poetica and to consider her a truly serious Imagist poet worthy of a place in the history of American poetic modernism.
Key Words
Amy Lowell, Imagism, Adaptation, Imagist Polyphony, Yugen
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