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Durham e-Theses
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Imagism and after: a study of the poetry

Barlow, A. E. (1975) Imagism and after: a study of the poetry. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

Richard Aldington is more often remembered to-day as a novelist and biographer than as a poet, but it was as a poet that he first made his reputation and as a poet that he should figure most prominently in recent literary history. His career began under the as gis of Ezra Pound and he quickly became part of the avant-garde literary circle from which the modernist movement was to evolve. He was a leading member of the Imagists, editing The Egoist and publishing articles and manifestos on Imagism, as well as contributing to the Imagist anthologies. He helped to publicise the poetic theories which Ezra Pound derived from T.E. Hulme and he was attracted also to the ideas of the French Symbolists and of Remy de Gourmont. His own early verse, however, reveals more clearly his interest in classical models. The dominant theme of his pre-First World War poetry was that of the conflict between the ideal world of his imagination and the reality of life in the modern city. The real test of his art and ideas came in 1917 when he went to fight in France; he was the only Imagist to write war poems from first-hand experience, and in general his war poetry has been underestimated: he presented with great clarity the struggle to maintain a belief in the value of life in the face of overwhelming destruction. At the same time he wrote a series of love poems which were to reveal his weaknesses rather than his strengths as a poet: a lack of creative and imaginative control which resulted in weak technique.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1975
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:28

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