Imagism Historical Context

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The transition from the Romanticism and Victorianism into Modernism was one of the major shifts in the history of poetry, and some critics credit the imagists with beginning this great change. The romantics were marked by their idealism and embellished language, while the imagists proclaimed that they were realists who would write in a simple vernacular. The romantics were behind the times, the imagists believed. The older poetic form appealed to audiences that were usually made up of the upper social classes. The modernists wanted to communicate with the masses.

"Imagism has been described as the grammar school of modern poetry," writes Perkins. The imagist poets were responsible for creating some of the basic instructions for Modernism, which included clear and precise language and suggestive and visual imagery. Modernists would experiment with ways in which to relate poetry to the other arts.

Modernism implied that the population...

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Literary Movements for Students
Imagism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.