All terms

What is imagism?

The literary movement characterized by the use of precise and concrete imagery to create a vivid and direct sensory impression.

Painting Pictures with Words: A Guide to Imagism in Creative Writing

Imagism, a movement at the forefront of the Modernist era in poetry, emerged in the early 20th century and emphasized the creation of a clear and precise visual image through language.

Poets writing in this style sought to eliminate flowery and abstract language and instead use direct and sensory descriptions to create a vivid impression in the reader's mind. They aimed to capture the essence of a moment or experience through the use of carefully selected words and the creation of precise and evocative images.

It emphasized the use of strong visual language and encouraged writers to focus on imagery, metaphor, and other literary devices that engage the reader's senses. It downplayed traditional poetic forms and devices such as rhyme and meter, in favor of free verse and a focus on evocative language.

Some of the key figures associated with Imagism include poets like Ezra Pound, H.D., and William Carlos Williams.

Seeing is Believing: Examples of Imagism in Literature

Imagism, as a literary movement, is best understood through examples. Here are two you might recognize:

In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
A Petal on a wet, black bough.

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white