Rereading the Imagist Poetry in the Light of the Deconstructionist

Pu ZHAO

Abstract


Imagism is probably the most important single movement in English-language poetry of the twentieth century. Hardly any prominent poet in that generation went untouched by imagist theory and practice. It emphasized a romantic return to origins, a simplication of needless complexities, a zealous Puritanical stripping-away of the excrescences which had attached themselves to the art of poetry like barnacles to a clean hull. Amony the luxuries to be relinquished were traditional meter and rhyme, artificial poetic diction, superfluous verbiage, rhetoric, philosophizing and editorializing, and transitional filler. The poem was to be made as economical and functional as possible, and it chiefly present images unmediated without authorial commentary. However the Imagist poems turn out to be obscure and largely inaccessible to common public due to the focus on the immediacy of time, impersonality of viewpoint and irregularity of form. It is because, on the one hand, the imagist poets innovated boldly, to free the poetry from the shackles of old conventions, on the other hand, the imagist poets depicted the apprehensive inner world and the crisis of belief after the World War I, instead of the traditional abject of loyalty and perpetuity. However the sensational, chaotic and elusive form of language in the Imagist poems may obtain its justification in the Deconstructionist doctrine of human language which is characterized with a revolt against logocentrism and phonocentrism and which attempts to restore the prototype of language that was sensuous, intuitive and metaphorical in essence.
The paper falls into two parts. It begins with a basic introduction of the Deconstructionism. Next, it endeavors to unfold the nature of the Imagist poetic language in the light of the Deconstructionist interpretation of language, which is conducted through a meticulous investigation of the Imagist poetry in terms of its instantaneity of emotion, fragmentation of structure and multiplied explications of the metaphorical language


Keywords


Imagism; Deconstructionism; Images; Intuitive language

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/6400

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