Stanford University
ENGLISH 258: Imagism: The Bigger Picture
Spring 2006

Home page image.
Imagism, which took place in London in the years between 1908 and 1915, was one of the briefest movements in modern poetic history, and yet it could be said to have had a longer-lasting impact on the subsequent practice and interpretation of poetry than any other single technique or idea. Even today, the point of departure for understanding a poem is often an analysis of its "images". But what exactly was Imagism? And what are poetic images?

Our approach to these questions will be stereoscopic. On the one hand we will take a "close-up", studying the moment of Imagism in detail, looking at its precursors as well as at the main Imagist poems, manifestoes, ideas and milieux of key participants, including H.D. and Ezra Pound. We will also survey some contemporaneous developments in 20th century visual culture.

On the other hand, we will also try to fit the Imagists and their work into a "bigger picture" -- seeing them against the background of much longer-standing debates about the primacy and value of seeing and of images in the human experience of the world.

No previous experience in the interpretation of poetry is required to take this class, though it might be a help. A clear eye, though, is essential.

Meeting Time & Place
MW 3.15-6.05 - Building 160, Rm 329

Instructors Office Hours & Location
Nicholas Jenkins MW 9am-10.30am, Building 460, Rm 213

To access the course website (registered students only):

This page was generated by Stanford University CourseWork
Copyright © 2001-2002 by Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.