Imagism reconsidered, with special reference to the early poetry of H.D.
The main aim of this thesis is to examine how H. D. developed her poetics during the Imagist movement by looking especially at her work in the Imagist anthologies (1915-1917). In order to identify the distinctive qualities of H. D.'s poetry, I shall compare it with that of other Imagists, notably Richard Aldington, John Gould Fletcher, F. S. Flint and Amy Lowell. Previous discussions of H. D.'s early poetics have been held within the context of Ezra Pound's aesthetics, and the characteristics of her poems which are inconsistent with Pound’s criteria have been ignored. Hence, one of the most useful strategies to reinterpret H. D.'s poetry is, first and foremost to reconsider Pound's Imagist theory from a different viewpoint. Because of this, in the first half of this thesis, I will consider Imagism in respect of Japanese poetics; for as regards the relationship between Pound’s theory and the haiku and the Chinese ideograph, there are some important issues which have been hardly discussed. So, these issues provide room for reconsidering the formation of Imagism. Since H. D. left behind hardly any literary criticism, her poems are the most useful source from which to draw clarification of her poetic criteria. Moreover, her correspondence with Amy Lowell provides significant evidence for an examination of H. D.'s poetic practice at this time. In the second half of the thesis, by quoting her own words in letters to Lowell, I identify the characteristics of H.D.'s Imagism which obviously differ from Pound's theory, and trace her development within the Imagist period. By raising a number of critical issues, I intend to illuminate the diversity of Imagism.