Hd Poetry Analysis Essays

Table of Contents


2.1 – The major goals and ideas of the Imagist Movement
2.2 – Hilda Doolittle’s place within the Imagist Movement





Though there was a movement since 1890 that began to break with previous norms, Modernism refers to the modern period from 1910 to 1945. The year 1913 is referred to as the beginning of the age of modernism when the Amory Show took place in New York in March 1913. It was the first large exhibition that showed modern art in the U.S., which was radical art in contrast to American standards. The time of modernism brought about the development of new inventions like radio broadcasting, the rise of motion pictures, mass production and the spread of consumerism, automobiles and aviation. Due to these inventions, the economic, social and political conditions changed and also literature was affected by these changes of society. Modernism as a literary movement caused a fundamental break with traditional modes of western art, concerning religion, social conventions and morality. It is an artistic movement that was characterized by its “sense of engagement with ideas of the ‘new’” (Armstrong 2005, 24). This term paper deals with the Imagist movement that came into being in 1912, and which is part of the modernist movement. The term paper further deals with Hilda Doolittle’s place within the Imagist movement and her poem Sea Ros e. In the first part, the goals and ideas of the Imagist movement will be presented and in the second part the focus will be on Hilda Doolittle’s poem Sea Rose, which will be discussed in relation to the aims, goals and techniques central to Imagism. In the third part, the findings and comments will be concluded to state whether or not Hilda Doolittle’s poem conforms to the Imagist program.


The Imagist movement came into being in 1912. “This movement was inspired by T. E. Hulme, who wrote the first Imagist-style poems” (Stinson 2009, 61). Due to this inspiration, the movement was given its name and created by Ezra Pound in collaboration with Richard Aldington, Hilda Doolittle (H. D.), T. E. Hulme and F. S. Flint. Also Amy Lowell, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence were associated with this movement. With this, “Pound announced a new poetic credo” (Gioia, et al. 2004, 169). This chapter outlines this poetic credo and deals with the major goals and ideas of the Imagist movement and Hilda Doolittle’s place within this movement.

2.1 – The major goals and ideas of the Imagist Movement

After establishing Imagism as literary movement, the first poems where published in the United States and England. Imagism was launched in the United States by a small magazine named Poetry, for which Pound was foreign editor, and in England it was launched by The New Freewomen[1] (Beasley 2007, 6). Imagism was a movement that acted in opposition to the late nineteenth-century literary culture. “Imagism refers to the theory and practice of a group of poets who, between 1912 and 1917, joined in reaction against the careless technique and extra-poetic values of much nineteenth-century verse (Coffman 1951, 3). By reason of this, a new style of writing emerged. Pound’s formula was to “make it new” (Emig 1995, 109). New styles of writing were necessary to express new ideas and values. This new style of writing and the Imagist ideas were summarized in three “principles” that were published in Poetry in March 1913 and formulated by Pound:

1) Direct treatment of the ‘thing’, whether subjective or objective.
2) To use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation.
3) As regarding rhythm: to compose in sequences of the musical phrase, not in

sequence of a metronome

(Beasley 2007, 38)

These three major goals of the Imagist movement were the basis of Imagist writings, although not all Imagist writers fulfilled these three principles. The first principle with its “direct treatment of the thing” refers to the immediateness, “as opposed to the romanticized or symbolic treatment favoured by nineteenth-century poets” (Beach 2003, 25). The words in an Imagist poem are not used in a symbolic way. They do not carry a certain meaning because they are liberated from conventional ways of perception. This liberation is a result of a detached perception of the objects in the poem. An expression such as “dim land of peace” would mix an abstraction with the concrete (Jones 2001, 131). There should be no usage of vague or abstract words because “the natural object is always the adequate symbol” (Beach 2003, 25), and represents the directness of the utterance. The second rule “to use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation” refers to the usage of “no superfluous words and no adjective, which does not reveal something” (Jones 2001, 131). So Imagist poems are concise and use no words that are not absolutely necessary. They have a rather short form in order to show that they are more compressed. “The attention to the “image” would help the poet to focus on this language; rather than presenting a generalized poetic sentiment, the poet could create “an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time” (Beach 2003, 26). The image is used to create a complex, as opposed to romantic poems that were sentimental and self-referential. Imagism does not mean merely the presentation of pictures; it refers to the manner of presentation, not the subject (Jones 2001, 136). The emotion itself is created by the image the poem reveals. In the following, this complex will be explained. The third principle focuses on the composition of the poem. It should be composed “in the sequence of the musical phrase” rather than “in the sequence of the metronome”. So Imagist poems do not use typical poetic rhyme and metre. Instead, they are mostly written in free verse. Free verse means that a poem does not conform to any metrical pattern. In free verse the division into lines remains the important formal feature (Furniss, et al. 2007, 61). Imagist felt that free verse allowed a greater originality of expression than conventional metrical and stanzaic forms (Beach 2003, 26). New rhythms were created to express new modes, instead of copying old rhythms which would merely echo predominant moods that were already known (Quinn 1967, 25). The visual quality of a poem that is evoked in the reader is more important than its sound, i.e. its rhyme and metre. Also the “absolute freedom in the choice of subject” was important (ibid.). Before Imagism and Modernism emerged, especially sexual and political matters were not dealt with and were not expressed in poetry. In the introduction of the anthology Des Imagistes (1914), Pound elaborated on the principles of the Imagist poetry: the language of common speech should be used, but always the exact word – not the almost exact one- , and new rhythms should be created (Gioia 2004, 169). This new poetry was austere and bare. Pound’s Imagist writings stress objectivity, precision and professionalism, and the image is defined by its hardness and clarity, which eliminates superfluous words (Armstrong 2005, 131). The compression of the poem produces an objective image. These images are different to romantic poetry that emphasized on feelings and subjectivity. Romantic poetry expressed a subjective and personal view of the poet (Beach 2003, 49). This is contrary to Imagism which called for objectivity. Imagism rejected sentimentalities and Romanticism because of its emotional dishonesty and its concealment of reality. And this reality could only be shown by clarity and precision, which allowed an objective perception of the world in contrast to Victorian’s cultural conceptualization, which was displayed in romantic poetry. This conceptualization tried to perfect society by separating people and things into distinct categories in order to maintain stability and control, and generated an unmistakable dividing line that separated what was moral and true (Wightman, 1995, 461). Imagists and Modernists in general tried to liberate themselves from these constraints imposed by nineteenth-century culture. In his essay Romanticism and Classicism, T. E. Hulme juxtaposed the exaggerated self-reference of Romanticism in opposition to post romantic poetry which tried to be concise and objective in its perception of the world and precise in its language:

There are then two things to distinguish, first the particular faculty of mind to see things as they really are, and apart from the conventional ways in which you have been trained to see them. […] Second, the concentrated state of mind, the grip over oneself which is necessary in the actual expression of what one sees. […] I prophesy that a period of dry, hard, classical verse is coming (1972, 104).

Poems should show the perceived objects as they really are and not in terms of cultural conventions, so that the reader perceives the objects in a new and unexpected way, that the reader had not realized before. He aims at a concentration of the things’ geometrical qualities and poetry that is visually orientated. The common perception of things remains disregarded. So things are perceived purely sensually and in terms of their geometrical forms. They are regarded as freed from their conventional meaning. This perception is different to the cultural perception of things and reveals its aesthetic nature. A “detached and impassioned vision” becomes possible due to the formation of mental visual images of things that are isolated from their cultural context and regardless of any ordinary categories of perception (Fry 1998, 35). To Hulme this visual perception of the image is important. Imagism transformed the modes of perception and lead to radical changes in literature (Wightman, et al. 1995, 462).

According to the term Imagism, an Imagist poem creates an image. For Pound


[1]The New Freewomen was subsequently renamed the Egoist

Every author and poet have their own unique style that cannot be replicated. Based on how they think or what they are trying to portray, they create various poems to explore several ideas or theories that were on their mind.

Poetry analysis is simply . Normally, this review is conducted and recorded within the structure of a literary analysis essay. This type of essay writing requires one to take a deeper look at both the choices that a poet made and the overall effects of those choices. These papers require an in-depth analysis of all of the parts that were used to form a work of poetry.

Table Of Contents

Steps To Take Pre-Writing

In order to compose a poetry analysis essay, one must first read the poem carefully. It is definitely important to reread the literary piece several times so as to get a full grasp of the numerous ideas and concepts. This also gives you an opportunity to make note of the rhyme scheme (if there is one), the type of poem (Limerick, ode, sonnet, lyric, haiku, free verse, etc.) and other poetic techniques that the poet used (such as enjambment, meter, end-stopped lines, figurative language, etc.).

  • Limerick: Limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second and fifth rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables each; and the shorter third and fourth lines also rhyming with each other, but having only two feet of three syllables.
  • Ode: Its structure - 10-line stanzas rhyming, with the 8th line iambic trimeter and all the others iambic pentameter
  • Sonnet: A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter. Was made famous by non-other than Shakespeare! (Shakespeare invented the word "swag"... just saying)
  • Lyric: A lyric poem is a comparatively short, non-narrative poem in which a single speaker presents a state of mind or an emotional state. Rather than tell a story, the speaker talks about his thoughts using a specific rhyming style.
  • Haiku: Invented by the Japanese, a haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.
  • Free-Verse: Rather simple, free verse is poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular rhythm.

All of those elements of the poem are essential to know when one is writing a poetry analysis essay because they are a part of the poem’s structure and can affect the content.

After covering the technical aspects of a poem, it is best to learn about the background of the poem. This means that one may find it beneficial to look up the poet, the date that the poem was written, and the cultural context of the work. All of that information typically gives the reader a more in-depth understanding of the poem, and it seems self-explanatory that one who has an enhanced comprehension of the poem would have an easier time conducting an analysis of that poem.

The final element of writing a poetry analysis essay is a part of the composition dedicated to the subject matter of the poem. This can be analyzed during the reader’s quest to determine the theme, tone, mood, and meaning of the poem. The subject matter – and the thematic elements that support the intended message behind the subject – is often an interpretive minefield.

Often, people have different ideas about what a poet is trying to say by their use of a subject, so unless the message is implicitly stated, it is best to state about what the poet may have meant and include evidence for these theories.

However, it is important to generally pick a side among the various theories that you have created. Though the author could have tried to portray several different ideas in theories, .
The writer should be careful to not mistake this with choosing a favorite opinion or biased one. They should be defending the one that carries the most weight or offers the most validation! As the essay is to be an analysis, opinions are to be avoided in favor of facts and conjectures that are backed by evidence from the work.

How To Choose A Topic

A great way to choose a topic for a poetry analysis essay is to decide on a topic that would deal with information that one is already familiar with. For example, if the choice of the poem to analyze is up to the writer, then it may be beneficial for the writer to choose a poem that he/she has encountered before. If the choice is to be made between different subject areas within a poem, then the writer could find it easier to choose to focus on writing about an area that plays to his/her strengths, so that the statements made in the essay are conveyed

A poetry analysis essay may seem like a daunting writing assignment at first, but if the topic, outline, and paper are composed following the aforementioned steps, the paper will no doubt, turn out very well.

Poetry Analysis Essay Outline

An outline for a poetry analysis essay can be very simple, as it is just a guideline for the writer to build upon as the first draft is written. It would probably be best to put the title of the paper at the top of a page, then place a Roman numeral one (I) underneath, preceding the word “introduction”.

Under this, one can list brainstormed ideas for the introduction paragraph of the paper. The final portion of this section should be dedicated to the thesis statement of the paper.

After that portion of the outline is finished, one can move on to the body paragraphs. Each of the Roman numerals used to label this part of the outline should denote a different subject area with respect to the poem that will be discussed in the essay. Letters under these numerals may be followed by subtopics within each subject area that are to be dealt within individual paragraphs (or sentences, if it is to be a shorter essay) within the body of the paper.

The final section of the outline is where the last Roman numeral is used in front of the word “conclusion”. The conclusion of the paper should contain a restatement of the thesis, preferably in different, yet recognizable wording. It should also include an overall concluding statement about your summarized viewpoint of the analyzed piece.

Poetry Analysis Essay Example

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Fabokid, tutor from EssayPro

When it comes to poetry analysis, the tricky thing is to pinpoint literary devices and explain their meaning. When you pinpoint a literary device used in the poem (e.g. an anaphora) you want to explain its effect in the poem, not simply state that the author of the poem used an anaphora. As the article articulates, the structure and background of the poem is very important, but in case of analysis, it is of utmost importance to stress how background, structure, and literary devices influence the overall meaning of the poem as a whole. What message is it sending and what is it trying to say? Other literary devices that you should pay attention to are diction, imagery, and allusion. The background of the author will not always be available to you. For example, while you are taking an AP exam, pay attention to specific images and words that they use or the cultural references they make can really help you pinpoint where the author is from and assist you in writing your essay.

Have A Poem To Analyze and Feel Stumped?

Do not worry, reading Shakespeare can feel like trying to understand ancient hieroglyphics. That is why here at EssayPro, the best paper writing service on the web, you can order an essay online without having any doubts of legitimacy. Our trusted essay writers have been working with Poetry since their college days, and can analyze everyone from A-Z! Working with literary lingo can feel like hell, especially if other assignments are taking up headspace! Try our custom essay service, and get rid of that mental stress!

Visit essaypro

0 thoughts on “Hd Poetry Analysis Essays”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *