Imagists | Eurydice / H.D.

Why do we call ourselves ‘Imagists’? Well, why not? People say, ‘Oh, because it looks silly, and everyone is some sort of an “ist,” and why give yourselves a tag, and what on earth does it mean, and it’s dam cheek any way.’ Well, I think it a very good and descriptive title, and it servest to enunciate some of the principles we most firmly believe in.

  1. Direct treatment of the subject…
  2. As few adjectives as possible…
  3. A hardness, as of cut stone…
  4. Individuality of rhythm…
  5. A whole lot of don’ts…
  6. The exact word…

—Richard Aldington, “Modern Poetry and the Imagists,” in The Egoist (London), June 1, 1914

Eurydice
I

So you have swept me back—
I who could have walked with the live souls
above the earth,
I who could have slept among the live flowers
at last.

So for your arrogance
and your ruthlessness
I am swept back
where dead lichens drip
dead cinders upon moss of ash.

So for your arrogance
I am broken at last,
I who had lived unconscious,
who was almost forgot.

If you had let me wait
I had grown from listlessness
into peace—
if you had let me rest with the dead,
I had forgot you
and the past.

 

Eurydice, by H. D.

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