By Brian Trehearne
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Extra resources for Aestheticism and the Canadian Modernists: Aspects of a Poetic Influence
E. Ross and Raymond Knister The sea's breast heaves in sighs to the moon, But they are moon and sea forever You will be you yourself, I'll find you more, not else, For vintage of the woeful years I shall not wonder more, then, But I shall know. (WC, 33) It is in contrast with "Change" that the sentimentalism and decayfixations of Knister's other "death poetry" become clear. The fact is that when he chose to address beauty and death at once, he did so most often in late nineteenth-century diction, with frequently traditional stanza structures and conventional emotions.
The same will be true of Imagism: a certain degree of variation from a purist definition of the school will take us to a kind of poetry that "Imagism" can no longer describe, although we may still wish to speak of Imagistic tendencies or echoes in the derivative verse. One of the difficulties of defining Imagism is that the movement largely defined itself against other literary practice, so that the clearest picture one can generate in turn is usually negative, that is, based on a sense of what Imagism was not.
John T. ) 42 Aestheticism and the Canadian Modernists The relationship between Imagism and Impressionism was, after all, the central bone of contention between Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford (then Hueffer) during the first years of their friendship;23 the older man provided the younger simultaneously with a mentor and a locus of polite attack, which made it appear, to others, that Imagism was pointed as much against the subjectivism of Impressionism as against the verbose gentility of the Victorian tradition.