The Revolutionary Gardens of Imagism
Imagists wrote a significant number of poems that feature gardens. This topos draws from observable phenomena in actual gardens and city parks. Since gardens and parks were highly charged spaces in the 1910s it follows that Imagist poems engage with politics in ways no one has explored to date. In the 1910s London parks were sites of revolutionary change, whether it was the presence of independent women newly able to traverse the city or women in mass suffragette demonstrations. Reconsidering H.D. and Ezra Pound’s involvement with the anarcho-feminist individualist politics of Dora Marsden’s little magazine The Egoist, this essay makes the case that H.D. and Ezra Pound’s version of anarcho-feminism registers sympathy with militant-suffrage tactics, engaging the rhetorical use of flowers in public park and garden space, but rejects collectivist action. In two poems that represent the span of their editorial associations with The Egoist, Pound and H.D. in “The Garden” (1913) and “Sheltered Garden” (1916) respectively, focus their attention, not toward the masses striving for action, but to solitary figures consumed in their own thoughts, working through internal struggles.
Original Publication Citation
Konkol, M. (2020). The Revolutionary Gardens of Imagism. Modernism/modernity Print Plus. https://doi.org/10.26597/mod.0144
Konkol, Margaret, "The Revolutionary Gardens of Imagism" (2020). English Faculty Publications. 154.