Title

Making Modern Poetry: Format, Genre and the Invention of Imagism(e)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Version

Citation

Format

Other

Publication Title

Journal of Modern Literature

Keywords

poetry

Subject Categories

English

Abstract

Although much attention has recently been given to modern little magazines, critics largely have failed to consider how the bibliographical elements of these magazines were instrumental in their production and dissemination of poetic modernism. Focusing on Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, this article argues for the importance of these elements, showing how format leads to form. It contends that Poetry extended the poetic presentation already at work in middlebrow mass circulation magazines, turning the poem into an aesthetic object for contemplation isolated on the page and framed by a border of white space. Subsequently this promoted a consolidation of genre and an opening up of form that pitted “poetry” against popular “verse.” Finally, this article shows that these formal and generic innovations uniquely positioned Poetry to showcase Imagism(e) and offers a re-reading of one of its most lasting examples, Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro.”