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In the Presence of (an) Image: Ezra Pound's explanation of what an Image is (Sept. 2002; Scanned)

In the Presence of (an) Image: Ezra Pound's explanation of what an Image is (Sept. 2002; Scanned)

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First paragraph:

Ezra Pound, in his “Restrospect,” presents us with a word, Image, which he capitalizes throughout. An “Image,” apparently, is not an “image,” and so he explains to us exactly what an Image is. While attending to his explanation we notice that, while an Image has something to do with words, with poetry--things we might think would require effort on our part to transform into images--Pound prefers to imagine us as the Image’s passive and grateful attendees. The “presence” of an Image is powerful; it captures Pound’s attention as he claims an it will ours. So much so, that we may not be mistaken if we assume he is more interested in the nature of the experience an Image provides than with what we ourselves make of this experience.
First paragraph:

Ezra Pound, in his “Restrospect,” presents us with a word, Image, which he capitalizes throughout. An “Image,” apparently, is not an “image,” and so he explains to us exactly what an Image is. While attending to his explanation we notice that, while an Image has something to do with words, with poetry--things we might think would require effort on our part to transform into images--Pound prefers to imagine us as the Image’s passive and grateful attendees. The “presence” of an Image is powerful; it captures Pound’s attention as he claims an it will ours. So much so, that we may not be mistaken if we assume he is more interested in the nature of the experience an Image provides than with what we ourselves make of this experience.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Patrick McEvoy-Halston on Jun 30, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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In th e P re s e n c eo f (a n )Im a g e : E z ra P o u n d 'se x p la n a tio no fw hata n Im a g eis
E z ra P o u n d ,inh is "R e s tro s pe c t,"p re s e n tsu s w ith a w o rd ,Im a g e ,w h ic h h e c a p ita liz e s
th ro u g h o u t.A n "Im a g e ,"a p p a re n tly ,

is n o ta n" im a g e ,"a n d s oh e e x p la in sto u s e x a c tlyw hatan Im a g eis . W h ile a tte n d in gt o h is e x p la n a tio nw e n o tic e th a t,w h ilea nIm a g eh a s s o m e th in gto d o w ith w o rd s ,w ithp o e try --th in g sw e m ig h t th in k w o u ld re q u iree ffo rt o no u rp a rtto tra n s fo rm in to im a g e s --P o u n d

p re fe rsto im a g in eu s a s th e Im a g e 'sp a s s iv ea n dg ra te fu la tte n d e e s l
T h e
'o p r e s e n c e "
o fa n Im a g eis p o w e rfu l;it c a p fu r e sP o u n d 's a tte n tio na sm u c h a sh e c la im sit w ill
o u rs . S om u c h s o ,th a tw em aynotb e m is ta k e nif w e assum eh e is m o re in te re s te dinth e n a tu re
o f th e e x p e rie n c ea n Im a g ep ro v id e sth a n w ith w h a t w e o u rs e lv e sm akeofth is e x p e rie n c e .
A c c o r d i n g t o P o u n d , a nIm a g e"p re s e n ts "a n e x p e rie n c eto u s . T h e e x p e rie n c eisg iv e n t o
u s ;th e I m a g e ,a p p a r e n t l y ,
d o e sn o te v o k e o rin v o lv e o u r o w n e m o tio n sa n din te llig e n c e .T h is
c o n c e p t i o n o f t r a n s f e r e n c e r w h i c h
d o e sn o t s e e m t ore q u ire(o r a tle a s td o e sn o t e m p h a s iz e )
o u r
a c tiv ein v o lv e m e n to rp a rtic ip a tio nfo r its e ffe c t, w o rk s to m a k eth e Im a g es e e mm o rep o w e rfu l
th a ni t o th e rw is em ig h t. T h e Im a g e 'sg ift-th is e x p e rie n c e --is
" in s ta n ta n e o u s [ly ]"
fe lt. P o u n d
c a r e fu lly s p e c ifie sth a tit is th e Im a g e 'sin s ta n ta n e o u s n e s s

p re s e n ta tio no f e m o tio n sa n d in te lle c t to u s , c o m b in e din w h a th e c a llsa "c o m p le x "-Y ate rmh e d o e sn o t d e f i n e ,b u t w h ic h h a sa b o u tit a s e n s e o f d e n s i t y a s m u c h a s in tric a c y --w h ic ha ffe c tsu s .

H is te rm " c o m p le x " c o n n o te sd e n s ity b e c a u s ea s in g leIm a g ec a nm akeusfe e l
d r a m a t i c a l l yc h a n g e d .It m a k e su s fe e l s u d d e n lyu n c o n s h a in e d ,
fre e(e th e re a l,
p e rh a p s ),
w h ilea t
th esam e tim e w e fe e l a s if w e h a v ebecom em o re s u b s ta n tia l.P o u n dd o e sn o t s a y th a tIm a g e s
a c tu a llym a k e u s fre e ,o r m a k e u s g ro w ;in fa c t h e e m p h a s iz e s
th a tIm a g e s"g iv e [u s a ] . . . s e n s e
o f"'fre e d o m ," a n d"o f s u d d e ng ro w th ."T h e y m a k eu s f e e l a s - t fw e w e r e f r e e o a s i f w e h a v e

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