The Art of Imagism

Pond frozen solid,
wildlife hibernates.
Bright, blue day
of golden rays
glisten off the ice.
Wildly colored scarves
flash and pirouette
across the surface.

White, pintucked
embroidered duvet
cover with dainty
ruffled edges, lies
rumpled on my bed.
After a year of
admiration and desire
it arrived in the mail.

The potter’s wheel
is still. Clay, dried
and chipping, clings.
March was a long month.

Join us today at dVerse Poets at 3PM EST where Victoria instructs us on Imagism:

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  1. So enjoyed these, Gail, especially the potter’s wheel. I could smell the clay thanks to the crisp image you painted.


  2. I love the thoughts of those bed-sheets.. but what I really liked is the sense of smell throughout your poetry.


  3. Three beautiful snapshots from life. I especially liked the second, but I’m a big fan of lazy days curled up with a book in bed beneath a snugly duvet.


  4. Oh, I especially like the one about the duvet…..sometimes I think it would be nice to have one instead of a bedspread. Yours sounds beautiful! I like the 3rd one… often projects lay fallow for a while, but hopefully eventually they are picked up on again. I have a few such projects!


    • That duvet was worth the wait. I had looked at hundreds, lol. It went on sale after Christmas so I went for it. So glad you like my offerings, Mary, thanks.


  5. It felt like I was peeking around the items in someone’s home! Brilliant.


  6. This is absolutely gorgeous!!


  7. The third one brings images of loss to me. The still wheel and the dried clay. I lost my father and grandparents in March in the same year. Odd how your clay image brings that to mind – the last line, March was a long month – yes it was. And those beautiful fluttering scarves on the surface of the frozen pond – oh my heart how it skipped when seeing that beautiful image in my mind. and indulging in that duvet….made me smile because of the image of it being unwrapped and touched for the first time.


    • I actually had death in mind as I wrote this. I’m so sorry for your loss, Toni, three close family members gone in one month is just too much. You picked up on my excitement when I got that duvet cover, smiles. And I’m happy for that leap of your heart. Thank you!


      • I lusted after a Le Cresuet oval baker for a year before I finally dipped into my special savings jar and bought it….lovely sunny yellow. I happy danced when I got home and pulled it from the box….March is coming up. I always face it with a sense of dread but my three words for this year, Happy.New.Year. may give me different thoughts! Hope springs eternal….


  8. All three did the things they’re supposed to – take you inside the image and where the image lies. The last one resonates the most because it brings that sense of loss. However, the first one is the classic image with the classic symbols used by all the imagists. Birds are universal – all varieties. Reading Mary Oliver, her birds and other animals always describe the center of the human condition and of course, use the animals of a way of looking out and realizing that we are one with nature and it is who we are as well. The second is colorful, whimsical, and conveys warmth as a duvet should and speaks to the idea of waiting and yearning. So all I think are quite successful and in their music too. One of the tools I also use to get music is to repeat sounds not necessarily end sounds but keeping them consistent throughout as though they were like bird calls.


    • Thank you, Gay, for this comprehensive comment. It’s interesting that you mention birds in the first poem when I didn’t refer to birds but wildlife. I like your idea of using sound and that too, of course, can be used to conjure images.


      • Gay, do you have an example of something you’ve written with the repeated sounds throughout? I would love a link to something to read if you would be so kind.


  9. For me, all three poems conjured up visions of white and the sensation of cold: the white of winter ice; the warmth associated with the white duvet cover on a cold winter day, and white clay being worked in March. Each stands successfully on its own.


  10. Such fulsome images, I could picture every one. The duvet sounds beautiful. Mine is covered with wolves, LOL. I sleep better under them. Smiles.


    • Thank you, Sherry. It is a beautiful duvet cover and I’m happy to have one at last. My down duvet had been “naked” for too long. 🙂 Of course, yours is covered with wolves, I can’t imagine otherwise! Smiles.


  11. Glenn Buttkus

     /  January 28, 2016

    Several of us got so pumped up with poetic passion that we did several poems in order tok exorcise the Imagist demons rumbling stark & nearly naked, without a descriptive mantle to adorn them. I adored III because it popped in my lobe.


  12. I like all three of these very much, Gail, but that third one just touches me so deeply. Art abandoned. Its sadness, along with that of the artist. There is longing here, and loss. I’m also reminded of the biblical reference of the Potter and the Clay. Wonderful.


    • I did have the death of the potter in mind as I wrote this, De. I’m glad that the image came through. Thank you for your generous comment.


  13. such pretty images


  14. I think the 3rd was my favourite. I can just see that clay that has hardened on its own due to a far too busy schedule of the potter.


  15. I enjoyed the three distinct images that you brought to life here. The first one took me to a conservation area that I frequent often.


  16. Great responses to the prompt…you’ve got it down; loved the colors in the scarf while ice skating and warm feeling from reading about the duvet, the month of March.


  17. Love them all, the second one’s my favorite…


  18. Wonderful vignettes! Can’t pick a favorite…..I can see the ice skaters, their scarves whipping behind them in the wind. I can picture this exquisite duvet. And most interesting to me, the dry clay chippings lead me to directly to the long March….I FEEL the long March rather than see the potters wheel.
    Really enjoyed these!


  19. ShirleyB

     /  January 29, 2016

    I’m head over heels in love with no. 1. A crispy, frosty morning glistening with scarves. Yummy. Loved the others, too, but no. 1 is no. 1 is no.1!


  20. Oh wow! You have encapsulated the essence of imagism


  21. SKating SpiRaLinG
    ice cuts


  22. All three are fabulous images, Gayle…enjoyed reading!


  23. You’ve stirred our senses with these!



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