Over the next four years, four anthologies of Imagist poetry were published. They included work by people in that London group (Pound, F.S. Flint, H.D., and Aldington), but they also contained the works of Amy Lowell, William Carlos Williams, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, and Marianne Moore.

World War I broke out soon after the height of Imagism. Some poets, like Aldington, were called to serve the country, and this made the spread of Imagism difficult—as did paper shortages as a result of the war. Eventually, war poets like Wilfred Owen grew in popularity as people shifted their attention to the state of the world. 

After the war ended, a sense of disillusionment grew, and poems like T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” showed the way poetry had shifted. This infamous poem contains various narratives and voices that change quickly from one topic to another. This style of poetry differed greatly from the slow and focused poetry of the Imagists. Visit this link to read the poem in its entirety.

Within a few years, many Modernist writers moved overseas. There was an exciting expatriate scene in Paris which included Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Mina Loy. These writers held and attended literary salons. Poets such as E.E. Cummings, Hart Crane, and William Carlos Williams also attended these salons at times.

Not all Modernist poets followed the writers who were making revolutionary changes to the world of poetics. Marianne Moore, for example, wrote some form poetry, and Robert Frost once said that writing free verse was “like playing tennis without a net.” Additionally, writers who had gained popularity toward the end of the Modernist era were inspired by less experimental poets such as Thomas Hardy and W.B. Yeats.  

By the 1950s, a new generation of Postmodern poets came to the forefront. Adding “post” in front of the word “Modern” showed that this new period was different than the one before it, yet was influenced by it. The Modernist ideas of Imagism and the work of William Carlos Williams, for example, continue to have a great influence on writers today.

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The origins of Imagism
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