By Betty Sue Flowers
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Additional resources for Browning and the Modern Tradition
This dream-like placing of the things themselves in juxtaposition is one of the prime characteristics not only of modem poetry but also of the twentieth century's unique development in art- the film: In effect both Pound and Eliot began writing as imagist poets who developed a technique much like Eisenstein's in the film; for Eisenstein says he wanted to 'dismember' events into a montage of various shots, and 'by combining these monstrous incongruities, we newly collect the disintegrated event into one whole.
14 Here the poet is viewed not as a singer of beautiful songs, or a speaker of noble truths couched in memorable images, but as one who sees beneath the surface to the life and truth within. And the beautiful poem is one which gives the reader, if even for a moment, this same experience of viewing old facts in a new light. Pound was fond of relating an experience which illustrated this view of the poet's function. "' 15 Pound's anecdote echoes Browning's description of the poets who, seeing, 'Impart the gift of seeing to the rest' 46 BROWNING AND THE MODERN TRADITION (Sardella, III, 868).
But in addition to the notion of redness, the ideogram also carries within it, to the discerning eye, the intimations of its origins in the particular things of which it is composed. Thus 'red', by carrying flamingo, rust, and so on, serves not merely as a definition, but also as a centre for feeling. The ideogrammic method involves setting images side by side. The images themselves are opaque; they are 'things' and have their own identities. The 'stiff blind horse' (xm) and 'thin dry blades' of grass (xm) in 'Childe Roland' do not merge with each other, but are merely seen one after another.
Browning and the Modern Tradition by Betty Sue Flowers