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Sam Smith

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A New Acmeism
by Sam Smith   

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Books by Sam Smith
· Marraton
· Something's Wrong
· Hit and Run
· Balant: a beginning
· Happiness: a planet
                >> View all



Publisher:  erbacce-press


Copyright:  July 13 2015 ISBN-13:  9781907878749

Price: $5.00 (eBook)
The Journal

Nature poems, and all bar one set in the UK

Introduction to A New Acmeism

At about the same time, early 1900s, that Imagism - espoused by the likes of Hilda Doolittle, Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams - arose in the West, over in the East Acmeism was growing out of an almost identical reaction against Symbolism. Nikolai Gumilev, Anna Andreevna Akhmatova and Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam set out to rid poetry of mysticism and Symbolism’s excessive allusiveness. Anna Akhmatova defined Acmeism as “...a return to the poetic principles of clarity, concision and the precise expression of emotional experience.”

As they sought, over a century ago, to restore ‘concreteness’ and ‘immediacy’ to poetic language so too now has come the time to slough off our latterday accretion of unnecessary verbiage and to try again. Because in this last half of the last century poetry has again become rife with arcane classical allusions, is now at the beginning of the 21st complicated by so many different types - ekphrasis, slipstream, LANGUAGE, intertextualised metafiction, et al - that we need to cut through the theoretical and take poetry back to the actual. Observational, empirical, actual: in the creation of new tableau vivant this new Acmeism has to take its subject direct from life.
The Undermining of Quiet

At the head of a steepsided estuary creek is a low dam of round-ended stones. The dam holds back a long marsh clogged with tall reeds. The reeds are yellow still in the deepening dusk.

A twelve year old boy sits in the crown of a tall willow toppled out into the marsh. His shivering dog lies, jaw on paws, part way along the bark-flattened trunk. The boy is waiting for the barn owl to again come ghosting over the feathery tops of the reeds.

From the dog’s narrow muzzle, from the two wet slots of its black nose, comes the first low whine.

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