IMAGISME IS NOT symbolism. The symbolists dealt in “association,” that is, in a sort of allusion, almost of allegory. They degraded the symbol to the status of a word. They made it a form of metonomy. One can be grossly “symbolic,” for example, by using the term “cross” to mean “trial.” The symbolist’s symbols have a fixed value, like numbers in arithmetic, like 1, 2, and 7. The imagiste’s images have a variable significance, like the signs a, b, and x in algebra.

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