So now let's talk about Ezra Pound's, The Encounter. There's a little story here, and in a way, it's possible to say that one could have written a short story about this scene. Let's say it's a scene in an urban Bohemian place in 1910s, and there's a story about a man and a woman, seemingly, a man and a woman, at least there's one woman in the poem. They meet of an evening. So, can someone tell the story? Molly, go ahead. Once upon a time. >> There was some sort of salon, some sort of fancy intellectual, political discussion. >> Could be any of those, or all of those. Mm-hm. >> Right, and I was in a room, Ezra was in a room. > >The speaker. >> The speaker was in a room. I noticed a woman staring him up and down, exploring him with her eyes. And when he rose to leave, her fingers touched him and they felt like. >> Tell the story more elaborately. When he rose to go, you can make it up. >> [LAUGH] >> She reached out to stop me, touched my hand. >> Don't go, maybe we can leave together. Or maybe you can stay awhile. >> Yeah, and her fingers were crisp and papery. >> [LAUGH] >> Hey Max, how does this story end? Don't look at the poem, you have to make this up now. >> Going off of what Molly said? >> No, how does the story end? Presumably a man, a speaker created by Pam, let's just assume a man, is at a party, meets a woman. She is obviously looking at him. And they leave together, or they don't leave together, or? >> I think they don't leave together >> Because? >> Because he rises to go, they don't exchange any words, and she stops him, they have a moment, and then that's it, >> Is he turned off by her- >> Weird paper face. >> Handshake, was it a hand shake? Lets do it. It's got to be a little more. >> [LAUGH] >> It's not like a, hey, Matt. >> It's sort of like that. >> [LAUGH] >> On the Sistine Chapel? >> Why are you laughing? Molly, try it. Is it that? Yes, it's that right there. Max, how come you don't know how to do that? >> I don't have Molly's papery fingers. >> [CROSSTALK] >> [LAUGH] >> Okay, so, what does this have to do with anything? What does this have to do with imagism? He's telling a story, which is not what imagism does. Let's face it, Ezra Pound is very important. Many of these movements. He was probably an imagist for about three weeks. Or six months or something. He would move on to something else, so we can make this an images poem, but insofar as knowing about images, it helps understand it. Kristen, what is its relevance at all, if any? >> Well I think that the title leads us a little bit, because he's talking about the encounter, this one moment. This is a couple of moments, obviously, because he rises to go, and she stops him. You hear the background noise, the people talking the new morality. But by talking about this encounter the way he is, he's objectifying it, and turning the her of the poem into an object for him to study. >> And that has to do with imagism because? >> Well- >> It does. >> It's the image, yeah. >> It renders dynamism, intersubjectivity, a relationship, and encounter. It renders it as a thing because- >> It makes it static in a way. >> It makes it static. Okay. >> He's making a feeling into a thing, he's making a whole emotion concrete, which is lust into the napkin. >> Well I think you're right, except that when Max and Molly narrated the story there didn't seem to be a whole lot of emotion. There might have been one coming onto the other in a kind of, possibly, sexual way, probably, sexual way. And then the other either responding or not. So it's not clear how much real emotion was involved. But let's start with the first line. Who's they? All the while, they were talking the new morality. Emmerice, who's they? We don't know but. >> He's probably referencing society in general and the customs of interactions between men and women, and how this particular women is defying those. >> But it's not people in general there's a scene here. >> So the other people at the dinner or the table. >> Yeah, they're at a party, or salon, I think is the right word. One imagines this as sort of a hip artsy space. There's some evidence of that in the last line. Not only are her fingers likened to a Japaneses paper napkin, but at this time, partly because there's a lot of influences to it. All the esthetics, the painters, and poets were into things Japanese, and things Korean, and things Chinese. Partly because of the cross influence of haiku and other forms that encouraged people like Pound to speak of the importance of radical condensation, which was a tradition in the Far East already. And there was also a craze in Bohemian circles for decorating in this kind of way. So we have this kind of Bohemian scene, as Molly sort of suggested, that they, the other people, were talking the numerality. They weren't talking about the numerality. What's the difference between Emily talking, idiomatically speaking, talking the numerality, as opposed to talking about the numerality. >> Well, one is disparaging in a sense. It suggests that people are just tossing these words around in an ostentatious way. >> Which one? >> Talking the numerality. >> Talking the numerality, as opposed to walking >> The walk of the new morality. They're just talking the new morality, they're doing the vocabulary of it. By the way, what would the new morality be at this time? >> Loosening of morals. Sexual gratification, immediate gratification. >> Right, so sexual, aesthetic, political, freedom and radicalism. So what's, how does Pound stand in relation, or how does Pound speak or stand in relation to the new morality? Hannah, take a guess. >> Well it seems like he's not really focusing on the new morality so much as he's focusing on the woman who's. [CROSSTALK] >> So what does he have to say about the new morality, Anna. >> You're really pretty. >> Those who talk about it? >> He doesn't, really. I mean, he only gives them one line. He doesn't seem to be super engaged with it. >> While they talk the new morality, she's exploring me. She's doing the new morality. They make, they're talking it but she seems to be looking me up and down. She seems to be ready to do the new morality. >> But she's more interested in it. >> That's a Poundian moment. I mean, isn't that a Poundian moment? They can do the rhetoric of the new morality, but I'm all about the action here. And so she explores me. Now notice, she is the subject and he's the object for one moment, it doesn't happen for very long. And then, he asked to go, and then what happens to her subjectivity? >> He rejects it. >> We don't know that. But, what does the poem do? >> The poem turns her into, or turns her hand at least, or her fingers into an object. >> So we have a poem that's a bit narrative, that experiences a moment of distinction from social rhetoric, that >> The speaker allows himself to be an object of another subject and the encounter could be subject to subject. Which would be ideal in terms of equality of the two people. But then, once it's time for him to act, he does, then he reverts to images, you might say. He does the imagistic thing of rendering her into an image. Any comments on that, am I wrong? And if I'm right, what do you think? Marise, happy with this? >> I mean- >> Am I being too hard on it? Perhaps, I think the metaphor is referring to that sensation, that encounter, that brief moment of human contact. I don't really see him so much converting her into an object. >> What would someone who advocates for a person, let's say a woman, >> Being seen as subject or a whole person as opposed to just her hand. What would that person let's say a feminist say to the. Very important point is lader day feminism. >> Things like advertisements that would feature women's hands or women's torsos without the head in style or fashion. >> She would probably reject to being reduced to a Japanese paper napkin. >> We don't know that she would but we could >> Well, a feminist >> Right, right. >> Would probably object to this women being >> Is there a danger here anyone? I'll allow Emery's to finish because I cut her off. Is there a danger here of finding an image in this impulse to create an image. Is there a danger of objectification. Or is there a particular incomapcity of this new. Writing, to deal well with people as subjects. Kind of a leading question, but I'm curious. >> I don't think it's actually a dismemberment that's occurring here. He's not reducing the importance or value of this woman to the sensation of, or likening her to a Japanese paper napkin. So I wouldn't have the same feminist objection to it as I would Media portrayals of women that you were referencing. And perhaps Emily has more of that focus on the Japanese aesthetic we were discussing before of this minimalism and concision, an exactitude that isn't supposed to be limiting, it's just supposed to be refined and condensed. Can I disagree? >> Yes, please. Yeah. >> I just think that the fact that, initially, in the poem, she is acting, her eyes are exploring him, makes it very clear that he is aware, while he's not necessarily taking part in the talking of the new morality. It seems like the thing he is focused on is being aware of her interiority and so when he goes. And I also agree with you guys in that I feel like nothing actually ends up happening and I think he does leave. It almost- >> He goes home to write the poem why does he- >> Right. >> Need to have a relationship. He's got his poem. >> It seems as if though his kind of >> That decision is based on, is grounded almost in a kind of rejecting that interiority. Which is the kind of rejection that I was talking about A couple minutes ago. And I think that very much bothers me. >> Hold on, I'm all excited to have a final word. I apologize. Maybe Emily has something to say. But let me just throw mine out and you'll get the final word, because you're so good at that. >> [LAUGH] >> I think interiority is the thing that's at issue here. I believe he orientalizes her. And he makes her part of the decor, the fashionable decor. So this poem begins with a distinction from, and a criticism of those who just talk the new morality. But in the end, it just talks the new morality, because it takes a woman that he could encounter The real person that he could encounter who has rendered him briefly into an object. He doesn't like that so much maybe. And he's turned her into part of the interior decorating. And I don't blame her for not wanting to go with him. But he then runs home. I'm sorry, I'm adding that to the story once upon a time. And he's got his poem in which this person got rendered aesthetically the way he wanted to. He's He's part of the fashion. I'm sorry Emily, here's your final word. >> Nope, I like your reading better. >> [LAUGH] But tell us what you were thinking. >> I read this poem, and the first thing I thought was yeah, it's not completely ambigistic, it does different things, but something >> Something that's kind of lovely about it is it shows how images, even if they can't communicate the truth or the objectiveness of a given object, they can contain a narrative. And just the sort of evocativeness of her fingers being like a paper napkin. Watching you guys act that out was sort of wonderful and >> I read a lot of short fiction, and the more minimal short fiction gets, it begins to mime the narrative properties of an image. >> I love it. You've in a sense shown us that imagism can include narrative, and Pound is very talented at creating a story and rendering it in a very specific way. Once again, nice final word.