Like most inventors, Pound did not create out of the void. The “Image” he took from T. E. Hulme’s table talk. The “ism” was suggested to him by the notes on contemporary French poetry which I wrote for Harold Monro’s Poetry Review. The collacation of ‘image’ and ‘ism’ came to Pound after I had told him about Divoire’s essays on stratégie littéraire.FS Flint. Source.

Eliot, Flint and Hulme and Pound together in the pub, 
raised a glass and had a round. Hulme taught Pound about 
the Image and Flint taught the ‘ism’ and to stratégie littéraire 
a homage. The inspired Pound, pound his fist on the table 
and sang: The poem is dead! Long live the new poem!  Imagism!

In an elegy to prosidy he tipped his hat to the new facism
Lingering, pound for pound we buy the crypto of Ezra Pound
Sold on blind obeisance to so-called merits of imagism
where a poem is a description, an ekphrastic syllogism 
We freeze the poet into still images scraped on paper

In a cold desperation not to tell, only show; snuffs our glow
The breeze of thoughts weave the image into a don’t tell 
Show don’t tell let them draw their own conclusions 
Round and round we argue the merits of the Imagism
Let fifth graders find their way through the maze of idealism 

What a chasm we expect them to jump! Knee jerk tropism!
Don’t shoot the messenger reader, read the narrative 
that developed into a story of a Pound of sophism
Air the poet like newly opened wine, before you dine
Show and tell; 80/20 will not stifle the voice of the poet

Where experience and insight hide and verity lies and doesn’t
Have to hide behind mob reaction to being told — to wear masks 
To change the conduct of their tasks; why get vaccines they ask. 
I don’t know if the virus came out of bats or a mishap at Wu Han labs 
Now the world is a game of Russian Roulette and Chinese Craps.

The speaker of the poem begins by discussing the literary movement of Imagism, which originated with poets such as Eliot, Flint, Hulme, and Pound. Imagism promotes the use of concrete, vivid imagery in poetry and values aesthetics over substance. The speaker suggests that this focus on image has led to a tendency to reduce poets to static, frozen figures rather than allowing their work to evolve and unfold.

The poem also touches on the theme of truth and how it can be obscured by a focus on image and appearance. The speaker compares this to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mistrust and conspiracy theories surrounding it, suggesting that people are more interested in image and appearance rather than seeking the truth.

The speaker ultimately argues that, rather than freezing poets into static images, it is important to allow their work to unfold and to consider the substance and truth of their words. The speaker suggests that a balance of showing and telling, with about 80% showing and 20% telling, will allow the poet’s voice and the music of their experience and insight to emerge without being stifled.

In stanza two of the poem, the speaker appears to be criticizing the way that Imagism, as a literary movement, has been received and adopted. The speaker refers to an “elegy to prosody,” suggesting that Imagism has led to a devaluation or disregard for traditional poetic forms. The speaker also mentions “free verse,” which is a form of poetry that does not have a strict rhyme or meter, and implies that Imagism has contributed to a prioritization of free verse over other forms.

The speaker then introduces the idea of “fascism” in relation to Imagism, possibly suggesting that the movement has become oppressive or dictatorial in its influence. The phrase “mirage-ism” could be interpreted as a critique of Imagism as being illusory or deceptive.

The speaker then shifts to discussing the idea of buying cryptocurrency from the “ghost of Ezra Pound,” possibly suggesting that Pound’s legacy has been reduced to a commodity or spectacle rather than being valued for his contributions to literature. The speaker also mentions “blind obeisance” and “so-called merits,” implying that people are blindly following Imagism without fully understanding or considering its true value.

Finally, the speaker suggests that Imagism is characterized by a focus on description and ekphrasis, which is the verbal description of a visual work of art. This could be interpreted as a criticism of Imagism for being overly concerned with surface-level appearance rather than deeper meaning or substance.

In stanza three of the poem, the speaker suggests that the focus on imagery in Imagism has led to a reduction of poets to static, frozen images “blotched on paper.” The speaker implies that this tendency to only show, rather than tell, can extinguish the “glow of wisdom” and inhibit the ability to convey deeper meaning or understanding.

The speaker also introduces the idea of the “light of thoughts” weaving the image into a “don’t tell” and suggests that Imagism encourages the audience to draw their own conclusions rather than being guided by the poet’s intention or message. This could be interpreted as a critique of Imagism for prioritizing audience interpretation over the poet’s voice or vision.

The speaker then mentions the ongoing “arguments” about the merits of Imagism, possibly suggesting that the movement is controversial or divisive. Overall, this passage appears to be critical of Imagism for its emphasis on imagery and its potential to limit the depth and complexity of poetry.

In stanza four of the poem, the speaker addresses the reader directly and urges them not to “shoot the image,” possibly suggesting that they should not blindly accept or focus solely on the visual aspects of a poem. Instead, the speaker advises the reader to “read the narrative” and consider the underlying story or meaning.

The speaker then introduces the idea of “a Pound of sophism,” possibly referencing the poet Ezra Pound and suggesting that Imagism is associated with trickery or deceit. The speaker advises the reader to “air the poet like newly opened wine,” suggesting that they should allow the poet’s work to breathe and unfold before fully engaging with it.

The speaker then introduces the idea of a balance between showing and telling, with about 80% showing and 20% telling. The speaker suggests that this balance will not “stifle the voice of the poet,” but rather allow the “music” of their experience and insight to emerge. This passage could be interpreted as a call for a more nuanced and thoughtful approach to reading and engaging with poetry, rather than a shallow focus on surface-level imagery.

In this final section of the poem, the speaker introduces the concept of “verity,” or truth, and suggests that it should not have to hide or be overshadowed by other factors. The speaker then introduces the theme of the COVID-19 pandemic and mentions “mob reaction” to wearing masks and getting vaccines. This could be interpreted as a reference to the misinformation and conspiracy theories that have circulated about the pandemic.

The speaker expresses uncertainty about the origins of the virus and suggests that the world is now in a state of unpredictability and chaos, likened to playing a game of Russian Roulette or Chinese Craps. This final section of the poem introduces a darker, more ominous tone and could be interpreted as a commentary on the social and political turmoil of the current moment.