Twentieth-century Modernist poetry is best discussed within a context that is informed by an understanding of the complex impacts of the social, historical, and technological environments on both the lives and work of writers. As the Western world began to modernize in the latter nineteenth and earlier half of the twentieth century, so also rose the number of cases and psychiatric diagnoses for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. With new and innovative technologies to quickly adapt to, wars and political disruption to anticipate and grieve over, populations in general and poets specifically began to manifest increasingly disturbing anxious behaviors and disorders. Three examples we can examine closely by way of their poetry and biographical backgrounds are Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and H.D., each of whom embodies a starkly different picture of anxiety. As Modernist poets they applied similar tenets to their writing but present unique contributions to the canon thanks to their unique structures of their minds, which can be clearly seen in the different ways that they employed Imagism to defend against and incorporate (through sublimation) their own external environments. While much scholarship highlights the polarities between Pound and Williams, with Pound appearing as the impassioned rogue expatriate literary rebel and Williams as the stable and sensible American Objectivist, the legacy of H.D. rounds out the discussion of anxiety in Modernist American poetry since she seemed to be more conscious of her anxious condition, even using it to channel her creative energy. The impact on Pound of his incarceration in an open cage at Pisa after World War II and his subsequent political detention in an American mental institution are taken as a test case to demonstrate how several of his Cantos can be read as a manifestation of a defense against externally triggered anxiety and the stresses it placed on a creative mind. Williams' structured life as a practicing physician helped him to project less of his anxiety onto an external environment, thereby allowing him to examine the disruptive influence of a rapidly changing social environment on those whom he wrote about. All three poets respected the verbal image as a carrier of human emotion and thought, but each did so in his or her own way. This analysis discusses several of the contributions of these three poets and sees the Modernist movement they were a part of, situated as it was in the larger picture of the changing social environment of their generation, as related to the phenomenon of anxiety.