Ezra Pound At Pisa, Caged, In 1945

His personality, anal-retentive,

finds new attentions are the best incentive;

and though live has given him no insight,

he always finds some rage of which to write.

His heart's emotions bring his fascination

to high degree, or, else, "a fever pitch";

he seems to view life as an instigation

of opportunities for him . . . to bitch.

His awkward verse presents a stilted style;

which, though long practiced with much repetition,

majors on solipsitic imprecision

which mimics his lost soul's final condition.
One wonder if his poetry's ambition

was to repulse, revolt, whine, and revile.



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patriciajj's picture

Never a fan of Pound myself,

Never a fan of Pound myself, I don't believe I've ever read such an honest skewering of his "stilted style", his "whining" and "revolting". I think today he would be a hyper, blathering troll on social media. He was one of those poets, I recall, that we were supposed to admire and respect because he made his way into the poets' hall of fame and textbooks. Your scathing and passionate critique was an extreme pleasure to read. 

Starward's picture

Thank you.  Pound was one of

Thank you.  Pound was one of the first poets I was "forced" to read in junior high, and I found eminently dislikeable, even then.  Later, in college, I found out how much he did for T. S. Eliot, and worse, how much he did to Eliot's detriment (Eliot's first, disastrous marriage was connived by Pound when he convinced Vivienne Haigh-Wood to tell Eliot she was pregnant---which she was not; the subsequent marriage kept Eliot in America).  Pound, himself, is said to have regretted the severe cuts he made to The Waste Land, such that the poem Eliot published, great as it was, was a lame shadow to the poem conceived in the mess of manuscripts.  Later, when Eliot's second play, Murder in the Cathedral, was broadcast on BBC, Pound, from Itally, reviewed and reviled it.  And yet, when Pound was incarcerated in a mental institution in America, Eliot flew to the States and personally confronted the institution's chief director, after which Pound was given a private room, a typewriter, and books from the library.  Pound spoke at Eliot's memorial service in Saint Paul's Cathedral, and seemed to be genuinely devestated that the last surviving of his circle friends was now gone.  Although himself very flawed, Eliot, the Christian, did a good many things for Pound that he neither deserved or appreciated.  Thankfully, when I was at college, the English department was dominated by Eliot's literary beliefs and opinions, and Pound was kept on the sidelines in our courses.

 I hope this is not too much of a reply.  I love literary history, especially its gossipy side.


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patriciajj's picture

I love getting the inside

I love getting the inside scoop on literary legends myself. Thank you for sharing those juicy facts. 

Starward's picture

You're welcome.  As you know,

You're welcome.  As you know, I can be a chatterbox.


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