Ezra Pound

(30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972 / Hailey / Idaho)

Ezra Pound
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Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry. He became known for his role in developing Imagism, which, in reaction to the Victorian and Georgian poets, favored tight language, unadorned imagery, and a strong correspondence between the verbal and musical qualities of the verse and the mood it expressed. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos, which consumed his middle and late career, and was published between 1917 and 1969.

Early Life

Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho Territory, the only child of Homer ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. The ABC of Reading, ch. 3 (1934).
  • ''I dunno what my 23 infantile years in America signify. I left as soon as motion was autarchic—I mean my motion.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, October 29, 1940. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige (1950).
  • ''Mass ought to be in Latin, unless you cd. do it in Greek or Chinese. In fact, any abracadabra that no bloody member of the public or half-educated ape of a clargimint cd. think he understood.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, March 7, 1940. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige (1951).
  • ''If a patron buys from an artist who needs money (needs money to buy tools, time, food), the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, March 8, 1915. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige (1951). Pound urged U.S. col...
  • I consider criticism merely a preliminary excitement, a statement of things a writer has to clear up in his own head sometime or other, probably antecedent to writing; of no value unless it come to fr...
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Criterion (London, Jan. 1923).
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Comments about Ezra Pound

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  • Bronze Star - 5,535 Points Daniel Brick (11/12/2014 5:12:00 AM)

    Ezra Pound labored for forty years writing his modern epic, called simply THE CANTOS, which is similar to calling a big novel, Chapters. Although his structure was modeled on the ancient western epics, his style and voice remained essentially lyric in the Imagist tradition of his early poetry. This seems to me to be tantamount to balancing a stone lintel on piles of paperback books. Still there are numerous passages of surpassing beauty and wisdom scattered throughout the 120 completed Cantos. What is the overarching theme? Pound expected the theme to gradually reveal itself over time with his steady composition. When this theme failed to manifest itself, Pound despaired and simply stopped writing, stopped trying. He wrote various closings and farewells. One is an admission of failure, Tho' my errors and wrecks lie about me, / And I am not a demigod, / I cannot make it cohere. This is one of the last passages he wrote: Let the Gods forgive what I have made. / Let those I love try to forgive what I have made. Ezra Pound DID find his central theme. It is the need for universal forgiveness.

  • Rookie Christian Gehman (4/27/2012 11:40:00 AM)

    There was a very good reason why Eliot dedicated The Wasteland to Ezra Pound as Il Miglior Fabbro (the better maker) , as you will see if you take the trouble to read the facsimile editon of the manuscript, which shows how Pound's changes and suggestions created the poem we know today. It seems at least likely that he did the same kind of work on Prufrock. My problem with Four Quartets is that it contains passages that properly ought to have been edited out. - Christian Gehman

  • Rookie Christian Gehman (1/4/2012 7:24:00 AM)

    Pound can't really be considered madder than any other poet... St. Elizabeth's was part of the plea bargain... helped him escape execution for treason... wrote some of his best Cantos there... few people have read 'em. Even fewer have read Jefferson and or Mussolini. Possibly Pound's fascism prefigures and is emblematic of America's descent into corporatism? (fascism without the popular dictator?) after WWII....?

  • Rookie Christian Gehman (1/4/2012 7:21:00 AM)

    Pound can hardly be considered mad... certainly no madder than any other poet... St. Elizabeth's was part of his plea bargain agreement to avoid execution for treason after WWII.

  • Rookie Emeni Phimu (11/12/2009 5:49:00 AM)

    tell me full reference of this poem also difficult words and word meaning including examples

  • Rookie - 129 Points Uriah Hamilton (7/12/2005 8:31:00 AM)

    Mad twentieth century poet
    Of brilliance!

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