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Ezra Pound

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

Quotations

  • ''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).
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  • ''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. collector John Quinn to assist the new renaissance of the arts that Pound believed would happen.
  • ''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 fruit in the created work later.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Criterion (London, Jan. 1923).
  • ''Good art however "immoral" is wholly a thing of virtue. ... Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. quoted in Humphrey Carpenter, A Serious Character, pt. 2, ch. 10 (1988). Egoist (London, 1913).
  • ''The jargon of these sculptors is beyond me. I do not know precisely why I admire a green granite female, apparently pregnant monster with one eye going around a square corner.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, Feb. 15, 1914).
  • ''The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods.... Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, February 1914).
  • ''Modern civilization has bred a race with brains like those of rabbits and we who are the heirs of the witch-doctor and the voodoo. We artists who have been so long the despised are about to take over control.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, February 1914).
  • ''A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, Oct. 1917).

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Canto 49

For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses:
Rain; empty river; a voyage,
Fire from frozen cloud, heavy rain in the twilight
Under the cabin roof was one lantern.
The reeds are heavy; bent;
and the bamboos speak as if weeping.

Autumn moon; hills rise about lakes
against sunset

[Hata Bildir]