- Ezra Pound
name = Ezra Pound
caption = Ezra Pound in 1913
birthdate = birth date|mf=yes|1885|10|30
birthplace = Hailey,
Idaho Territory, United States
deathdate = death date and age|mf=yes|1972|11|1|1885|10|30
occupation = Poet, critic
Guido Cavalcanti, Confucius, Arnaut Daniel, C. H. Douglas, Ernest Fenollosa, Ford Madox Ford, Leo Frobenius, Silvio Gesell, Rémy de Gourmont, Henry James, Alfred Richard Orage, Walt Whitman, William Butler Yeats
George Antheil, E. E. Cummings, T. S. Eliot, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Marshall McLuhan, William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, Sheri Martinelli
website = Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (Hailey,
Idaho Territory, United States, October 30, 1885 – Venice, Italy, November 1, 1972) was an American expatriatepoet, criticand intellectualwho was a major figure of the Modernist movement in the first half of the 20th century.
Hugh Kennersaid of Pound upon meeting him: "I suddenly knew that I was in the presence of the center of modernism." [http://www.bookwire.com/bbr/reviews/March2001/hugh_kenner_thegrandtour.htm]
Pound was born in Hailey,
Idaho Territory, to Homer Loomis and Isabel Weston Pound. His grandfather was the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Thaddeus C. Pound. [ [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/odd/archives/001381.asp Odd Wisconsin Archives ] ] When he was 18 months old, his family moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 1901 at the age of 15, he entered the University of Pennsylvania, but after studying there for two years transferred to Hamilton College, where he received his Ph.B.in 1905. He then returned to Penn, completing an M.A. in Romance philologyin 1906.
During his studies at Penn, he met and befriended
William Carlos Williamsand H.D.(Hilda Doolittle), to whom he was engaged for a time. Afterward, Pound taught at Wabash Collegein Crawfordsville, Indiana, but when he allowed a stranded actress to spend the night in his room, the resulting scandal caused him to leave his teaching post after only four months, "all accusations," he later claimed, "having been ultimately refuted except that of being 'the Latin Quarter type.'" He had been taken to Europe by relatives in 1898 and again traveled to Europe and Morocco in 1902. In 1908 he moved to Europe, settling in London after spending a brief stint working as a tour guide in Gibraltar, and several months in Venice, where he self-published "A Lume Spento." [Pound, Ezra, "Poems and Translations" (Library of America/Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 2003) pp. 1208-1209"]
Pound's early poetry was inspired by his reading of the
pre-Raphaelites and other 19th century poets and medieval Romance literature, as well as much neo-Romantic and occult/mystical philosophy. After moving to London, the influence of Ford Madox Fordand T. E. Hulmeencouraged Pound to cast off overtly archaic poetic language and forms and begin to remake himself as a poet. Pound believed William Butler Yeatswas the greatest living poet, and befriended him in England. [Monroe, Harriet (1913). "Poetry". (Chicago) Modern Poetry Association. p. 123.] Pound eventually became Yeats' secretary, and soon became interested in Yeats's occult beliefs. During World War IPound and Yeats lived together at Stone Cottage in Sussex, England, studying Japanese, especially Nohplays. They paid particular attention to the works of Ernest Fenollosa, an American professor in Japan, whose work on Chinese characters fascinated Pound. Eventually, Pound used Fenollosa's work as a starting point for what he called the Ideogrammic Method. In 1914, Pound married Dorothy Shakespear, an artist, and the daughter of Olivia Shakespear, a novelist and former lover of W. B. Yeats.
In the years before the First World War, Pound was largely responsible for the appearance of
Imagism, and coined the name of the movement Vorticism, which was led by Wyndham Lewisof whom Pound was also a friend. Pound contributed to Lewis' short-lived literary magazine"BLAST" whose two numbers appeared in 1914 and 1915. These two movements, Imagism and Vorticism, can be seen as central events in the birth of English-language modernism. They helped bring to notice the work of poets and artists like James Joyce, Lewis, William Carlos Williams, H.D., Jacob Epstein, Richard Aldington, Marianne Moore, Rabindranath Tagore, Robert Frost, Rebecca Westand Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Later, Pound also edited his friend T. S. Eliot's " The Waste Land", the poem that was to force the new poetic sensibility into public attention.
In 1915, Pound published "
Cathay", a small volume of poems that he described as "For the most part from the Chinese of Rihaku ( Li Po), from the notes of the late Ernest Fenollosa, and the decipherings of the professors Mori and Ariga." ["Ezra Pound: Translations" (New York: New Directions 1963), p.187] The volume includes works such as and "A Ballad of the Mulberry Road". Unlike previous American translators of Chinese poetry, who tended to work with strict metrical and stanzaic patterns, Pound offered readers free versetranslations celebrated for their ease of diction and conversationality. Many critics consider the poems in "Cathay" to be the most successful realization of Pound's Imagist poetics. Whether the poems are valuable as translations continues to be a source of controversy. Neither Pound nor Fenollosa spoke or read Chinese proficiently, and Pound has been criticized for omitting or adding sections to his poems which have no basis in the original texts, though many critics argue that the fidelity of "Cathay" to the original Chinese is beside the point. Hugh Kenner, in a chapter "The Invention of China" from "The Pound Era" contends that "Cathay" should be read primarily as a work about World War I, not as an attempt at accurately translating ancient Eastern poems. The real achievement of the book, Kenner argues, is in how it combines meditations on violence and friendship with an effort to "rethink the nature of an English poem". ["The Pound Era" (New York: New Directions, 1971), p.199] These ostensible translations of ancient Eastern texts, Kenner argues, are actually experiments in English poetics and compelling elegies for a warring West.
The war shattered Pound's belief in modern western civilization and he abandoned London soon after, but not before he published "Homage to Sextus Propertius" (1919) and "
Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" (1920). If these poems together form a farewell to Pound's London career, " The Cantos", which he began in 1915, pointed his way forward.
In 1920, Pound moved to Paris, where he moved among a circle of artists, musicians, and writers who were revolutionizing the whole world of modern art. He was friends with notable figures such as
Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, Fernand Legerand others of the Dadaand Surrealist movements. He was also good friends with Basil Buntingand Ernest Hemingway, whom Pound asked to teach him to box. (Hemingway would later write, in "A Moveable Feast": "I was never able to teach him to throw a left hook.") He continued working on "The Cantos", writing the bulk of the "Malatesta Sequence", which introduced one of the major personas of the poem. The poem increasingly reflected his preoccupations with politicsand economics. During this time, he also wrote critical prose and translations and composed two complete operas (with help from George Antheil) and several pieces for solo violin. In 1922 he met and became involved with Olga Rudge, a violinist. Together with Dorothy Shakespear, they formed an uneasy " ménage à trois" which was to last until the end of the poet's life.
On 10 October 1924, Pound left Paris permanently and moved to
Rapallo, Italy. He and Dorothy stayed there briefly, moving on to Sicily, and then returning to settle in Rapallo in January 1925. [Ira B. Nadel (editor), "The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound," page xxii. Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-521-64920-X] In Italy he continued to be a creative catalyst. The young sculptor Heinz Henghescame to see Pound, arriving penniless. He was given lodging and marble to carve, and quickly learned to work in stone. The poet James Laughlinwas also inspired at this time to start the publishing company New Directionswhich would become a vehicle for many new authors.
At this time Pound also organized an annual series of concerts in Rapallo, where a wide range of classical and contemporary music was performed. In particular this musical activity contributed to the 20th century revival of interest in Vivaldi, who had been neglected since his death. Pound made his first trip back home to the U.S. in many years in 1939, on the eve of
World War II, and considered moving back permanently, but in the end he chose to return to Italy. Aside from his political sympathy with the Mussolini regime (he had a personal audience with Il Duce in 1933), Pound had personal reasons for staying. His elderly parents had retired to Italy to be with him, and were in poor health and would have difficulty making the trip back to America even under peacetime conditions. He also had an Italian-born daughter by his mistress Olga Rudge: Mary (or Maria) Rudge was a young woman in her late teens who had lived in Italy her whole life and who might have had difficulty relocating to America (even though she had American as well as Italian citizenship).
Pound remained in Italy after the outbreak of World War II, which began more than two years before his native United States formally entered the war in December 1941 after Pearl Harbor. He became a leading Axis propagandist, but also continued to be involved in scholarly publishing, and wrote many newspaper pieces. He disapproved of American involvement in the war and tried to use his political contacts in
Washington D.C.to prevent it. He spoke on Italian radio and gave a series of talks on political and cultural matters. Pound believed that economics was the core issue at hand. Specifically, his talks were largely about usuryand the notion that representative democracy has been usurped by bankers' infiltration of governments through the existence of central banks, which made governments pay interest to private banks for the use of their own money. He maintained that the central bank's ability to create money out of thin air allowed banking interests to buy up American and British media outlets to sway opinion in favor of the war and the banks. Pound was not the first prominent American to make this assertion; for example New York City Mayor John Hylanhad publicly said the same thing back in 1922 when he said "these international bankers control the majority of the magazines and newspapers in this country." Pound believed that economic freedomwas a prerequisite for a free country. Inevitably, he touched on political matters, and incorporated Antisemitisminto his denunciations of the war. [Wendy Stallard Flory "Pound and Antisemitism", in Ira B. Nadel (ed.) "The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound", 1999, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-64920-X, ISBN 0-521-43117-4.]
It is not clear if anyone in the United States ever actually heard [http://www.yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/pound_ezra/radioPound.html Pound's radio broadcasts] , since Italian radio's shortwave transmitters were weak and unreliable, though obviously his writings for Italian newspapers (as well as a number of pamphlets) were read in Italy. The broadcasts were monitored by the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service of the United States government, and transcripts, now stored in the Library of Congress, were made of them. Pound was indicted for treason by the United States government in 1943.
On July 10, 1943, the Allied forces landed in Sicily and rapidly began to overrun the southern part of Italy. On July 25, 1943 King
Victor Emmanuel IIIsummoned Mussolini and dismissed him as the premier of the Kingdom of Italy. Upon leaving the palace, Mussolini was arrested and sent to Gran Sasso, a mountain resort in central Italy (Abruzzo). About two months after he was stripped of power, Mussolini was rescued by the Germans in Operation Oak and relocated to the north, where he declared himself the President of the new Salò Republic.
Pound played a minor role in cultural and propaganda activities in the new puppet republic, which lasted till the spring of 1945. On May 3, 1945, he was arrested by Italian partisans, and taken (according to
Hugh Kenner) "to their HQ in Chiavari, where he was soon released as possessing no interest." At his request, he was then brought to the U.S. command in Lavagna, whence he was driven to the C.I.C. in Genoa. On May 24 he was transferred from Genoa to a United States Armydetention camp north of Pisa. He spent 25 days in an open cage before being given a tent, and appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown. He drafted the "Pisan Cantos" in the camp. This section of the work in progress marks a shift in Pound's work, being a meditation on his own and Europe's ruin and on his place in the natural world. The "Pisan Cantos" won the first Bollingen Prizefrom the Library of Congress in 1949.
After the war, Pound was brought back to the United States to face charges of
treason. The charges covered only his activities during the time when the Kingdom of Italy was officially at war with the United States, i.e., the time before the Allies captured Rome and Mussolini fled to the North. Pound was not prosecuted for his activities on behalf of Mussolini's Saló Republic, evidently because the Republic's existence was never formally recognized by the United States. He was found incompetentto face trial by a special federal jurycite news |title= Milestones |url= |publisher="Time Magazine" |date=December 19, 1994 |accessdate=2007-07-22 ] and sent to St. Elizabeths Hospitalin Washington, D.C., where he remained for 12 years from 1946 to 1958. His insanity pleais still a matter of controversy, since in retrospect his activities and his writings during the war years do appear to be those of a sane person. [" [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/crime/trial/other.html http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/crime/trial/other.html] ". pbs.org. Retrieved on February 25, 2008.] Treason is potentially a capital offense. Pound's controversial insanity plea [Mitgang, Herbert. " [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9A02E0DC1139F932A05753C1A967948260 Researchers dispute Ezra Pound's "insanity"] . New York Times, October 31, 1981.Retrieved on February 25, 2008.] is mirrored by the fate of Norwegian author and collaborator Knut Hamsun, who was dubbed insane by embarrassed authorities despite evidence in the form of subsequent published material to the contrary. [Hamsun, Knut, "Paa gjengrodde stier" (Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1949). ISBN 82-05-16389-8, translated as "On Overgrown Paths"]
Following his release, Pound was asked his opinions on his home country. He famously quipped: "America is a lunatic asylum." Subsequently he returned to Italy (first to Castle Brunnenburg near Meran, South Tyrol, later to Rapallo and Venice). He remained in Italy until his death in 1972.
E. Fuller Torreybelieved that Pound was given special treatment by colluding authorities, specifically Winfred Overholser, the superintendent of St. Elizabeths. According to Torrey, Overholser admired Pound's poetry and allowed him to live in a private room at the hospital, where he wrote books, received visits from literary figures and enjoyed conjugal relations with his wife. The reliability of Torrey’s allegations has been questioned; other scholars have presented Overholser as behaving solely in a humane way to his famous patient, without allowing him special privileges. At St. Elizabeths, Pound was visited by poets and other admirers and continued working on " The Cantos" as well as translating the Confucianclassics.
Pound was also frequently visited by his protegé, a Library of Congress researcher named
Eustace Mullins. Pound commissioned Mullins to write a book about the history of the Federal Reserveand to tell it like a detective story. Pound believed that the bankers in charge of the Federal Reserveand their associates in the Bank of Englandwere responsible for getting the United States into both World Wars, in an effort to drive up government debt beyond sustainable levels (the national debtindeed rose astronomically because of the wars). The book, " [http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/Secrets_of_the_Federal_Reserve/secrets_of_the_federal_reserve_TC.htm Secrets Of The Federal Reserve] ", charges that bankers hide behind the screen of the central banks and pull political strings to drive countries into the war, creating immense profits for themselves as the principal beneficiaries of wartime debt. Pound advocated an abandonment of the current system of money being created by private bankers. He favored government issued currencycite book
title = Government-Produced Money (Chapter 3) in The Ecology of Money
author = Richard Douthwaite
url = http://www.feasta.org/documents/moneyecology/chapterthree.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-01] with no interest to pay, preventing the need for an
income taxand national debt, much like the system used by the Pennsylvania Colonyfrom 1723 to 1764.Fact|date=April 2007 Pound argued that his views on money aligned with those of Thomas Jefferson, as well as with Benjamin Franklin's Colonial Scrip.
Pound was also befriended there by
Hugh Kenner, whose "The Poetry of Ezra Pound" (1951) was highly influential in causing a reassessment of Pound's poetry. Other scholars began to edit the "Pound Newsletter", which eventually led to the publication of the first guide to " The Cantos", "Annotated Index to the Cantos of Ezra Pound" (1957). Pound had many friends and admirers among his fellow poets, like Elizabeth Bishop, who recorded her response to Pound’s situation in the poem " Visits to St. Elizabeth's," and Robert Lowell, who visited and corresponded extensively with Pound. The artist Sheri Martinelli, meanwhile, is believed to have inspired the love poetry in Cantos XC–XCV. Both William Carlos Williamsand Louis Zukofskywere among Pound's visitors, as was Guy Davenport, who subsequently wrote his Harvarddissertation on Pound's poetry (published as "Cities on Hills" in 1983), and the Colonial French nonfigurative painter René Laubies, the first translator of the work of Pound into French ("Cantos et poèmes choisis / Ezra Pound", Paris: P.J. Oswald, 1958. 77 pages). In his "Portraits et Aphorismes" (2001) Laubies writes that he did not remember having any "difficulties returning to visit Pound at the Asylum of St. Elisabeths." He asked Pound whether the surroundings obstructed him: "Not at all, they are the only acceptable Americans." When Laubies told Pound that he was born in Saigon: "Ah, that's why! Only Europeans with a master key to the Suez Canal are worth something...." Charles Olsonwas a frequent visitor (Pound wrote in a note to his attorney that "Olson saved my life" by providing sane conversation. Olson eventually became disgusted with Pound's anti-Semiticstatements and stopped his visits. Pound was finally released after a concerted campaign by many of his fellow poets and artists, particularly Robert Frostand Archibald MacLeish. He was still considered incurably insane, but not dangerous to others.
Rudd Fleming, a professor at the University of Maryland, visited Pound often. They collaborated on a translation of Sophocles' "Electra", which was published by
Princeton University Pressin 1989.cite online journal
author = Rod Jellema
title = Rod Jellema on Ezra Pound
journal = Beltway: A Poetry Quarterly
url = http://washingtonart.com/beltway/pound.html
accessdate = 2007-06-04 ] Fleming stated, when asked about Pound's anti-semitism, that Pound considered it a mistake. A statement from Pound's foreword to a collection of his prose writings (written on July 4th, 1972) would seem to support Fleming's assertion: "In sentences referring to groups or races 'they' should be used with great care. re USURY: I was out of focus, taking a symptom for a cause. The cause is AVARICE." [cite book
last = Pound
first = Ezra
title = Ezra Pound: selected prose 1909-1965
publisher = New Directions
pages = 3
isbn = 0-8112-0574-6] Pound also declared in 1967, "The worst mistake I made was that stupid, suburban prejudice of anti-Semitism." [cite web
title= An Exchange on Ezra Pound
author= Michael Reck]
On his release, Pound returned to Italy continuing work on "The Cantos". In 1972, two days after his 87th birthday, Pound died in
Venice, where he is buried.
The Cantos" contains music and bears a title that could be translated as "The Songs"—although it never is. Pound's ear was tuned to the " motz et sons" of troubadourpoetry where, as musicologist John Stevens has noted, "melody and poem existed in a state of the closest symbiosis, obeying the same laws and striving in their different media for the same sound-ideal - armonia."
In his essays, Pound wrote of rhythm as "the hardest quality of a man's style to counterfeit." He challenged young poets to train their ear with translation work to learn how the choice of words and the movement of the words combined. But having translated texts from 10 different languages into English, Pound found that translation did not always serve the poetry: "The grand bogies for young men who want really to learn strophe writing are
Catullusand François Villon. I personally have been reduced to setting them to music as I cannot translate them." While he habitually wrote out verse rhythms as musical lines, Pound did not set his own poetry to music.
In 1919, when he was 34, Pound began charting his path as a novice composer, writing privately that he intended a revolt against the impressionistic music of
Claude Debussy. An autodidact, Pound described his working method as "improving a system by refraining from obedience to all its present 'laws'..." With only a few formal lessons in music composition, Pound produced a small body of work, including a setting of Dante's sestina, "Al poco giorno," for violin. His most important output is the pair of operas: "Le Testament", a setting of François Villon's long poem of that name, written in 1461; and "Cavalcanti", a setting of 11 poems by Guido Cavalcanti(c. 1250–1300). Pound began composing the Villon with the help of Agnes Bedford, a London pianist and vocal coach. Though the work is notated in Bedford's hand, Pound scholar Robert Hughes has been able to determine that Pound was artistically responsible for the work's overall dramatic and acoustic design.
During his years in Paris (1921–1924), Pound formed close friendships with the American pianist and composer
George Antheil, and Antheil's touring partner, the American concert violinist Olga Rudge. Pound championed Antheil's music and asked his help in devising a system of micro-rhythms that would more accurately render the vitalistic speech rhythms of Villon's Old Frenchfor "Le Testament". The resulting collaboration of 1923 used irregular meters that were considerably more elaborate than Stravinsky's benchmarks of the period, " Le Sacre du Printemps" (1913) and " L'Histoire du Soldat" (1918). For example, "Heaulmiere," one of the opera's key arias, at a tempoof quarter note = M.M. 88, moves from 2/8 to 25/32 to 3/8 to 2/4 meter (bars 25–28), making it difficult for performers to hear the current bar of music and anticipate the upcoming bar. Rudge performed in the 1924 and 1926 Paris preview concerts of "Le Testament", but insisted to Pound that the meter was impractical.
In "Le Testament" there is no predictability of manner; no comfort zone for singer or listener; no rests or breath marks. Though Pound stays within the
hexatonicscale to evoke the feel of troubadourmelodies, modern invention runs throughout, from the stream of unrelenting dissonancein the mother's prayer to the grand shape of the work's aesthetic arc over a period of almost an hour. The rhythm carries the emotion. The music admits the corporeal rhythms (the score calls for human bones to be used in the percussion part); scratches, hiccoughs, and counter-rhythms lurch against each other—an offense to courtly etiquette. With "melody against ground tone and forced against another melody," as Pound puts it, the work spawns a polyphonyin polyrhythmsthat ignores traditional laws of harmony. It was a test of Pound's ideal of an "absolute" and "uncounterfeitable" rhythm conducted in the laboratory of someone obsessed with the relationship between words and music.
After hearing a concert performance of "Le Testament" in 1926,
Virgil Thomsonpraised Pound's accomplishment. "The music was not quite a musician's music," he wrote, "though it may well be the finest poet's music since Thomas Campion. . . . Its sound has remained in my memory."
Robert Hughes has remarked that where "Le Testament" explores a Webernesque
pointillisticorchestration and derives its vitality from complex rhythms, "Cavalcanti" (1931) thrives on extensions of melody. Based on the lyric love poetry of Guido Cavalcanti, the opera's numbers are characterized by a challenging bel canto, into which Pound incorporates a number of tongue-in-cheek references to Verdi and a musical motive that gestures to Stravinsky's neo-classicism. By this time his relationship with Antheil had considerably cooled, and Pound, in his gradual acquisition of technical self-sufficiency, was free to emulate certain aspects of Stravinsky. "Cavalcanti" demands attention to its varying cadences, to a recurring " leitmotif", and to a symbolic use of octaves. The play of octaves creates a surrealiststraining against the limits of established laws of composition, history, physiology, reason, and love.
Pound's statement, "Rhythm is a FORM cut into TIME," distinguishes his 20th century
medievalismfrom Antheil's SPACE/TIME theory of modern music, which sought pure abstraction. Antheil's system of time organization is inherently biased for complex, asymmetric, and fast tempi; it thrives on innovation and surprise. Pound's more open system allows for any sequence of pitches; it can accommodate older styles of music with their symmetry, repetition, and more uniform tempi, as well as newer methods, such as the asymmetrical micro-metrical divisions of rhythm created for "Le Testament".
Because of his political views, his support of Mussolini, his opposition to central banking (The Federal Reserve, The Bank of England...) and his anti-Semitism, Pound acquired many enemies throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Historians and scholars generally agree, however, that he played a vital role in the modernist revolution in 20th century literature in English. The location of Pound—as opposed to other writers such as
T. S. Eliot—at the center of the Anglo-American Modernist tradition was famously asserted by the critic Hugh Kenner, most fully in his account of the Modernist movement "The Pound Era". The critic Marjorie Perloffhas also insisted upon Pound's centrality to numerous traditions of 'experimental' poetry in the 20th century. As a poet, Pound was one of the first to successfully employ free versein extended compositions. His Imagist poems influenced, among others, the Objectivists. "The Cantos" and many of Pound's shorter poems were a touchstone for Allen Ginsbergand other Beat poets; Ginsberg made an intense study of Pound's use of parataxiswhich had a major influence on his poetry. Almost every 'experimental' poet in English since the early 20th century has been considered by some to be in his debt.
As critic, editor and promoter, Pound helped shape the careers of some of the 20th century's most influential writers including
W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, H.D., Marianne Moore, Ernest Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence, Louis Zukofsky, Basil Bunting, George Oppen, and Charles Olson. Immediately before the first world war Pound became interested in art when he was associated with the Vorticists, a term he coined. Pound did much to publicize the movement and was instrumental in bringing it to the attention of the wider public; he was particularly important in the artistic careers of Henri Gaudier-Brzeskaand Wyndham Lewis.
As a translator, Pound did much to introduce
Provençaland Chinese poetry to English-speaking audiences. For example, he helped popularize major poets such as Cavalcantiand Du Fu. He revived interest in the Confucian classics and introduced the West to classical Japanese poetry and drama (the Nohtheatre). He also translated and championed Greek, Latinand Anglo-Saxon classics and helped keep these alive for poets at a time when classical education and knowledge of Anglo-Saxon was in decline. In the early 1920s in Paris, Pound became interested in music, and was probably the first serious writer in the 20th century to praise the work of the long-neglected Italian composer Antonio Vivaldiand to promote early musicgenerally. He also helped the early career of George Antheil, and collaborated with him on various projects. Pound was also interested in mysticismand the occult, but biographers have only recently begun to document his work in those fields.
Pound's works by year published (with links to years-in-poetry pages; cities are location first editions published):
* 1908 "A Lume Spento", poems (Venice)Ackroyd, Peter, "Ezra Pound", Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1980, "Bibliography" chapter, p 121]
* 1908 "A Quinzaine for This Yule", poems (London).
* 1909 "Personae", poems (London)
* 1909 "Exultations", poems (London)
* 1910 "Provenca", poems (Boston)
* 1910 "The Spirit of Romance", essays (London)
* 1911 "Canzoni", poems (London)
* 1912 "Ripostes", poems (London)
* 1912 "The Sonnets and ballate of Guido Cavalcanti", translations, (London)
* 1915 [http://paintedricecakes.org/languagearts/poetry/cathay_pound.html "Cathay", poems / translations]
* 1916: "Gaudier-Brzeska. A Memoir" (London)
* 1916 "Certain noble plays of Japan: from the manuscripts of Ernest Fenollosa", chosen and finished by Ezra Pound, with an introduction by William Butler Yeats.
* 1916 "Noh", or, Accomplishment: a study of the classical stage of Japan", by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound.
* 1916 "The Lake Isle", poem
* 1916 "Lustra", poems.
* 1917 "Twelve Dialogues of Fontenelle", translations
* 1918: "Pavannes and Divisions", prose (New York)
* 1919 "Quia Pauper Amavi", poems (London)
* 1918 "Pavannes and Divisions", essays
* 1919 "The Fourth Canto", poems
* 1920 "Umbra", poems and translations (London)
* 1920 "
Hugh Selwyn Mauberley", poems (London)
* 1921 "Poems, 1918–1921", poems (New York)
* 1922 "The Natural Philosophy of Love", by Rémy de Gourmont, translations
* 1923 "Indiscretions", essays
* 1923 [http://www.ezrapoundmusic.com/index.html "Le Testament", one-act opera]
* 1924 "Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony", essays (Paris)
* 1925 "A Draft of XVI Cantos", poems (Paris)
* 1926 "Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound" (New York)
* 1927 "Exile", poems
* 1928 "A Draft of the Cantos 17–27", poems
* 1928 "Selected Poems", edited by
T. S. Eliot(London)
* 1928 "Ta hio, the great learning, newly rendered into the American language", translation
* 1930 "A Draft of XXX Cantos", poems (New York)
* 1930 "Imaginary Letters", essays
* 1931 "How to Read", essays
* 1933 "ABC of Economics", essays
* 1933 [http://www.ezrapoundmusic.com/index.html "Cavalcanti", three-act opera]
* 1934 "Eleven New Cantos: XXXI-XLI", poems (New York)
* 1934 "Homage to Sextus Propertius", poems (London)
* 1934 "ABC of Reading", essays
* 1935 "
Make It New", essays
* 1936 "Chinese written character as a medium for poetry", by Ernest Fenollosa, edited and with a foreword and notes by Ezra Pound
* 1936 " [http://www.yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/pound_ezra/jeffmuss_1.html Jefferson and/or Mussolini] ", essays
* 1937 "The Fifth Decade of Cantos", poems (London)
* 1937 "Polite Essays", essays
* 1937 "Digest of the Analects", by Confucius, translation
* 1938 "Culture", essays
* 1939 "What Is Money For?", essays
* 1940 "Cantos LII-LXXI", poems
* 1944 " [http://yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/pound_ezra/present.html L'America, Roosevelt e le Cause della Guerra Presente] ", essays
* 1944 "Introduzione alla Natura Economica degli S.U.A.", prose
* 1947 "Confucius: the Unwobbling pivot & the Great digest", translation
* 1948 "
The Pisan Cantos", poems (New York)
* 1950 "Seventy Cantos", poems
* 1951 "Confucian analects", translator
* 1953: "The Translations of Ezra Pound", translations (London)
* 1955 "Section: Rock-Drill, 85–95 de los Cantares", poems (Milan)
* 1956 "Sophocles: The Women of Trachis. A Version by Ezra Pound", translation (London)
* 1959 "Thrones: 96–109 de los Cantares", poems (Milan)
* 1968 "Drafts and Fragments: Cantos CX-CXVII", poems
elected posthumous works and editions
* 1975: "Selected Poems, 1908-1959", poems (London)
* 1976: "Collected Early Poems" (New York)
* 1975: "The Cantos" (New York)ISBN 0-8112-1326-9
* 1997 "Ezra Pound and Music", essays
* 1990: "Personae: The Shorter Poems of Ezra Pound" (New York)
* 1992 "A Walking Tour of Southern France: Ezra Pound Among the Troubadours" (New York)ISBN 0-8112-1223-8
* 2002 " [http://www.raintaxi.com/online/2003summer/cantipostumi.shtml Canti postumi", poems] ISBN 88-04-51031-5
* 2003 [http://www.otherminds.org/shtml/OMcds.shtml "Ego scriptor cantilenae: The Music of Ezra Pound", operas/music]
* 2003 "Ezra Pound, Poems and Translations" (
Library of America, 2003) ISBN 978-1-93108241-9
* 2005 "Early Writings" (New York) ISBN 0-14-218913-0
Modernist poetry in English
* Bacigalupo, Massimo (1980). "The Forméd Trace: The Later Poetry of Ezra Pound." New York: Columbia University Press.
*Bischoff, Volker (1991). "Ezra Pound and Criticism 1905–1985: A Chronicle Listing of Publications in English." Orono, Maine:
National Poetry Foundation
* Bush, Ronald. "Art Versus the Descent of the Iconoclasts: Cultural Memory in Ezra Pound's "Pisan Cantos" in [http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/modernism_modernity/index.html "Modernism/Modernity"] 14.1 (January 2007), 71–95.
* Carpenter, Humphrey (1988). "A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound." Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
* [http://secondeveningart.com/_wsn/page3.html Fisher, Margaret] (2002). "Ezra Pound's Radio Operas." Boston: The MIT Press.
* [http://secondeveningart.com/_wsn/page3.html Fisher, Margaret] (2005). "The Recovery of Ezra Pound’s Third Opera: Collis O Heliconi; settings of poems by
Catullusand Sappho." Emeryville: Second Evening Art.
* [http://secondeveningart.com/_wsn/page3.html Hughes, Robert] (2004). "Complete Violin Works of Ezra Pound." Emeryville: Second Evening Art.
* [http://secondeveningart.com/_wsn/page3.html Hughes, Robert and Fisher, Margaret] (2003). "Cavalcanti: A Perspective on the Music of Ezra Pound." Emeryville: Second Evening Art.
* Ingman, Michael (1999). "Pound and Music" in "The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound" Ed. Ira Nadel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Kenner, Hugh (1973). "The Pound Era". Berkeley: University of California Press.
* Laubies, René (1958). "Cantos et poèmes choisis / Ezra Pound; traduction de René Laubies". Paris: P. J. Oswald, 77 pages.
* Longenbach, James (1991). "Stone Cottage: Pound, Yeats and Modernism." New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
* Oderman, Kevin (1986). "Ezra Pound and the Erotic Medium." Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press.
*Perelman, Bob (1994). "The Trouble with Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky." Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
* Redman, Tim (1991). "Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Stock, Noel (1970). "Life of Ezra Pound." London: Routledge & Kegan Paul
* Stevens, John (1986). "Words and Music in the Middle Ages." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Surette, Leon (1994). "The Birth of Modernism: Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, and the Occult." McGill-Queen's University Press.
* Thomson, Virgil (1966). "Virgil Thomson." New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
* Hilary Clarke, "The Fictional Encyclopaedia: Joyce, Pound, Sollers" (1990) Taylor & Francis.
*cite book | author = Furia, Philip |title = Pound's Cantos Declassified | year = 1984 | id = ISBN 0271003731
* [http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?authoruid=5112&golist=true&exact=true Articles and analysis of Pound's works at Literary Encyclopedia]
* [http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/pound.htm Pound's Grave]
* [http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/m_r/pound/pound.htm Pound at Modern American Poetry]
* [http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc/authors/pound/ Pound at EPC]
* [http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/engl/VSALM/mod/ballentine/ Pound and the Occult]
* [http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/ezra_pound_chinese.html Fenollosa, Pound and the Chinese Character]
T. S. Eliot
* [http://www.ezrapoundmusic.com/index.html The Music of Ezra Pound]
* [http://radiom.org/detail.php?omid=AM.1983.03.28.A Interview with Archie Henderson III, Robert Hughes & Olga Rudge on Ezra Pound]
* [http://www2.umaine.edu/npf/cat45.html Paideuma ]
* [http://www.lit.kobe-u.ac.jp/~hishika/pound.htm A Pound biography at Kobe University]
* [http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/orient/mod3.htm An exhibit exploring Pound's relationship to Fenollosa]
* [http://bostonreview.net/BR29.2/perloff.html Marjorie Perloff's essay on 'The Pisan Cantos' and Pound's translations]
* [http://paintedricecakes.org/languagearts/poetry/cathay_pound.html Complete text of "Cathay"]
* [http://www.yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/pound_ezra/pound_cage.html Ezra Pound Speaking ] -- the text of his radio speeches; the text of "An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States," "Jefferson and/or Mussolini," "America, Roosevelt and the causes of the present war"
* [http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Pound.html Pound's Collected Poetry Recordings, University of Pennsylvania] , read by Pound
* [http://www.audiobooksonline.com/shopsite/audio/0694524301.ram Recording of sections from "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" and others] , read by Pound (RealAudio).
* [http://www.earthstation1.com/Ezra_Pound_WWII.html EarthStation1: Ezra Pound WWII Propaganda Broadcast Audio]
* [http://www.otherminds.org/shop/Poundcd.html "Ego scriptor cantilenae: The Music of Ezra Pound", excerpts from the two operas plus three works for solo violin, selected from performances all over the world.]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/audiointerviews/profilepages/pounde1.shtml "The Four Steps" talk, in which Pound outlines his antipathy towards all forms of bureacracy] - BBC Home Service June 21, 1958 (RealAudio).
Readings of Ezra Pound's work by other than author
* [http://paintedricecakes.org/languagearts/poetry/cathay_pound.html Complete recordings with full text] of all 15 "Cathay" translations. (Public domain MP3)
* [http://paintedricecakes.org/languagearts/poetry/cathay_pound.html Recording with full text] Two selections from Pound's "Ripostes": "The Seafarer" and "The Alchemist." (Public domain MP3)
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