I have been a bit slack on the Poetry Posts. Not so Sanjeev. The last three days he has moved across the Atlantic and conversed with six poets. On the 20th, he did Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.  As he closed, he gave an indication for the poets he would be chatting up with on the 21st. This is what he tweeted:

sanjeevn: With those words, I bid au revoir for today. Tomorrow, 2 more giants on whose shoulders modern #poetry stands. Hint: Born in US, Poets in UK
The two poets were Ezra Pound and TS Eliot.
sanjeevn: Speaking of #poetry, Ezra Pound & T. S. Eliot, American expatriate poets, are my 2 poets for the day

In this post, we will discuss Ezra Pound

sanjeevn: EP is considered the giant on whose shoulders such giants as TSE, H.D., and even Yeats (1 of tomorrow’s 2 poets in my series) stand. #Poetry

sanjeevn: Championing imagism, he is most famous for his encyclopedic Cantos – his “tale of the tribe” #Poetry

sanjeevn: Something shorter to enjoy here: “The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.” #Poetry

In this piece, A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste, Ezra Pound writes:

An “Image” is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time. I use the term “complex” rather in the technical sense employed by the newer psychologists, such as Hart, though we might not agree absolutely in our application.

It is the presentation of such a “complex” instantaneously which gives that sense of sudden liberation; that sense of freedom from time limits and space limits; that sense of sudden growth, which we experience in the presence of the greatest works of art.

It is better to present one Image in a lifetime than to produce voluminous works.

Thus we have Sanjeev tweeting “Championing imagism“. He also says, EP is most famous for his encyclopedic Cantos. Let’s see what it is about. Spanning fifty years, The Cantos started with Cantos I in 1925 and finally ended with the complete set in 1972 (the year he died). There was a period in 1939 during the World War 2 when he was held by Italian partisans and then transferred to the Americans. He had written on his anti-Semite opinions and had advocated that America stay out of the war in Europe. The Pisan Cantos as they are called got him the Bollingen Award though he was deemed a traitor by his country, America and had been diagnosed with mental illness (hence a madman).

I found this two liner poem “In a Station of the Metro” which contrasts with the fifty year long The Cantos. Here it is:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Tomorrow, we will take up the giant, T S Eliot.


One thought on “Poetry Post: Ezra Pound

  1. “In a Station of the Metro” was also covered in the tweets

    Btw, Pound was responsible for many poets of early 20th century coming into prominence. Amongst the poets he encouraged and got published (through Harriet Monroe’s Poetry zine) are such luminaries as TS Eliot [1], H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) [2], William Carlos Williams, and even encouraged Yeats [3].

    [1] p 64 of http://books.google.com/books?id=QiomKsjnYLQC

    [2] Not enough days to cover all important poets. So, missed H. D. in my series.

    [3] In 1913, Yeats met the American poet Ezra Pound. Pound had traveled to London at least partly to meet the older man, whom he considered “the only poet worthy of serious study.” …from wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Butler_Yeats

    Btw, Btw, I am reading a book from 1940s on early 19th century poets http://books.google.com/books?id=7oU6AAAAMAAJ&pgis=1

    But this one seems a more updated one – Twentieth-century American poetry
    By Christopher John MacGowan)

    Also, since I covered mostly post WWII poets in the first half of the month, I’m concentrating on early 20th century poets during this 3rd week. I learned a lot about the “modern poets”. If you are interested in more, here is a recent book about

    The birth of modernism: Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, and the occult
    By Leon Surette

    and then there is wiki, of course

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