Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound
Under His Watchful Eye

Pound in the Age of the Internet

All the nonsense that has ever been written about his obscurity, pretentiousness, elititist, is quickly dispelled with the advent of the internet. Somewhere, this great poet, author of one of the great epics in literary history, is smiling on us, we might have finally figured it out, he indeed wrote this epic for future generations.

The purpose of this blog is to take a Canto at a time and read through it. Anything I don't know, understand, or find myself lost in some obscurity I will research on the internet. I don't intend to consult any of the Canto companions (Terrell, etc.).

Pound himself was a great researcher, pouring over countless historical documents in the dusky confines of libraries...he was a scholar at heart, but with a soul of a poet.

I hope you find this interesting, but I hope this great internet age of ours helps dispell the auora of sadness and perhaps even dispappointment surrounding Pound's belief that his life's work failed to deliver its message.



Friday, March 26, 2010

Pound Amidst The Ruins -- My First Recollection

It seems appropriate that my first exposure to Ezra Pound and the Cantos was when I was a teenager living and studying in a small New England town and our family was left homeless due to a devasting fire that burnt our Greek Revival Main Street "mansion", aptly called 4 Columns, to the ground. The local industrial magnate donated the use of one of his houses in town, which we called the "Brown House", because of its ugly brown shingles, for us to live. In that fire I lost all my poetry, plays and stories, including a number of stories I wrote from the time of 10 years old about all of my baseball heros. I was an avid reader and at the time was reading Patterson (W.C. Williams) and the line "fire is the first law..." always rang clear. I had few possessions, mainly things salvaged from the rubble of that fire. When we moved into the "Brown House" I took the upstairs room. I can remember so vividly the image of my first meeting with Pound, as I moved my paltry things into the upstairs room, I shut the door and there tacked to it was the NY Times Magazine Obituary of Pound, his photo I've added to the blog, along with "Pull Down Thy Vanity" from the Pisan Canto 81. I read the article, and that yellowed copy of the Times obituary remained on my door -- it would be years later that in the stacks of the NC State University library that I would read the Pisan Cantos. In between that time I seemed to do everything the master demanded studied Greek and Latin and Old English . I studied poetry extensively, ironically, in all the courses I took Pound was never even an after thought-- semmingly banned from the hallowed halls of academia.
I don't know whatever happened to that old clipping, I'd like to think that just as Pound would have liked it, some other poet occupied that room (that house still stands having been moved a half a mile from where it originally stood), and maybe began an Odyssean like voyage through the choppy and fragmented seas of the Cantos to arrive finally a better poet and human being -- "to be men not destroyers..."

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