Comment 4 of 6, added on November 29th, 2008 at 12:59 AM.
In 1960, roughly speaking, Ezra Pound delivered his verdict on the state of
poetry and art of his time; that was because he believed in the uselessness
of art as it was practiced. It functioned to a no real objective because
there was a widening gab between true art and that of the one in practice.
“For three years, out of key with his time” he was at variance with his
legacy and he was a man singing alone his only song simply because that
which was being sung wasn’t an imaged that could convey the genuine nature
of art i.e. disinterested art. Art was seen as a deformed creature because
of some people not because of art itself; that art should have been
detached from any other aspect apart from art itself.
The art that doesn’t serve issues that are related to art or serve humanity
is not an art.
For three years he found himself abundant by his own time and so he was
forced to abandon his time. There has been a witch driven to be artist and
true art and the mission of the poet must be the production of a fine art
or an art that serves the salvation of humanity from a civilization that
has become monstrous. The mission is to resuscitate the dead art of poetry
i.e. to bring it back to life once more by infusing doses of glorious past
that could pump new blood into the arteries of the heart of poetry that has
gone dry simply for drinking contaminated and unclean water.
Again in the first stanza Ezra Pound pinpoints with great accuracy the
period that started to produce such false art. The implied meaning is so
simple: true art has gone off the road to a desert of minds and above all
morals. The poet’s mission, in this context, is to restore the sublime of
poetry because poetry is a living consciousness of nation, the never dying
value in a changing world.
In the second stanza, he attributes this falling state of poetry to the
heritage of a country he calls half a savage. Ezra Pound, an American by
birth, retraced the status of his forefathers in the old continent and
found that America, the wild continent, hasn’t reached maturity as far as
civilization is concerned; that’s why he calls it half a savage country, a
county that has been forgotten by time and that’s why he is zooming back to
places of formidable cultural heritage.
The examples he presents are very lively. They address human desire and the
never dying flame of a human passion that though it may flicker, it –
nevertheless – withers all storms.
‘his true Penelope’ Penelope is Odysseus’s wife i.e. she is his truelove;
truelove means that you love even your work, your country, your past i.e.
you love everything. Penelope waited for him for 20 years just like nature
waits to renew itself. He was in war for 10 years and on his way back he
was fated to suffer for 10 more years. She never lost hope that is the true
implementation of passion. That’s why Pound calls for this kind of
faithfulness for poetry and moreover not to prostitute our own ideas, to
make them as faithful as Penelope.
In his intricate and intrinsic explication of a foreseen nature of poetry,
Pound dug up history to locate timeless examples of faithfulness, like that
of Penelope to her husband Odysseus. The Greek hero went to war for ten
years and on his return he was fated to suffer for ten more years. His wife
never lost hope in the return of her husband who resisted all temptations
to stay and never to go back to his faithful wife, the legendary Penelope.
This woman was an example of the woman who stands for ideals as is the case
with art because art, as the word indicates, suggests sublimity of thinking
and the best of human values. Art should be as faithful as Penelope
herself, it should never wither and never succumb to temptation whatsoever;
that’s why he was out of key with an art that sells its own values,
procures its own ideas for the cheapest not the highest better.
from Saudi Arabia