Ezra Pound (1885 - 1972)

Ezra Pound is generally considered the poet most responsible for defining and promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry. In the early teens of the twentieth century, he opened a seminal exchange of work and ideas between British and American writers, and was famous for the generosity with which he advanced the work of such major contemporaries as W. B. Yeats, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, H. D., James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and especially T. S. Eliot. His own significant contributions to poetry begin with his promulgation of Imagism, a movement in poetry which derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry – stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language, and foregoing traditional rhyme and meter in order to, in Pound’s words, “compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of the metronome.” His later work, for nearly fifty years, focused on the encyclopedic epic poem he entitled The Cantos.

Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, in 1885. He completed two years of college at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a degree from Hamilton College in 1905. After teaching at Wabash College for two years, he travelled abroad to Spain, Italy and London, where, as the literary executor of the scholar Ernest Fenellosa, he became interested in Japanese and Chinese poetry. He married Dorothy Shakespear in 1914 and became London editor of the Little Review in 1917. In 1924, he moved to Italy; during this period of voluntary exile, Pound became involved in Fascist politics, and did not return to the United States until 1945, when he was arrested on charges of treason for broadcasting Fascist propaganda by radio to the United States during the Second World War. In 1946, he was acquitted, but declared mentally ill and committed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. During  his confinement, the jury of the Bollingen-Library of Congress Award (which included a number of the most eminent writers of the time) decided to overlook Pound’s political career in the interest of recognizing his poetic achievements, and awarded him the prize for the Pisan Cantos (1948). After continuous appeals from writers won his release from the hospital in 1958, Pound returned to Italy and settled in Venice, where he died, a semi-recluse, in 1972.

Poems By Ezra Pound


A Girl (44 Comments »)
A Pact (4 Comments »)
A Virginal (6 Comments »)
Alba (6 Comments »)
An Immorality (20 Comments »)
Ancient Music (5 Comments »)
And the days are not full enough (15 Comments »)
Ballad for Gloom (2 Comments »)
Ballad of the Goodly Fere (11 Comments »)
Before Sleep (4 Comments »)
Cantico del Sole (4 Comments »)
Cino (3 Comments »)
Dance Figure (2 Comments »)
E.P. Ode Pour L’election De Son Sepulchre (5 Comments »)
Envoi (5 Comments »)
Epilogue (3 Comments »)
Ezra on the Strike (2 Comments »)
Fan-Piece, For Her Imperial Lord (2 Comments »)
Francesca (2 Comments »)
from “Hugh Selwyn Mauberly” (No Comments »)
Further Instructions (1 Comment »)
Grace Before Song (1 Comment »)
Historion (4 Comments »)
Hugh Selwyn Mauberly (Part I) (1 Comment »)
In A Station Of The Metro (59 Comments »)
In Tempore Senectutis (1 Comment »)
In the Old Age of the Soul (3 Comments »)
Invern (1 Comment »)
Ione, Dead the Long Year (1 Comment »)
Ité (No Comments »)
L’Art (5 Comments »)
La Regina Avrillouse (1 Comment »)
Lament of the Frontier Guard (1 Comment »)
Masks (2 Comments »)
Medallion (1 Comment »)
Meditatio (17 Comments »)
Nicotine (6 Comments »)
Notes for Canto CXX (1 Comment »)
Portrait d’Une Femme (6 Comments »)
Quies (No Comments »)
Sestina: Altaforte (2 Comments »)
Silet (1 Comment »)
Song (10 Comments »)
Song in the Manner of Housman (5 Comments »)
Song of the Bowmen of Shu (4 Comments »)
Statement of Being (No Comments »)
Sub Mare (No Comments »)
Taking Leave of a Friend (2 Comments »)
Tame Cat (No Comments »)
The Bath-Tub (11 Comments »)
The Encounter (1 Comment »)
The Fault of It (1 Comment »)
The Garden (21 Comments »)
The Garret (3 Comments »)
The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance (1 Comment »)
The Lake Isle (2 Comments »)
The Logical Conclusion (1 Comment »)
The Needle (2 Comments »)
The Plunge (1 Comment »)
The Return (5 Comments »)
The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter (18 Comments »)
The Seafarer (2 Comments »)
The Seeing Eye (3 Comments »)
The Summons (1 Comment »)
The Tree (10 Comments »)
These Fought in Any Case (2 Comments »)
Ts’ai Chi’h (5 Comments »)
Villanelle: The Psychological Hour (1 Comment »)
Villonaud for This Yule (1 Comment »)


Salutation (2 Comments »)

The Cantos

1. Canto I (15 Comments »)
13. Canto XIII (6 Comments »)
49. Canto XLIX (1 Comment »)
Analysis, meaning and summary of Ezra Pound's poem Canto XLIX

1 Comment

  1. Paul Bard says:

    The natural world of the soul here is lit up luminously with words which are luminous, a pacing of diction which emphasizes silence, and yet a sense of detachment which shows the slow motion world of ancient China as if through a lens of Pound’s historicism. The details are blanched into language, and detached from a sense of reality, in abrupt strokes of words which don’t quite gell with the main image, creating a linguistic haze over the whole. Cerebral, lovely, and haunting poetry.

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