Tensions in Pound's personality and career are considered, particularly in terms of his relationships with other poets and his fascism and anti-capitalism. The poem 'The Seafarer' is examined as a quintessentially Poundian project in its treatment and translation of poetic forms. The first Canto of his epic project, The Cantos , is analyzed as a meditation on the process of expressing and engaging with history and literary tradition.
Menand, Louis. Kirsch, Adam. Wilson, Peter. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D. In this volume we have all of his early poems, or "stale cream puffs" as he dubbed them. But as we move through the volumes that succeed it, we witness, in fascinating close-up, the making of a poet. Olga gave birth to a daughter, Mary, in July and made arrangements with a German-speaking peasant woman to raise the child for lira a month.
By now, she was one of the most celebrated violinists in Europe and had played before heads of state and political leaders in capitals throughout the continent.
When Dorothy learned of the birth, she separated from Pound for most of In March , she returned from a three-month visit to Egypt and announced that she, too, was pregnant. The two children had marked differences in their upbringing. Mary had but one pair of shoes and books on Jesus and the saints.
Omar was raised as an English gentleman in Kensington with the many advantages and privileges associated with such status. The bulk of his work on The Cantos was done in Italy and was published variously in poetry journals or in book form. The This Quarter dedicated its opening issue to Pound, with tributes from Hemingway and Joyce, and he launched his own literary journal, The Exile. Pound continued to hold to his belief that western capitalism, which he equated to usury, was the cause of World War One and the consequent loss of life.
He concluded that the social credit theory of an obscure British engineer, Major C. Douglas, combined with fascism was the ultimate answer and gave a series of lectures on the subject. He presented Mussolini with his economic ideas, which were brushed aside, and with a copy of Canto XXX, which the Italian leader found entertaining. Pound wrote several books on economics during the s, including one on social credit, and in he sailed to New York to meet with several senators and congressmen in hopes of avoiding U.
He was given an honorary doctorate by Hamilton College while in America. He soon returned to Italy and began writing anti-Semitic columns for newspapers, including one owned by the prominent British fascist, Sir Oswald Mosley.
Political views aside, he needed the money. The Italian government feared he might be a double agent, so they insisted on advance approval. Still, ever the contrarian, Pound often changed the text of his plus broadcasts in the studio. He continued to broadcast and to write under pseudonyms until April Olga was forced by necessity to give language lessons to support the Pounds and her daughter.
Mussolini was killed by armed partisans April 28, , and Pound was arrested by them four days later. He was initially handed over to the U.
Counter Intelligence Corps for interrogation in connection with a grand jury indictment in absentia for treason. On May 24 he was transferred to the U. He was in isolation for twenty-five days, with no exercise, no belt, no bed, no shoelaces and with eyes inflamed by dust. He was only permitted to communicate with the chaplain. He was moved out of the cage in mid-June for examination by psychiatrists, one of whom found Pound to be suffering a mental breakdown. Pound was admitted to the prison ward of St.
Dorothy was declared his legal guardian. Visits could not exceed 15 minutes while, according to T. Instead of release on bail, Winfred Overholser, superintendent of St. The psychiatrists there later concluded that Pound had a narcissistic personality but was clinically sane. Apparently, Overholser protected Pound from criminal prosecution because he was fascinated by Pound.
Pound liked his new accommodations. He was permitted to read, write and receive Dorothy and other visitors, including some of his other mistresses, several hours a day.
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There was a small alcove with wicker chairs adjacent to his room which he was allowed to convert into a private living room to entertain his guests. He continued work on The Cantos and other literary projects. He ultimately refused any effort to have him released. Olga visited him in and but could not convince him to seek release. Eliot, Robert Frost, E.
Cummings and others believed that if the award committee — stacked with the likes of Eliot, Conrad Aiken, Amy Lowell and Katherine Ann Porter — were to give the prize to Pound, the Justice Department would be in an untenable position if it opposed his release. Pound remained at St. Hemingway said he felt Pound should be released during a interview and again after winning the Nobel Prize that same year. The next year, Archibald MacLeish hired Thurman Arnold, the prominent Washington attorney, to file a motion dismissing the indictment.
Arnold did so on a pro bono basis.
T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound: Examining the basis of their literary friendship
Winfred Overholser supported the motion with an affidavit stating that Pound was permanently and incurably insane and that further confinement served no therapeutic purpose. Pound was stripped of his rights of U. There he met his two grandchildren for the first time. After a short period, he and Dorothy returned to Rapallo, where Olga Rudge awaited them. She ostensibly served as his secretary and was charged with collecting poems for an anthology.
Pound was said to be in love with Marcella and saw in her one last chance to reclaim youth. This was one affair that Dorothy would not ignore and, exercising her legal authority as his guardian, sent Marcella packing to America. By December , Pound had gone into a depression. Some thought he was exhibiting signs of dementia. Mary had him admitted to a clinic near Merano in the summer of because of his unexplained weight loss.
He made a comeback with his health but developed a urinary tract infection in the spring of The caretaker responsibilities became too much for Dorothy, so that summer he was sent to live with Olga in Rapallo, then later in Venice.
A Literary Life
Dorothy mostly remained in London with Omar after that. William Carlos Williams died in followed by T. Eliot in Dorothy only came to see him twice during the last four years of his life. Ezra Pound. Article Media.
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