Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic. He was a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement who became a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and the unfinished 120-section, 800-page epic The Cantos (1917–1969).
Pound's contribution to poetry began with his role in developing Imagism, a movement derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language. Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, he helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost, and Ernest Hemingway. He was responsible for the 1915 publication of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses.
Angered by the carnage of World War I (1914–1918), Pound lost faith in England and blamed the war on finance capitalism, which he called "usury". He moved to Italy in 1924 and through the 1930s and 1940s embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. During World War II, he persuaded the Italian government to let him make hundreds of paid, antisemitic radio broadcasts attacking the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Jews, as a result of which he was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason. He spent months detained in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including three weeks in a 6-by-6-foot (1.8 by 1.8 m) outdoor steel cage, which he said triggered a mental breakdown: "when the raft broke and the waters went over me". Deemed unfit to stand trial, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years.
While in custody in Italy, Pound began work on sections of The Cantos that were published as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library of Congress, triggering enormous controversy. Largely because of a campaign by his fellow writers, he was released from St. Elizabeths in 1958 and lived in Italy until his death in 1972. His political views have ensured that his life and work remain controversial.
Early life (1885–1908)Edit
Pound was born in a small, two-story house in Hailey, Idaho Territory, the only child of Homer Loomis Pound (1858–1942) and Isabel Weston (1860–1948). His father had worked in Hailey since 1883 as registrar of the General Land Office. Both parents' ancestors had emigrated from England in the 17th century. On his mother's side, Pound was descended from William Wadsworth (1594–1675), a Puritan who emigrated to Boston on the Lion in 1632. Captain Joseph Wadsworth helped to write the Connecticut constitution. The Wadsworths married into the Westons of New York. Harding Weston and Mary Parker were the parents of Isabel Weston, Ezra's mother. Harding Weston apparently spent most of his life without work; his brother Ezra Weston and Ezra's wife, Frances Weston (Aunt Frank), looked after Mary's and Isabel's needs.
On his father's side, the immigrant ancestor was John Pound, a Quaker who arrived from England around 1650. Ezra's grandfather, Thaddeus Coleman Pound (1832–1914), was a Republican Congressman from Wisconsin who made and lost a fortune in the lumber business. Thaddeus's son Homer, Pound's father, worked for Thaddeus in the lumber business until Thaddeus secured him the appointment as registrar of the Hailey land office. Homer and Isabel married the following year, in 1884.
Isabel Pound was unhappy in Hailey and took Ezra with her to New York in 1887 when he was 18 months old. Her husband followed them, and in 1889 he found a job as an assayer at the Philadelphia Mint. The family moved to Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and in 1893 bought a six-bedroom house at 166 Fernbrook Avenue, Wyncote.
Pound's education began in a series of dame schools, some run by Quakers: Miss Elliott's school in Jenkintown in 1892; the Heathcock family's Chelten Hills School in Wyncote in 1893; and the Florence Ridpath school from 1894, also in Wyncote. His first publication was on 7 November 1896 in the Jenkintown Times-Chronicle ("by E. L. Pound, Wyncote, aged 11 years"), a limerick about William Jennings Bryan, who had just lost the 1896 presidential election: "There was a young man from the West, / He did what he could for what he thought best; / But election came round; / He found himself drowned, / And the papers will tell you the rest."
In 1895 Pound attended Wyncote Public School, transferring aged 12 to Cheltenham Military Academy, where he wore an American Civil War-style school uniform and was known as Ray or Ra Pound. Specializing in Latin, he was also taught marksmanship, fencing, military drilling, and the importance of submitting to authority. In 1898, aged 13, he made his first trip overseas, a three-month tour with his mother and Aunt Frank, who took him to England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Morocco. Pound attended the academy, at times as a boarder, until 1900, but it seems he did not graduate. He may have attended some other school for the year 1900–1901, possibly Cheltenham Township High School.
In 1901 Pound was admitted, aged 15, to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal Arts. His grades were not particularly good, including in his major, Latin; he achieved a B in English composition and a pass in English literature. He wrote years later that this was because he only wanted to study poetry.[a]
When he was 16, Pound fell in love with the 15-year-old Hilda Doolittle (later known as the poet H.D.), then studying at Bryn Mawr College. He wrote poems for her, 25 of which he hand-bound and titled Hilda's Book, and in 1908 he asked her father, the astronomy professor Charles Doolittle, for permission to marry her, but he was dismissed as "nothing but a nomad". Pound was seeing two other women at the time—Viola Baxter and Mary Moore—later dedicating a book of poetry, Personae (1909), to the latter.[b] He asked Moore to marry him too, but she turned him down.
His parents and Aunt Frank took him on another three-month European tour in 1902. The following year he transferred to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, possibly because of poor grades. Signed up for the Latin–Scientific course, he appears to have avoided some classes; according to Pound scholar David Moody, his transcript is short of the required credits. He studied the Provençal dialect with William Pierce Shephard and Old English with Joseph D. Ibbotson. With Ibbotson he discussed Sordello, Beowolf, The Seafarer, and Dante, and from these discussions came the idea for a long poem in three parts—emotion, instruction, and contemplation—planting the seeds for The Cantos.
Pound graduated from Hamilton College with a PhB in 1905, then returned to the University of Pennsylvania to study Romance languages under Hugo A. Rennert. He obtained an MA in early 1906 and registered to write a PhD thesis on the jesters in Lope de Vega's plays. A two-year Harrison fellowship covered his tuition fees and gave him a travel grant of $500, which he used to return to Europe. He spent three weeks in Madrid in various libraries, including one in the royal palace. There, on 31 May 1906, he was standing outside when the attempted assassination of King Alfonso took place, and Pound left the country for fear he would be identified with the anarchists. He spent two weeks in Paris, attending lectures at the Sorbonne, followed by a week in London.
In July 1906 he returned to the United States, where in September his first essay, "Raphaelite Latin", was published in Book News Monthly. He took courses in the English department at Penn in 1907, where he fell out with several lecturers. According to a story Pound told a friend, William Carlos Williams, during lectures on Shakespeare by Felix Schelling, the department head, Pound would wind an enormous tin watch very slowly while Schelling spoke. In the spring of 1907 he learned that his fellowship would not be renewed. Schelling told him he was wasting everyone's time, and Pound left without finishing his doctorate.
I am homesick after mine own kind,
Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces,
But I am homesick after mine own kind.
— Personae (1909), written in Crawfordsville, Indiana, 1907
From late 1907 Pound taught Romance languages at Wabash College, a Presbyterian college with 150 students in Crawfordsville, Indiana, which he called "the sixth circle of hell". He was dismissed after a few months. Smoking was forbidden, but he would smoke cigarillos in his office down the corridor from the president's. He annoyed his landlords by entertaining friends, including women, and was forced out of one house after "[t]wo stewdents found me sharing my meagre repast with the lady–gent impersonator in my privut apartments", he told a friend. He was asked to leave the college in January 1908 after his landladies, Ida and Belle Hall, found a woman in his room. Shocked at having been fired, he left for Europe soon after, sailing from New York in March.
A Lume SpentoEdit
Pound arrived in Gibraltar on 23 March 1908, where he earned $15 a day as a guide to American tourists. After stops in Tangiers, Seville, Cadiz, and Genoa, by the end of April he was in Venice, living over a bakery near the San Vio bridge, He considered abandoning his efforts to write poetry: "by the soap-smooth stone posts where San Vio / meets with il Canal Grande / between Salviati and the house that was of Don Carlos / shd/I chuck the lot into the tide-water? / le bozze "A Lume Spento"/ / and by the column of Todero / shd/I shift to the other side / or wait 24 hours ..."
He decided instead to self-publish his first collection, the 72-page A Lume Spento ("With Tapers Quenched"), which appeared in July 1908. The title is from the third canto of Dante's Purgatorio, alluding to the death of Manfred, King of Sicily. Pound dedicated the book to the Philadelphia artist William Brooke Smith, a friend from university who had recently died of tuberculosis.
Move to LondonEdit
In August 1908 Pound moved to London, carrying 60 copies of A Lume Spento. English poets such as Maurice Hewlett, Rudyard Kipling, and Alfred Tennyson had made a particular kind of Victorian verse—stirring, pompous, and propagandistic—popular with the public. According to modernist scholar James Knapp, Pound rejected the idea of poetry as "versified moral essay"; he wanted to focus on the individual experience, the concrete rather than the abstract.
Pound at first stayed in a boarding house at 8 Duchess Street, near the British Museum Reading Room; he had met the landlady during his travels in Europe in 1906. He soon moved to Islington (12s 6d a week board and lodging), but his father sent him ₤4 and he was able to move back into central London, to 48 Langham Street, near Great Titchfield Street. The house sat across an alley from the Yorkshire Grey pub, which made an appearance in the Pisan Cantos (Canto 80/502), "concerning the landlady's doings / with a lodger unnamed / az waz near Gt Ti[t]chfield St. next door to the pub".
Pound persuaded the bookseller Elkin Mathews on Vigo Street to display A Lume Spento, and in an unsigned article in November 1908, Pound reviewed it himself in the London Evening Standard: "Wild and haunting stuff, absolutely poetic ... words are no good describing it". The following month he self-published a second collection, A Quinzaine for this Yule. This was his first book to have commercial success; Elkin Matthews had another 100 copies printed. In January and February 1909, after the death of the critic John Churton Collins left a vacancy, Pound lectured for one hour a week in the evenings on "The Development of Literature in Southern Europe" at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Mornings would be spent in the British Museum Reading Room, followed by lunch at the Vienna Café on Oxford Street. Ford Madox Ford described Pound as "approach[ing] with the step of a dancer, making passes with a cane at an imaginary opponent":
Pound was a flamboyant dresser at this stage, and had trousers made of green billiard cloth, a pink coat, a blue shirt, a tie hand-painted by a Japanese friend and an immense sombrero. All this was accompanied by a flaming beard cut to a point and a single, large blue earring."
Meeting Dorothy Shakespear, PersonaeEdit
At a literary salon in 1909, Pound met the novelist Olivia Shakespear and was introduced to her daughter Dorothy Shakespear, who became Pound's wife in 1914. "Listen to it—Ezra! Ezra! And a third time—Ezra!", Dorothy wrote in her diary on 16 February 1909. The critic Iris Barry described her as "carrying herself delicately with the air, always, of a young Victorian lady out skating, and a profile as clear and lovely as that of a porcelain Kuan-yin".
Through the Shakespears, Pound was introduced to the poet W. B. Yeats, Olivia Shakespear's former lover. Pound had already sent Yeats a copy of A Lume Spento, and Yeats had apparently found it "charming". Pound met the cream of London's literary circle, including George Bernard Shaw, Hilaire Belloc, Ernest Rhys, T. E. Hulme, and F. S. Flint. He wrote to William Carlos Williams on 3 February 1909: "Am by way of falling into the crowd that does things here. London, deah old Lundon, is the place for poesy."
According to the poet Richard Aldington, "London was interested and amused by Ezra". The newspapers interviewed him, and he was mentioned in Punch magazine, which on 23 June 1909 described "Mr. Ezekiel Ton" as "the newest poet going"; his work combines "the imagery of the unfettered West, the vocabulary of Wardour Street, and the sinister abandon of Borgiac Italy".
"Thank you, whatever comes." And then she turned
And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers
Fades when the wind hath lifted them aside,
Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes
One hour was sunlit and the most high gods
May not make boast of any better thing
Than to have watched that hour as it passed.
In April 1909 Elkin Mathews published Personae of Ezra Pound (half the poems were from A Lume Spento) and in September a further 27 poems as Exultations of Ezra Pound. Edward Thomas described Personae in English Review as "full of human passion and natural magic". Rupert Brooke was unimpressed, complaining that Pound had fallen under the influence of Walt Whitman, writing in "unmetrical sprawling lengths that, in his hands, have nothing to commend them". In or around September, Pound moved into new rooms at Church Walk, off Kensington High Street, where he lived most of the time until 1914.
Pound visited a friend, Walter Rummel, in Paris in March 1910 and was introduced to the American heiress and pianist Margaret Lanier Cravens. Although they had only just met, she offered to become a patron to the tune of $1,000 a year, and from then until her death in 1912 she apparently set him money regularly.
The Spirit of Romance, Patria Mia, CanzoniEdit
In June 1910 Pound returned for eight months to the United States; his arrival coincided with the publication of his first book of literary criticism, The Spirit of Romance, based on his lecture notes from Regent Street Polytechnic. Patria Mia, his essays on the United States, were written during this period. He loved New York but believed the city was threatened by commercialism and vulgarity, and he no longer felt at home there. He found the New York Public Library Main Branch, then being built, especially offensive and, according to Paul L. Montgomery, visited the architects' offices almost every day to shout at them. It was during this period that his antisemitism became apparent; he referred to Jews in Patria Mia as "detestable".
Pound persuaded his parents to finance his passage back to Europe, and on 22 February 1911 he sailed from New York on the R.M.S. Mauretania. It was nearly 30 years—April 1939—before he visited the U.S. again. After three days in London he went to Paris, where he worked on a new collection of poetry, Canzoni (1911), panned by the Westminster Gazette in August that year as "affectation combined with pedantry". When he returned to London in August 1911, A. R. Orage, editor of the socialist journal The New Age, hired him to write a weekly column. Pound referred to Orage in The Cantos (Possum is T. S. Eliot): "but the lot of 'em, / Yeats, Possum and Wyndham / had no ground beneath 'em. / Orage had."
Pound contributed to The New Age from 30 November 1911 until 13 January 1921, attending editorial meetings in the basement of a reportedly grimy ABC tearoom in Chancery Lane. There and at other meetings, he met Arnold Bennett, Cecil Chesterton, Beatrice Hastings, S. G. Hobson, T. E. Hulme, Katherine Mansfield, H. G. Wells and, in the New Age office in 1918. C. H. Douglas. It was within this environment, not in Italy, according to Tim Redman, that Pound first encountered antisemitic ideas about "usury".
Imagism, Poetry magazine, RipostesEdit
Hilda Doolittle arrived in London from Philadelphia in May 1911 with the poet Frances Gregg and Gregg's mother; when they returned in September, Doolittle stayed on. Pound introduced her to his friends, including Richard Aldington, who became her husband in 1913. Before that, the three of them lived in Church Walk, Kensington—Pound at no. 10, Aldington at no. 8, and Doolittle at no. 6—and worked daily in the British Museum Reading Room.
At the British Museum Laurence Binyon introduced Pound to the East Asian artistic and literary concepts Pound used in his later poetry. The visitors' books show Pound in 1912 and 1913 in the Print Room examining Japanese ukiyo-e, some inscribed with Japanese waka verse, a genre of poetry whose economy and strict conventions likely contributed to Imagist techniques of composition.
Pound was working at the time on the poems that became Ripostes (1912), trying to move away from his earlier work; he wrote that the "stilted language" of Canzoni had reduced Ford Madox Ford to rolling on the floor with laughter. "I hadn't in 1910 made a language," he wrote years later. "I don't mean a language to use, but even a language to think in."[d]
In August 1912 Harriet Monroe hired Pound (at his suggestion) as foreign correspondent of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, a new magazine in Chicago. The first edition, published in October, featured two of his own poems, "To Whistler, American" and "Middle Aged". Also that month Stephen Swift and Co. in London published Ripostes of Ezra Pound, a collection of 25 of his poems—including a contentious translation of the 8th-century Old English poem The Seafarer—that demonstrate his shift toward minimalist language.[e]
The book contains a mention of Les Imagistes. According to Pound, while in the British Museum tearoom one afternoon, he, Aldington, and Doolittle decided to begin a "movement" in poetry called Imagism. The aim was clarity: a fight against abstraction, romanticism, rhetoric, inversion of word order, and over-use of adjectives. Poetry published Pound's "A Few Don'ts by an Imagist" in March 1913, describing the principles of Imagism, which included:
Use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something.
Don't use such an expression as "dim lands of peace". It dulls the image. It mixes an abstraction with the concrete. It comes from the writer's not realizing that the natural object is always the adequate symbol.
Go in fear of abstractions. Don't retell in mediocre verse what has already been done in good prose.
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Poetry (April 1913)
An example is Pound's "In a Station of the Metro", published in Poetry in April 1913 and inspired by an experience on the Paris Underground. "I got out of a train at, I think, La Concorde," he wrote in an essay, "How I began", published in T. P.'s Weekly on 6 June 1913, "and in the jostle I saw a beautiful face, and then, turning suddenly, another and another, and then a beautiful child's face, and then another beautiful face. All that day I tried to find words for what this made me feel. ... I could get nothing but spots of colour." He worked on the poem for a year, reducing it to its essence in the style of a Japanese haiku.
James Joyce, marriageEdit
In the summer of 1913 Pound became literary editor of The Egoist (then known as the New Freewoman), a journal started by Dora Marsden of the Women's Social and Political Union. At the suggestion of W. B. Yeats, Pound encouraged James Joyce in December that year to send a contribution to The Egoist or one of the other magazines Pound worked for. Yeats, whose eyesight was failing, had rented Stone Cottage in Coleman's Hatch, Sussex, the previous month, inviting Pound to accompany him as his secretary, and it was during this visit that Yeats had introduced Pound to Joyce's Chamber Music and his "I hear an Army Charging Upon the Land". (This was the first of three winters Pound and Yeats spent together at Stone Cottage, including two with Dorothy after she and Ezra married in 1914.)
In his reply to Pound, Joyce gave permission to use "I hear an Army" and enclosed Dubliners and the first chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Pound wrote to Joyce that the novel was "damn fine stuff". Harriet Shaw Weaver accepted it for The Egoist, which serialized it from 2 February 1914, despite the printers objecting to words like "fart" and "ballocks", and fearing prosecution over Stephen Dedalus's thoughts about prostitutes. On the basis of the serialization, the publisher that had rejected Dubliners reconsidered. Joyce wrote to Yeats: "I can never thank you enough for having brought me into relation with your friend Ezra Pound who is indeed a miracle worker."
Ezra and Dorothy were married on 18 April 1914 at the Shakespears' parish church in Kensingston, despite opposition from her parents, who worried about Ezra's meager income. At the time he was earning ₤200 a year; Dorothy's father, Henry Hope Shakespear, had Ezra prepare a statement of his financial position. Dorothy's annual income was £50, aided by £150 from her family. Her parents eventually consented, perhaps out of fear that she was getting older with no other suitor in sight. Ezra's concession to marry in church helped convince them. Afterward he and Dorothy moved into an apartment with no bathroom at 5 Holland Place Chambers, Kensington, with the newly wed H.D. and Aldington living next door.
Around this time, Pound's articles in The New Age began to make him unpopular, to the alarm of Orage. London was "perched on the rotten shell of a crumbling empire", he wrote, and had lost its energy. The English sense of what was right was tied up entirely with their respect for property, he maintained, rather than morality. Yeats, James, Hudson, and Conrad, their best authors, were not English. English women were inferior to American women, in his view; the former had "preponderantly derivative" minds. Writers and critics in England were both ignorant, he wrote in 1913.
Des Imagistes, Blast, dispute with Amy LowellEdit
The publication of Des Imagistes (1914), edited by Pound, and with poetry by Pound, Richard Aldington, Skipwith Cannell, John Cournos, H. D., F. S. Flint, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Amy Lowell, Allen Upward, William Carlos Williams "confirmed the importance of the new movement", according to Ira Nadel.
Pound extended the definition of Imagisme to art, naming it Vorticism: "The image is ... a vortex, from which, and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing." In June 1914 The Times announced the creation of Wyndham Lewis's Rebel Arts Centre at 38 Great Ormond Street. Vorticist art will "blend ... the basic motives of Impressionism and Futurism", the newspaper said, naming Pound as one of the Rebel Arts Centre members.
Wyndham Lewis's literary magazine Blast promised it would cover "Cubism, Futurism, Imagisme and all Vital Forms of Modern Art", although only two issues appeared, the first in July 1914 and the second a year later.[f] The publication of Blast was celebrated at a dinner in the summer of 1914 attended by New England poet Amy Lowell (who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926), then in London to meet the Imagists. But H.D. and Aldington were moving away from Pound's understanding of the movement, as he aligned himself more with Lewis's ideas. Lowell agreed to finance an annual anthology of Imagist poets, but she insisted on democracy; according to Aldington, Lowell "proposed a Boston Tea Party for Ezra" and an end to his despotic rule. Upset at Lowell, Pound began to call Imagisme "Amygism", and in July 1914 he declared the movement dead and asked the group not to call themselves Imagists. They dissented, not believing that the movement was Pound's invention, and Lowell eventually Anglicized the term.
World War I, meeting EliotEdit
When war was declared in August 1914, opportunities for literary articles were immediately reduced; Aldington writes that poems had to be patriotic. Pound earned ₤42 over the next year, apparently five times less than the year before.
On 22 September 1914 T. S. Eliot—in England on a fellowship from Harvard—traveled to London from Merton College, Oxford, with an introduction from Conrad Aiken, to meet Pound and have him read Eliot's unpublished "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". Pound wrote to Harriet Monroe, editor of Poetry, on 30 September to say that Eliot had "sent in the best poem I have yet had or seen from an American". He continued: "[Eliot] has actually trained himself and modernized himself on his own. The rest of the promising young have done one or the other but never both (most of the swine neither)." Monroe was disappointed when she read Prufrock, but she did eventually publish it in June 1915 in the "new verse" section.
Pound was devastated when Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, from whom he had commissioned a sculpture of himself two years earlier, was killed in the trenches in June 1915. In response, he published Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen, I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?
Pound became fascinated by the translations of Japanese poetry and Noh plays that he discovered in the papers of Ernest Fenollosa, an American professor who had taught in Japan and studied Chinese poetry under Japanese scholars. In 1913 his widow, Mary McNeill Fenollosa, had given her husband's unpublished notes to Pound; she had been looking for someone who cared about poetry rather than philology. In 1915 Pound began editing Fenellosa's unfinished essay The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, which he published in 1919 in the Little Review.
The title page of Pound's collection Cathay (1915) refers to the poet "Rihaku", the Japanese pronunciation of the Tang dynasty Chinese poet Li Bai, whose poems were much loved in China and Japan for their technical mastery and much translated in the West because of their seeming simplicity. Michael Alexander thinks this is the most attractive of Pound's work. Chinese critic Wai-lim Yip writes of it that Pound "is able to get into the central concerns of the original author by what we may perhaps call a kind of clairvoyance."[g]
Pound's translations from Old English, Latin, Italian, French, and Chinese were highly disputed. According to Alexander, they made him more unpopular in some circles than the treason charge. Robert Graves wrote in 1955: "[Pound] knew little Latin, yet he translated Propertius; and less Greek, but he translated Alcaeus; and still less Anglo-Saxon, yet he translated The Seafarer. I once asked Arthur Waley how much Chinese Pound knew; Waley shook his head despondently."
After the publication of Cathay, Pound mentioned that he was working on a long poem; in September 1915 he described it as a "cryselephantine poem of immeasurable length which will occupy me for the next four decades unless it becomes a bore". In February 1916, when Pound was 30, the poet Carl Sandburg paid tribute to him in Poetry magazine. Pound "stains darkly and touches softly", he wrote:
All talk on modern poetry, by people who know, ends with dragging in Ezra Pound somewhere. He may be named only to be cursed as wanton and mocker, poseur, trifler and vagrant. Or he may be classed as filling a niche today like that of Keats in a preceding epoch. The point is, he will be mentioned. ...
In the cool and purple meantime, Pound goes ahead producing new poems having the slogan, "Guts and Efficiency," emblazoned above his daily program of work. His genius runs to various schools and styles. He acquires traits and then throws them away. One characteristic is that he has no characteristics. He is a new roamer of the beautiful, a new fetcher of wild shapes, in each new handful of writings offered us.
In January 1917 Pound had the first three trial cantos, distilled to one, published in Poetry as Canto I. He was now a regular contributor to three literary magazines. From 1917 he wrote music reviews for The New Age as William Atheling and art reviews as B. H. Dias. He also wrote weekly pieces for The Egoist and the Little Review; many of the latter complained about provincialism, which included the ringing of church bells in Kensington. When Pound lived near St Mary Abbots church, he "engaged in a fierce, guerrilla warfare of letters with the Vicar on the subject", according to Richard Aldington.
And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass.
— Lustra (1916)
In May 1917 Margaret Anderson hired Pound as foreign editor of the Little Review. The volume of writing exhausted him; he exclaimed in July 1918 that he "must stop writing so much prose". The previous month a suspicion had arisen that Pound himself was the author of an article in The Egoist praising his work. The poet F. S. Flint told The Egoist's editor that "we are all tired of Mr. Pound". British literary circles were "tired of his antics" and of him "puffing and swelling himself and his friends", Flint wrote. "His work has deteriorated from book to book; his manners have become more and more offensive; and we wish he would go back to America."
In the autumn of 1917 Pound grew more depressed. The October issue of the Little Review was seized when the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice applied the Comstock Laws to an article Wyndham Lewis had written, describing it as lewd and indecent. Around the same time, T. E. Hulme was killed by shell-fire in Flanders, and Yeats married Georgie Hyde-Lees. In 1918, after a bout of illness which was presumably the Spanish flu, Pound decided to stop writing for the Little Review, mostly because of the volume of work. He asked the publisher for a raise to hire 23-year-old Iseult Gonne as a typist, causing rumors that he was having an affair with her, but he was turned down.
In 1919 Pound published a collection of essays for the Little Review as Instigations, and in the March 1919 issue of Poetry, he published Poems from the Propertius Series, which appeared to be a translation of the Latin poet Sextus Propertius. In his next poetry collection in 1921, he had renamed it Homage to Sextus Propertius in response to criticism of his translation skills. Harriet Monroe, editor of Poetry, published a letter from a professor of Latin, W. G. Hale, saying that Pound was "incredibly ignorant" of the language and alluding to "about three-score errors" in Homage. Pound replied to Monroe: "Cat-piss and porcupines!! The thing is no more a translation than my 'Altaforte' is a translation, or than Fitzgerald's Omar is a translation." His letter ended "In final commiseration"; Monroe interpreted his silence after that as his resignation from Poetry magazine.
Hugh Selwyn MauberleyEdit
There died a myriad
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization,
Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
Quick eyes gone under earth's lid,
For two gross of broken statues,
For a few thousand battered books.
— Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Section V (1920)
Pound's poem Hugh Selwyn Mauberley consists of 18 short parts, and describes a poet whose life has become sterile and meaningless. Published in June 1920, it marked his farewell to London. Pound scholar Stephen J. Adams writes that, just as Eliot denied he was Prufrock, Pound denied he was Mauberley. The poem begins with a satirical analysis of the London literary scene, before turning to social criticism, economics, and an attack on the causes of the war; here the word usury first appears in his work. The critic F. R. Leavis described Mauberley as "great poetry".
By 1919 Pound felt there was no reason to stay in England. Pound had become "violently hostile" to England, according to Aldington. Magazines were ignoring his submissions or refusing to review his work. He saw the Vorticist movement as finished and doubted his own future as a poet. He had only the New Age to write for; his relationship with Poetry was finished, The Egoist was running out of money because of censorship problems caused by the serialization of Joyce's Ulysses, and funds for the Little Review had dried up. According to Aldington, Pound had "muffed his changes of becoming literary director of London—to which he undoubtedly aspired—by his own enormous conceit, folly, and bad manners." Toward the end of 1920 the Pounds resolved to move to Paris.[h]
On 13 January 1921 Orage wrote in The New Age: "Mr. Pound has shaken the dust of London from his feet with not too emphatic a gesture of disgust, but, at least, without gratitude to this country. ... [He] has been an exhilarating influence for culture in England; he has left his mark upon more than one of the arts, upon literature, music, poetry and sculpture, and quite a number of men and movements owe their initiation to his self-sacrificing stimulus ..."
With all this, however, Mr. Pound, like so many others who have striven for advancement of intelligence and culture in England, has made more enemies than friends ... Much of the Press has been deliberately closed by cabal to him; his books have for some time been ignored or written down; and he himself has been compelled to live on much less than would support a navvy. His fate, as I have said, is not unusual ... Taken by and large, England hates men of culture until they are dead.
Meeting Hemingway, editing The Waste LandEdit
The Pounds settled in Paris in January 1921 and months later moved to an inexpensive apartment at 70 bis Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Pound became friendly with Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Tristan Tzara, and others of the Dada and Surrealist movements, as well as Basil Bunting and Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway, then aged 22, moved to Paris in December 1921 with his wife, Hadley Richardson, and letters of introduction from Sherwood Anderson, including one to Pound. According to Jeffrey Meyers, Hemingway first met Pound in Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and in February 1922 the Hemingways visited the Pounds' apartment for tea. Although Pound was 14 years older, the men became friends, living on the same street for a time and touring Italy together in 1923. Hemingway assumed the status of pupil and asked Pound to blue-ink his short stories. Pound introduced Hemingway to his friends and contacts, including Lewis, Ford, John Peale Bishop, Malcolm Cowley, and Derek Patmore, while Hemingway tried to teach Pound to box.
Unlike Hemingway, Pound was not a drinker and preferred to spend time at home or in salons. He spent most of his time building furniture for his apartment and bookshelves for Beach's bookstore, and in 1921 the volume Poems 1918–1921 was published. The following year Eliot sent him the manuscript of The Waste Land, then arrived in Paris to edit it with Pound, who blue-inked the manuscript with comments like "make up yr. mind ..." and "georgian". Eliot wrote: "I should like to think that the manuscript, with the suppressed passages, had disappeared irrecoverably; yet, on the other hand, I should wish the blue pencilling on it to be preserved as irrefutable evidence of Pound's critical genius."
In 1922 Pound abandoned most of his earlier drafts of The Cantos and began again. The first three cantos had appeared in Poetry in June–August 1917. The Malatesta Cantos appeared in The Criterion in July 1923, and two further cantos were published in The Transatlantic Review in January 1924. Pound published 90 copies in Paris in 1925 of A Draft of XVI. Cantos of Ezra Pound for the Beginning of a Poem of some Length now first made into a Book.
Pound secured funding in 1924 for Ford Madox Ford's The Transatlantic Review from American attorney John Quinn. The Review published works by Pound, Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein, as well as extracts from Joyce's Finnegans Wake, before the money ran out in 1925. It also published several of Pound's music reviews, later collected into Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony.
Meeting Olga RudgeEdit
Pound was 36 when he met the 26-year-old American violinist Olga Rudge in Paris in the summer of 1922. They were introduced at a salon hosted by the American heiress Natalie Barney at her 300-year-old house at 20 Rue Jacob, near the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The two moved in different social circles: Rudge was the daughter of a wealthy Youngstown, Ohio, steel family, living in her mother's Parisian apartment on the Right Bank, socializing with aristocrats, while Pound's friends were mostly impoverished writers of the Left Bank. They spent the following summer in the south of France, where Pound worked with George Antheil to apply the concept of Vorticism to music and managed to write two operas, including Le Testament de Villon.
Birth of the childrenEdit
The Pounds were unhappy in Paris. Dorothy complained about the winters and Ezra's health was poor. At one Surrealist dinner, a guest had tried to stab him; to Pound this underlined that their time in France was over. They decided to move to a quieter place, leaving in October 1924 for the seaside town of Rapallo in northern Italy. Hemingway wrote in a letter that Pound had "indulged in a small nervous breakdown" during the packing, leading to two days at the American Hospital of Paris. During this period the Pounds lived on Dorothy's income, supplemented by dividends from stock she had invested in.
Pregnant by Pound, Olga Rudge followed the couple to Italy, and in July 1925 she gave birth to a daughter, Maria, in a hospital in Bressanone, Tyrol. Rudge and Pound placed the baby in Gais, South Tyrol, with a German-speaking peasant woman whose own child had died, and who agreed to raise Maria for 200 lire a month. Pound reportedly believed that artists ought not to have children, because in his view motherhood ruined women. According to Hadley Richardson, he took her aside before she and Hemingway left Paris for Toronto to have their child, telling her: "Well, I might as well say goodbye to you here and now because [the baby] is going to change you completely."
At the end of December 1925, Dorothy went on holiday to Egypt, returning on 1 March, and in early June, Ezra realized she was pregnant. That month they left Rapallo for Paris for the premiere of Le Testament de Villon without mentioning the pregnancy to Ezra's parents, although Dorothy's mother knew about it. They stayed on in Paris; Dorothy wanted the baby to be born at the American hospital. Hemingway drove her there for the birth of a son, Omar, on 10 September 1926. Ezra signed the birth certificate the following day and wrote to his father, "next generation (male) arrived. Both D & it appear to be doing well."
Dorothy took Omar to England, where she stayed for a year and thereafter visited him every summer. He was sent to live at first in Felpham, Sussex, with a former superintendant of Norland College, which trains nannies, and later became a boarder at Charterhouse. During the summers, when Dorothy was in England, Ezra would spend the time with Olga, whose father helped her buy a house in Venice in 1928. The arrangement meant that the children were raised very differently. Maria (later known as Mary) had a single pair of shoes, and books about Jesus and the saints, while Omar was raised to be an English gentleman.
In 1925 a new literary magazine, This Quarter, dedicated its first issue to Pound, including tributes from Hemingway and Joyce. In Hemingway's contribution, "Homage to Ezra", he wrote that Pound "devotes perhaps one fifth of his working time to writing poetry and in this twenty per cent of effort writes a large and distinguished share of the really great poetry that has been written by any American living or dead—or any Englishman living or dead or any Irishman who ever wrote English."
With the rest of his time he tries to advance the fortunes, both material and artistic, of his friends. He defends them when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. He loans them money. He sells their pictures. He arranges concerts for them. He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying and he witnesses their wills. He advances them hospital expenses and dissuades them from suicide. And in the end a few of them refrain from knifing him at the first opportunity.
Against this, Richard Aldington told Amy Lowell that year that Pound had been almost forgotten in England: "as the rest of us go up, he goes down", he wrote. Pound published Cantos XVII–XIX in the winter editions of This Quarter. In March 1927 he launched his own literary magazine, The Exile, but only four issues were published. It did well in the first year, with contributions from Hemingway, E. E. Cummings, Basil Bunting, Yeats, William Carlos Williams, and Robert McAlmon; some of the poorest work in the magazine consisted of Pound's rambling editorials on Confucianism or in praise of Lenin, according to biographer J. J. Wilhelm. He continued to work on Fenollosa's manuscripts, and won the 1927 Dial poetry award for his translation of the Confucian classic Great Learning (transliterated as Ta Hio). That year his parents, Homer and Isabel, visited him in Rapallo, seeing him for the first time since 1914. By then Homer had retired, so they decided to move to Rapallo themselves. They took a small house, Villa Raggio, on a hill above the town.
Antisemitism, fascism, meeting MussoliniEdit
Anthony Julius writes that Pound's antisemitism was "overt, deep and practical". He wrote in Patria Mia (1912), his essays for the New Age: "The Jew alone can retain his detestable qualities, despite climatic conditions." (The sentence was removed from the 1950 edition.) In 1922 he reportedly disliked that so many Jews were contributing to the magazine The Dial, and in the 1930s it was said he would not enter Frances Steloff's bookshop in New York because she was Jewish, even though she was one of his supporters. When he read his poetry at Harvard, he apparently included antisemitic poems in the program because he believed there were Jews in the audience. He denied being an antisemite; he said he liked Spinoza, Montaigne, and Alexander del Mar. "What I am driving at", he wrote to Jackson Mac Low, "is that some kike might manage to pin an antisem label on me IF he neglected the mass of my writing."
Pound came to believe that World War I had been caused by finance capitalism, which he called "usury", and that the solution lay in C. H. Douglas's idea of social credit. He had met Douglas in the New Age offices in London in 1918. Pound wrote over 1,000 letters a year during the 1930s and presented his political ideas and antisemitism in hundreds of articles, as well as in The Cantos. From 1932 he wrote 180 articles for The New English Weekly, a new Social Credit journal founded by A. R. Orage, and 60 for Il Mare, a Rapallo newspaper. He wrote to Bill Bird to ask about a conspiracy theory that the press in Paris was controlled by the Comité des forges. He also came under the influence of Charles Maurras, who led a right-wing, antisemitic group in France, Action Française.
Olga Rudge played for Benito Mussolini on 19 February 1927, and on 30 January 1933 Pound met Mussolini at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome and handed him "A Draft of XXX Cantos". During the meeting, Tytell writes, Pound tried unsuccessfully to present Mussolini with an 18-point digest of his economic ideas. According to Pound, Mussolini called the Cantos "divertente" (entertaining). Pound recorded the meeting in Canto XLI: "'Ma questo' / said the Boss, 'è divertente.'" The following month he began writing The ABC of Economics (1933) and Jefferson and/or Mussolini (1935). He wrote to C. H. Douglas that he had "never met anyone who seemed to get my ideas so quickly as the boss". He continued writing articles praising Mussolini and fascism: for T. S. Eliot's literary magazine The Criterion in July 1933, for the New York World Telegram in November, and for The Chicago Tribune in April 1934.
World War IIEdit
When Olivia Shakespear died in October 1938 in London, Dorothy asked Ezra to organize the funeral, where he saw their 12-year-old son, Omar, for the first time in eight years. He visited Eliot and Wyndham Lewis, who produced a now-famous portrait of Pound reclining. In April 1939 he sailed for New York, believing he could stop America's involvement in World War II, happy to answer reporters' questions about Mussolini while he lounged on the deck of the ship in a tweed jacket. In Washington, D.C. he met senators and congressmen and had lunch with the Polish ambassador, warning him not to trust the English or Winston Churchill. In June 1939 he received an honorary doctorate from Hamilton College.
When war broke out in September 1939, Pound began a letter-writing campaign to the politicians he had petitioned six months earlier, arguing that the war was the result of an international banking conspiracy. According to Tytell, in one letter to the American publisher James Laughlin, Pound wrote that "Roosevelt represents Jewry" and signed off with "Heil Hitler". He began calling Roosevelt "Jewsfeldt" or "Stinky Rooosenstein". In The Japan Times, he discussed the "essential fairness of Hitler's war aims", and that "Democracy is now currently defined in Europe as a 'country run by Jews.'" In Mediridian di Roma, he compared Hitler and Mussolini to Confucius.
In Sir Oswald Mosley's newspaper, Action, Pound wrote that the English were "a slave race governed since Waterloo by the Rothschilds" and that the Third Reich was the "natural civilizer of Russia". By May 1940, according to the historian Matthew Feldman, the British government regarded Pound as "a principal supplier of information to the BUF [British Union of Fascists] from abroad".
— Ezra Pound, Radio Rome, 15 March 1942
Between 23 January 1941 and 28 March 1945, Pound recorded or composed hundreds, possibly thousands, of broadcasts for Italian radio, mostly for The American Hour on EIAR (Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche or Radio Rome), and later for a new radio station in the Salò Republic, the Nazi puppet state established in Italy in September 1943. He used pseudonyms, as well as his own name.[i] Broadcast in English, and sometimes in Italian, German, and French, The American Hour was transmitted mainly to England, central Europe, and the United States.[j]
According to Feldman, the Pound archives at Yale contain receipts for 195 payments from the Italian Ministry of Popular Culture (known as MinCulPop) from 22 April 1941 to 26 January 1944. Over 33 months, Pound received 250,000 lire (then equivalent to $12,500; $185,000 as of 2013).
Styling himself "Dr Ezra Pound" (his only doctorate was the honorary one from Hamilton College), he attacked the United States, Roosevelt, Roosevelt's family, Churchill, and the Jews. He praised Hitler's Mein Kampf, recommended eugenics to "conserve the best of the race" rather than commit "race suicide", and said the melting pot in America was "lost". In October 1941 he complained about "Mr. Churchill and that brute, Rosenfeld, and their kike postal spies and obstructors". In a message for New Zealand in 1941, he said: "Your men have been sent to die for the Negus, a black king of a slaving country, that we had started to civilize." He referred to Jews as "filth". On 4 May 1942, in the early months of the Holocaust, he broadcast that "the kike is all out for power".
Tytell wrote that Pound's voice had assumed a "rasping, buzzing quality like the sound of a hornet stuck in a jar". The broadcasts required the Italian government's approval, although Pound often changed the text in the studio. He traveled to Rome one week a month to pre-record the 10-minute broadcasts, and they were broadcast every three days. He also wrote scripts and press releases for others. He needed the money. His father's pension payments had stopped arriving—his father died in February 1942—and Pound had his mother and Dorothy to look after. The broadcasts were monitored by the United States Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service, and on 26 July 1943 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia indicted Pound in absentia for treason.[k]
Italian Social RepublicEdit
On 9–10 September 1943, the German Wehrmacht occupied the northern and central areas of Italy. Hitler appointed Mussolini head of a fascist puppet state known as the Republica Sociale Italiana or Salò Republic. Pound called it the "Republic of Utopia". SS officers from RSHA IV B4, a Gestapo unit, arrived from Berlin to begin concentrating Jews in transit camps before deporting them to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the German extermination camp in occupied Poland. The first group of 1,034 Jews arrived in Auschwitz from Rome on 23 October 1943; 839 were gassed.[l]
Staying in Rome when the German occupation began, Pound is said to have borrowed hiking boots and headed north to Gais, on foot and by train, to visit his daughter, a journey of about 450 miles (720 km). She wrote that it was during this visit that he admitted he had a wife in Rapallo and a son in England. On or around 23 November 1943, Pound met government officials in Salò, including Fernando Mezzasoma, the new Minister of Popular Culture. Pound wrote from Salò to Dorothy asking if she could obtain a radio confiscated from the Jews to give to Olga, so that Olga could help with his work. He met more officials in Milan, and from 1 December he began writing scripts for the state's new radio station. He would send the scripts to Carl Goedel in the German Embassy in Milan, although he insisted that he was working for, and being paid by, the "Republican Fascist Ministry of Popular Culture", not the Germans.
On 2 December 1943 Pound wrote to Alessandro Pavolini, secretary of the Republican Fascist Party, suggesting that book stores be legally obliged to showcase certain books, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903), a hoax document purporting to be a Jewish plan to dominate the world. Pound wrote: "The arrest of Jews will create a wave of useless mercy; thus the need to disseminate the Protocols. The intellectuals are capable of a passion more durable than emotional, but they need to understand the reasons for a conflict."[m]
In May 1944 the German military, trying to secure the coast against the Allies, forced Ezra and Dorothy to evacuate their seafront apartment in Rapallo. The couple moved in with Rudge, who was living in six rooms above Rapallo at Sant' Ambrogio. There were food shortages, no coffee, and no newspapers, telephones, or letters. According to Rudge, Ezra and Dorothy would spend their nights listening to the BBC. After hearing a BBC broadcast in March 1944, Pound had proposed broadcasting short speeches of his to America under the title "London lies".
Most of the Pound's radio scripts were written for a program called Jerry's Front Calling. One script recommended the execution of Galeazzo Ciano, who was on trial for having betrayed Mussolini. On 26 January 1945, in a script called "Corpses of Course", Pound wrote that the Jews wanted to start a third world war to "keep the goys fighting, and let the jews hold coats and pick pockets while the row is in progress". He added: "Why shouldn't there be one grand beano; wiping out Sieff and Kuhn and Loeb and Guggenheim and Stinkenfinger and the rest of the nazal bleaters?" In addition to the radio scripts, Pound wrote 61 articles or other items for the newspaper Il Popolo di Alessandria. He wanted to write for the more reputable Corriere della Sera in Milan, but the editor regarded Pound's Italian as "incomprehensible", according to Moody.
Arrest for treasonEdit
On 3 May 1945, five days after Mussolini was shot, armed Italian partisans arrived at Olga Rudge's house to find Pound alone. He stuffed a copy of Confucius and a Chinese dictionary in his pocket before he was taken to their headquarters, then to the U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps headquarters in Genoa, where he was interrogated by FBI agent Frank L. Amprin.
Pound asked to send a cable to President Truman to help negotiate peace with Japan. He wanted to make a final broadcast called "Ashes of Europe Calling", in which he would recommend peace with Japan, American management of Italy, the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, and leniency toward Germany. His requests were denied and the script was forwarded to J. Edgar Hoover. On 8 May 1945, the day Germany surrendered, Pound gave the Americans a further statement:
I am not anti-Semitic, and I distinguish between the Jewish usurer and the Jew who does an honest day's work for a living.
Hitler and Mussolini were simple men from the country. I think that Hitler was a Saint, and wanted nothing for himself. I think that he was fooled into anti-Semitism and it ruined him. That was his mistake. When you see the "mess" that Italy gets into by bumping off Mussolini, you will see why someone could believe in some of his efforts.
Later that day he told an American reporter, Edd Johnson, that Hitler was "a Jeanne d'Arc, a saint&nbp;... a martyr. Like many martyrs, he held extreme views". Mussolini, he said, was "a very human, imperfect character who lost his head". On 24 May he was transferred to the United States Army Disciplinary Training Center north of Pisa, where he was placed in one of the camp's isolation cells, a series of 6-by-6-foot (1.8 by 1.8 m) outdoor steel cages, with tar paper covers, lit up at night by floodlights. Engineers reinforced his cage with heavier steel the night before he arrived in case fascist sympathizers tried to break him out.
Pound lived in isolation in the heat, sleeping on the concrete, denied exercise and communication. After three weeks, he stopped eating and began to break down under the strain. Richard Sieburth wrote that Pound recorded it in Canto LXXX, where Odysseus is saved from drowning by Leucothea: "hast'ou swum in a sea of air strip / through an aeon of nothingness, / when the raft broke and the waters went over me". Medical staff moved him out of the cage the following week. On 14 and 15 June he was examined by psychiatrists, after which he was transferred to his own tent. He began to write, drafting what became known as The Pisan Cantos. The existence of two sheets of toilet paper showing the beginning of Canto LXXIV suggests he started it while in the cage.
United States (1945–1958)Edit
St. Elizabeths HospitalEdit
Pound arrived back in Washington, D.C. on 18 November 1945. Tytell writes that it was two days before the Nuremberg trials began in Germany, and the newspapers were full of stories about the concentration camps. Lt. Col. P. V. Holder, one of the escorting officers, wrote in an affidavit that Pound, was "an intellectual 'crackpot' who imagined that he could correct all the economic ills of the world and who resented the fact that ordinary mortals were not sufficiently intelligent to understand his aims and motives". He added that Pound intended to conduct his own defense.
Pound was arraigned in Washington on 27 November on charges of treason. The 19 counts consisted of broadcasts that had been witnessed by two technicians, and the charge was that Pound had violated his allegiance to the United States by unlawfully supporting the Kingdom of Italy. He was admitted to St. Elizabeths Hospital, and in June the following year Dorothy was declared his legal guardian. He was held for a time in the hospital's prison ward—Howard's Hall, known as the "hell-hole", a building without windows—in a room with a thick steel door and nine peepholes to allow the psychiatrists to observe him. Visitors were admitted for 15 minutes at a time, while patients wandered around screaming and frothing at the mouth.
Pound's lawyer, Julien Cornell, whose efforts to have him declared insane may have avoided a death sentence, requested his release at a bail hearing in January 1947. The hospital's superintendent, Winfred Overholser, agreed to move him to Chestnut Ward, close to Overholser's private quarters, which is where he spent the next 12 years. The historian Stanley Kutler was given access in the 1980s to military intelligence and other government documents about Pound, including his hospital records. According to Kutler, a psychiatrist wrote in 1953 that Pound had a narcissistic personality and was not psychotic; the diagnosis was "Personality trait disturbance, other. Narcissistic personality." Overholser wrote: "In our opinion, one may be incompetent without being technically psychotic." Two years later, the diagnosis was changed to "Psychotic Disorder. Undifferentiated." The file stated that this change had been requested and authorized by Overholser. In Kutler's view, Overholser protected Pound from the criminal justice system because he was fascinated by him.
Tytell writes that Pound was in his element in Chestnut Ward. At last provided for, he was allowed to read, write, and receive visitors, including Dorothy for several hours a day. He turned a small alcove on the ward into his private living room, "Ezuversity", where he entertained friends and literary figures. It reached the point where he refused to discuss any attempt to have him released. Olga Rudge visited him twice, in 1952 and 1955, and was unable to convince him to be more assertive about his release. She wrote to a friend: "E.P. has—as he had before—bats in the belfry but it strikes me that he has fewer not more than before his incarceration."
The Pisan Cantos, Bollingen PrizeEdit
and the Serpentine will look just the same
and the gulls be as neat on the pond
and the sunken garden unchanged
and God knows what else is left of our London
my London, your London
James Laughlin had "Cantos LXXIV–LXXXIV" ready for publication in 1946 under the title The Pisan Cantos, and gave Pound an advance copy, but he held back, waiting for an appropriate time to publish. A group of Pound's friends—T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, W. H. Auden, Allen Tate, and Julien Cornell—met Laughlin to discuss how to get him released. They planned to have Pound awarded the first Bollingen Prize, a new national poetry award by the Library of Congress, with $1,000 prize money donated by the Mellon family.
The awards committee consisted of 15 fellows of the Library of Congress, including several of Pound's supporters, such as Eliot, Tate, Conrad Aiken, Katherine Anne Porter, and Theodore Spencer.[n] The idea was that the Justice Department would be placed in an untenable position if Pound won a major award and was not released. Laughlin published The Pisan Cantos on 30 July 1948, and the following year the prize went to Pound.[o] There were two dissenting voices, Katherine Garrison Chapin and Karl Shapiro; the latter said he could not vote for an antisemite because he was Jewish himself. Pound responded to the award with "No comment from the bughouse."
There was uproar. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted critics who said "poetry [cannot] convert words into maggots that eat at human dignity and still be good poetry". Robert Hillyer, a Pulitzer Prize winner and president of the Poetry Society of America, attacked the committee in The Saturday Review of Literature, telling journalists that he "never saw anything to admire in Pound, not one line". Congressman Jacob K. Javits demanded an investigation into the awards committee. It was the last time the prize was administered by the Library of Congress.
Relationships: Mullins and KasperEdit
Eric Ormsby wrote of Pound's time in hospital: "To the end Pound remained an anti-Semite, but now he added black Americans and civil rights protesters to his roster of well-nurtured hatreds." He often would not talk to psychiatrists with names he deemed Jewish (he called psychiatrists "kikiatrists"), and he apparently told Charles Olson he favored pogroms because of what he was going through in the hospital. He referred to his visitors as Jewish if he happened not to like them, and he advised visitors to read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903), a forgery claiming to represent a Jewish plan for world domination. The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was a focus of his scorn: "the jew book is the poison / that since A.D. has bitched everything it got into." John Tytell writes that Pound nevertheless insisted that he had never been antisemitic.
Pound struck up a friendship with Eustace Mullins, believed to be associated with the Aryan League of America, and author of the 1961 biography This Difficult Individual, Ezra Pound. Even more damaging was his friendship with John Kasper, a white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan member, who after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) set up the Seaboard White Citizens' Councils. Kasper had come to admire Pound at university, and after he wrote to Pound in 1950 the two became friends. In 1953 Kasper opened a bookstore, "Make it New", at 169 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York, specializing in far-right material and displaying Pound's poetry and translations in the window. Kasper and another Pound admirer, David Horton, set up a publishing imprint, Square Dollar Series, which—with Pound's cooperation—reprinted Pound's books and others he approved of.
Pound began suggesting anti-desegregation slogans for Kasper to use, and it became increasingly clear that he was schooling Kasper. In January and February 1957 the New York Herald Tribune ran a series of articles on their relationship. One article alleged that some of Kasper's pamphlets had, as Tytell put it, "a distinctly Poundian ring" to them.[p] Kasper was jailed after a speech he made in Clinton, Tennessee, claiming that desegregation was a Jewish plot, caused a riot.[q]
After the New York Herald Tribune articles, the FBI began photographing Pound's visitors. He had conventional visitors too, including Conrad Aiken, Elizabeth Bishop, Cummings, Guy Davenport, Eliot, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, H. L. Mencken, Allen Tate, Stephen Spender, William Carlos Williams. But it was the association with Mullins and Kasper that stood out and delayed his release from St. Elizabeths. After he was discharged in 1958, Pound kept in touch with Kasper; he wrote to Kasper on 17 April 1959: "Antisemitism is a card in the enemy program, don't play it. ... They RELY ON YOUR PLAYING IT."
New Times articlesEdit
Between late 1955 and early 1957, Pound wrote at least 80 unsigned or pseudonymous articles—"often ugly", Swift notes—for the New Times of Melbourne, a newspaper connected to the Social Credit movement. One of Pound's correspondents, Noel Stock, who later became his biographer, worked for the paper and published Pound's articles there. A 24-year-old radio reporter at the time, Stock first wrote to Pound after reading the Pisan Cantos. Pound sent his articles for publication directly to Stock, so that the newspaper's editor may not have realized they had all been written by Pound. Stock sent Pound copies of the published articles, which, Stock wrote, Pound distributed to his followers. Pound contributed similar material to other publications, including Edge, which Stock founded in October 1956. Edge became the magazine of what Stock called the "international Poundian underground".
In the New Times in April 1956, Pound wrote: "Our Victorian forebears would have been greatly scandalized at the idea that one might not be free to study inherited racial characteristics," and "Some races are retentive, mainly of the least desirable bits of their barbaric past." There was a "Jewish-Communist plot", which he compared to syphilis. Equality was dismissed as "anti-biological nonsense". "There were no gas ovens in Italy", he wrote in April 1956; a month later, also in the New Times, he referred to the "fuss about Hitler". On 10 August 1956 in the New Times: "It is perfectly well known that the fuss about 'de-segregation' in the United States has been started by Jews." Instead, America needed "race pride".
Pound's friends continued to try to get him out of St. Elizabeths. Shortly after Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, he told Time magazine that "this would be a good year to release poets". The poet Archibald MacLeish asked Hemingway in June 1957 to write a letter on Pound's behalf. Hemingway believed Pound would not stop making political and racist statements or forging friendships with people like Kasper, but he signed MacLeish's letters of support anyway and made a pledge of $1,500 to be handed to Pound upon his release. In an interview for the Paris Review in early 1958, Hemingway said that Pound should be released and Kasper jailed.
Several publications began campaigning for Pound's release in 1957. Le Figaro published an appeal titled "The Lunatic at St Elizabeths". The New Republic, Esquire, and The Nation followed suit. The Nation argued that Pound was a "sick and vicious old man", but that he had rights. In 1958 MacLeish hired Thurman Arnold, a prestigious lawyer who ended up charging no fee, to file a motion to dismiss the 1945 indictment. Overholser, the hospital's superintendent, supported the application with an affidavit stating Pound was permanently and incurably insane, and that confinement served no therapeutic purpose. The motion was heard on 18 April 1958 by Chief Judge Bolitha Laws, who had committed Pound to St. Elizabeths in 1945. The Department of Justice did not oppose the motion, and Pound was discharged on 7 May.
— Daniel Swift, The Bughouse, 2018.
Pound arrived in Naples in July 1958, where he was photographed giving a fascist salute to the waiting press. When asked when he had been released from the mental hospital, he replied: "I never was. When I left the hospital I was still in America, and all America is an insane asylum." On 12 July 1958 he and Dorothy arrived at Schloss Brunnenburg, near Merano in the Province of South Tyrol, to live with Mary where he met his grandson, Walter, and his granddaughter, Patrizia, for the first time. Later he returned to Rapallo, where Olga Rudge was waiting to join them.
They were accompanied by a teacher Pound had met in hospital, Marcella Spann, 40 years his junior, ostensibly acting as his secretary and collecting poems for an anthology. The four women soon fell out; Canto CXIII alluded to it: "Pride, jealousy and possessiveness / 3 pains of hell." Pound was in love with Spann, seeing in her his last chance for love and youth. He wrote about her in Canto CXIII: "The long flank, the firm breast / and to know beauty and death and despair / And to think that what has been shall be, / flowing, ever unstill." Dorothy had usually ignored his affairs, but she used her legal power over his royalties to make sure Spann was seen off, sent back to the United States.
By December 1959 Pound was mired in depression. According to the poet and editor Michael Reck, who had visited him several times at St. Elizabeths, Pound was a changed man; he said little and called his work "worthless". In a 1960 interview in Rome with Donald Hall for Paris Review, he said: "You—find me—in fragments." Hall wrote that he seemed fatigued, caused by an "abject despair, accidie, meaninglessness, abulia, waste". He paced up and down during the three days it took to complete the interview, never finishing a sentence, bursting with energy one minute, then suddenly sagging, and at one point seemed about to collapse. Hall said it was clear that he "doubted the value of everything he had done in his life".
Those close to him thought he was suffering from dementia, and in mid-1960 Mary placed him in a clinic near Merano when his weight dropped. He picked up again, but by early 1961 he had a urinary tract infection. Dorothy felt unable to look after him, so he went to live with Olga Rudge in Rapallo, then Venice; Dorothy mostly stayed in London after that with Omar. In 1961 Pound attended a meeting in Rome in honor of Sir Oswald Mosley, who was visiting Italy. Tytell writes that in 1962 Pound was photographed at the head of a neo-Fascist May Day parade—500 men wearing boots and armbands, shouting antisemitic slogans, and waving flags with swastikas.
Pound's health continued to decline, and his friends were dying: Wyndham Lewis in 1957, Ernest Hemingway in 1961 (Hemingway shot himself), E. E. Cummings in 1962, William Carlos Williams in 1963, T. S. Eliot in 1965. In 1963 he told an interviewer, Grazia Levi: "I spoil everything I touch. I have always blundered ... All my life I believed I knew nothing, yes, knew nothing. And so words became devoid of meaning." He attended Eliot's funeral in London and visited W. B. Yeats' widow in Dublin (Yeats died in 1939). Two years later he visited New York, where he attended the opening of an exhibition featuring his blue-inked version of Eliot's The Waste Land. He went on to Hamilton College and received a standing ovation.
Meeting with Ginsberg, Reck, and RussellEdit
In the restaurant of the Pensione Cici in Venice in 1967, Pound told Allen Ginsberg, the writer Michael Reck, and Peter Russell that his poems were "a lot of double talk" and made no sense, and that his writing was "a mess", "stupid and ignorant all the way through". Reck wrote about the meeting in Evergreen Review the following year. "At seventy I realized that instead of being a lunatic, I was a moron," Pound reportedly said, adding later: "I should have been able to do better."
Pound had also offered a carefully worded rejection of his antisemitism, according to Reck. When Ginsberg reassured Pound that he had "shown us the way". Pound is said to have replied: "Any good I've done has been spoiled by bad intentions—the preoccupation with irrelevant and stupid things." Reck continued: "Then very slowly, with emphasis, surely conscious of Ginsberg's being Jewish: 'But the worst mistake I made was that stupid, suburban prejudice of anti-Semitism.'"
Christopher Ricks and Anthony Julius took issue with Pound's language. His use of the word mistake, Ricks wrote in 1988, was "scarcely commensurate with the political and spiritual monstrosity" of his antisemitism. Julius argued that the term suburban was the result of "an arrogance that broods on the descent from an ideal of greatness rather than on the injury which that descent did to others".
Shortly before his death in 1972, it was proposed that Pound be awarded the Emerson-Thoreau Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, but after a storm of protest the academy's council opposed it by 13 to 9. The sociologist Daniel Bell, who was on the committee, argued that it was important to distinguish between those who explore hate and those who approve it. Two weeks before he died, Pound read for a gathering of friends at a café: "re usury / I was out of focus, taking a symptom for a cause. / The cause is avarice."
On his 87th birthday, 30 October 1972, Pound was too weak to leave his bedroom. The next night he was admitted to the Civil Hospital of Venice, where he died in his sleep on 1 November, of septic shock caused by complications from an intestinal blockage, with Olga Rudge at his side. Rudge arranged the funeral, which took place 48 hours later, leaving enough time for her daughter, Mary, to attend, but not enough time for Omar to travel from England. Dorothy was also unable to attend. Four gondoliers dressed in black rowed Pound's body to the island cemetery Isola di San Michele, where after a Protestant service he was buried, near Diaghilev and Stravinsky, with other non-Italian Christians. Dorothy Pound died in England the following year, aged 87. Olga Rudge died in 1996, aged 100, and was buried next to Pound.
Critics generally agree that Pound was a strong yet subtle lyricist, particularly in his early work, such as "The River Merchant's Wife". According to Witmeyer, a modern style is evident as early as Ripostes. Nadel sees evidence of modernism before Pound began The Cantos, writing that Pound wanted his poetry to represent an "objective presentation of material which he believed could stand on its own" without use of symbolism or romanticism.
Drawing on literature from a variety of disciplines, Pound intentionally layered often confusing juxtapositions, yet led the reader to an intended conclusion, believing the "thoughtful man" would apply a sense of organization and uncover the underlying symbolism and structure. Ignoring Victorian and Edwardian grammar and structure, he created a unique form of speech, employing odd and strange words, jargon, avoiding verbs, and using rhetorical devices such as parataxis.
Pound's relationship to music is essential to his poetry. Although he was tone deaf and his speaking voice is described as "raucous, nasal, scratchy", Michael Ingam writes that Pound is on a short list of poets possessed of a sense of sound, an "ear" for words, imbuing his poetry with melopoeia. His study of troubadour poetry—words written to be sung (motz et son)—led him to think modern poetry should be written similarly. He wrote that rhythm is "the hardest quality of a man's style to counterfeit". Ingham writes that The Cantos can be described as fugal; without adhering strictly to the traditions of the form, nevertheless multiple themes are explored simultaneously. He goes on to write that Pound's use of counterpoint is integral to the structure and cohesion of The Cantos, which show multi-voiced counterpoint and, with the juxtaposition of images, non-linear themes. The pieces are presented in fragments "which taken together, can be seen to unfold in time as music does".
Pound's translations represent a substantial part of his work. He began his career with translations of Occitan ballads and ended with translations of Egyptian poetry. Yao says the body of translations by modernist poets in general, much of which Pound started, consists of some of the most "significant modernist achievements in English". Pound was the first English-language poet since John Dryden to give primacy to translations in English literature. The modernists renewed interest in multiculturalism and multilingualism, and treated translations as the creation of an original work.
Michael Alexander writes that, as a translator, Pound was a pioneer with a great gift of language and an incisive intelligence. He helped popularize major poets such as Guido Cavalcanti and Du Fu, and brought Provençal and Chinese poetry to English-speaking audiences. He revived interest in the Confucian classics and introduced the west to classical Japanese poetry and drama. He translated and championed Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon classics, and helped keep them alive at a time when poets no longer considered translations central to their craft.
In Pound's Fenollosa translations, unlike previous American translators of Chinese poetry, which tended to work with strict metrical and stanzaic patterns, Pound created free verse translations. Whether the poems are valuable as translations continues to be a source of controversy. Hugh Kenner argues that the real achievement of Cathay is in how it combines meditations on violence and friendship with an effort to "rethink the nature of an English poem".
I have brought the great ball of crystal;
Who can lift it?
Can you enter the great acorn of light?
But the beauty is not the madness
Tho' my errors and wrecks lie about me.
And I am not a demigod,
I cannot make it cohere.
If love be not in the house there is nothing.
Ezra Pound, Paris Review, 1962
The Cantos (1917–1969) is Pound's 120-section, 800-page unfinished epic. According to Massimo Bacigalupo, Pound saw The Cantos as a container or encyclopedia for art, philosophy, music, religion, and American, European, and Oriental history, all held together by poetry. Hemingway wrote in November 1932: "The best of Pound's writing—and it is in the Cantos—will last as long as there is any literature."[r] Pound, on the other hand, regarded it as his great failure; he wrote that he could not "make it cohere".
This lack of form is a common criticism of The Cantos. Pound disregards literary genres, mixing satire, hymns, elegies, essays, and memoirs. The literary critic William Van O'Connor described it as filled with "cryptic and gnomic utterances, dirty jokes, obscenities of various sorts". According to Pound scholar Rebecca Beasley, Pound juxtaposes themes from Homer to Ovid and Dante, from Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and many others. In the section known as the Pisan Cantos, the work functions as a memoir, Nadel writes.
The poet Allen Tate argued in 1949 that The Cantos are "about nothing at all ... a voice but no subject" and a work with no structure. He maintained that Pound was "incapable of sustained thought in either prose or verse. ... Thus his anti-Semitism ... is not disciplined by an awareness of its sinister implications in the real world of men." The Cantos contains several antisemitic passages. Canto 91/XCI, in the section known as Rock-Drill (LXXXV–XCV, 1956), became notorious: "Democracies electing their sewage / till there is no clear thought about holiness / a dung flow from 1913 / and, in this, their kikery functioned, Marx, Freud / and the american beaneries / Filth under filth, / Maritain, Hutchins, / or as Benda remarked: 'La trahison'." There may also be a reference to the civil rights movement: the phrase "local control of local purchasing power" could refer to Pound's opposition to desegretation in schools in America.
Literary criticism and economic theoryEdit
Pound's literary criticism and essays, according to Bacigalupo, are a "form of intellectual journal". The Spirit of Romance (1910) was one of his "principal sourcebooks for his poetry". Pound wrote about economic theory in the ABC of Economics (1933) and Jefferson and/or Mussolini (1935), published after he was introduced to Mussolini in January 1933. These were followed by Guide to Kulchur (1937), covering 2,500 years of history, which Tim Redman describes as "probably the most complete synthesis of Pound's political and economic thought". Pound thought writing The Cantos meant writing about history, and he wove his economic theories throughout; he believed that neither history nor economics can be understood without the other. In his pamphlets and in The ABC of Reading (1934), he sought to emphasize the value of art and to "aestheticize the political", written forcefully, according to Nadel, and in a "determined voice". In form his criticism and essays are direct, repetitive and reductionist, his rhetoric minimalist, filled with "strident impatience", according to Pound scholar Jason Coats, and frequently failing to make a coherent claim. He rejected traditional rhetoric and created his own, although not very successfully, in Coats' view.
After the Bollingen Prize in 1949, Pound's friends made every effort to rehabiliate him. James Laughlin's New Directions published his Selected Poems, with an introduction by Eliot, and a censored selection of The Cantos. Ralph Fletcher Seymour published Patria Mia (written 1912–1913) to show that Pound was an American patriot. In advertisements, magazine articles, and critical introductions, Pound's friends and publishers attributed his antisemitism and fascism to mental illness.
Literary scholar Betsy Erkkilla writes that no one was more important to Pound's rehabilitation than Hugh Kenner, who visited Pound many times in hospital. Kenner'sThe Poetry of Ezra Pound appeared in 1951. New Directions and Faber & Faber published Ezra Pound: Translations in 1953, introduced by Kenner, and the following year Literary Essays of Ezra Pound, introduced by Eliot. The first PhD dissertation on Pound appeared in 1948, and by 1970 there were around ten a year. Kenner's The Pound Era (1971) effectively equated Pound with modernism. Pound scholar Leon Surette regards the Kennerian approach to Pound as hagiographic. He includes in this approach Caroll F. Terrell's Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship, founded in 1972 and edited by Kenner and Eva Hesse, and Terrell's two-volume A Companion to the Cantos of Ezra Pound (1980–1984). In 1971 Terrell founded the National Poetry Foundation to focus on Pound and organized conferences on Pound in 1975, 1980, 1985, and 1990.
Following Eustace Mullins' biography, This Difficult Individual, Ezra Pound (1961), described by Ira Nadel as "partisan" and "melodramatic", was Life of Ezra Pound (1970) by Noel Stock. A former reporter, Stock had been one of the publishers of Pound's newspaper articles, including his antisemitism, in the 1950s. Ronald Bush's The Genesis of Ezra Pound's Cantos (1976) became the first critical study of The Cantos.
Several significant biographies appeared in the 1980s and later: J. J. Wilhelm's three-volume biography (1985–1994); John Tytell's Ezra Pound: The Solitary Volcano (1987); Humphrey Carpenter's 1005-page A Serious Character (1988); and David Moody's three-volume biography, Ezra Pound: Poet (2007–2015), which combines biographical narrative with literary criticism. In 1985 Pound's daughter Mary de Rachewiltz released I Cantos, the first complete edition; it includes "Canto LXXII" and "Canto LXXIII", which were first published in fascist magazines. From the late 1980s, scholars examined Pound's relationships with the far right. Studies include Robert Casillo's The Genealogy of Demons (1988); Tim Redman's Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism (1999); Leon Surette's Pound in Purgatory (1999); Matthew Feldman's Ezra Pound's Fascist Propaganda, 1935–45 (2013); and Alec Marsh's John Kasper and Ezra Pound (2015).
I have tried to write Paradise
Do not move
Let the wind speak.
that is paradise.
Let the Gods forgive what I
Let those I love try to forgive
what I have made.
Much of Pound's legacy lies in his advancement of the careers of some of the best-known modernist writers of the early 20th century, particulary between 1910 and 1925. In addition to T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Ernest Hemingway, and Conrad Aiken, he befriended and helped Marianne Moore, Louis Zukofsky, Jacob Epstein, Basil Bunting, E. E. Cummings, Margaret Anderson, George Oppen, H.D., Richard Aldington, Charles Olson, and Ford Madox Ford.
According to Ira Nadel, Pound "overturned poetic meter, literary style, and the state of the long poem". Nadel cited the importance of Pound's editing of The Waste Land, the publication of Ulysses, and the development of Imagism.[s] Hugh Witemeyer argued that Imagism was "probably the most important single movement" in 20th-century English-language poetry, because it affected all the leading poets of Pound's generation and the two generations after him.
Beyond this, his legacy is mixed. In 1944 George Orwell hoped the Americans would not shoot Pound, because it would establish his reputation as a poet before anyone had the chance to determine whether he was any good. The outrage over Pound's collaboration was so deep that it dominated the discussion. According to Arthur Miller, writing in New Masses in December 1945: "A greater calamity cannot befall the art than that Ezra Pound, the Mussolini mouthpiece, should be welcomed back as an arbiter of American letters ..." Against this, Hugh Kenner argued in 1951 that, although there was no great contemporary writer less read than Pound, there was also no one who could appeal through "sheer beauty of language" to people who would rather read poets than talk about them. Over the decades the discussion continued, Redman writes, that Pound was not really a poet, or not really a fascist, or he was fascistic but his poetry is not, or there was an evil Pound who was a fascist and a good Pound who was not. The critic Macha Rosenthal wrote in 1960 that it was "as if all the beautiful vitality and all the brilliant rottenness of our heritage in its luxuriant vitality were both at once made manifest" in Ezra Pound.
- 1908 A Lume Spento. Privately printed by A. Antonini, Venice, (poems).
- 1908 A Quinzaine for This Yule. Pollock, London; and Elkin Mathews, London, (poems).
- 1909 Personae. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems).
- 1909 Exultations. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems).
- 1910 The Spirit of Romance. Dent, London, (prose).
- 1910 Provenca. Small, Maynard, Boston, (poems).
- 1911 Canzoni. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems)
- 1912 The Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti Small, Maynard, Boston, (cheaper edition destroyed by fire, Swift & Co, London; translations)
- 1912 Ripostes. S. Swift, London, (poems; first announcement of Imagism)
- 1915 Cathay. Elkin Mathews, (poems; translations)
- 1916 Gaudier-Brzeska. A Memoir. John Lane, London, (prose).
- 1916 Certain Noble Plays of Japan: From the Manuscripts of Ernest Fenollosa, chosen and finished by Ezra Pound, with an introduction by William Butler Yeats.
- 1916 Ernest Fenollosa, Ezra Pound: "Noh", or, Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan. Macmillan, London.
- 1916 Lustra. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems).
- 1917 Twelve Dialogues of Fontenelle, (translations)
- 1917 Lustra Knopf, New York. (poems). With a version of the first Three Cantos (Poetry, vol. 10, nos. 3, June 1917, 4, July 1917, 5, August 1917).
- 1918: Pavannes and Divisions (prose). Knopf: New York.
- 1918 Quia Pauper Amavi (poems). London: Egoist Press.
- 1919 The Fourth Canto. London: Ovid Press.
- 1920 Hugh Selwyn Mauberley. London: Ovid Press.
- 1920 Umbra. London: Elkin Mathews (poems and translations).
- 1920 Instigations of Ezra Pound: Together with an Essay on the Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, by Ernest Fenollosa. Boni & Liveright (prose).
- 1921 Poems, 1918–1921. Boni & Liveright, New York.
- 1922 Remy de Gourmont: The Natural Philosophy of Love. Boni & Liveright, New York (translation).
- 1923 Indiscretions, or, Une revue des deux mondes. Three Mountains Press, Paris.
- 1924 Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony. Paris, (essays). As: William Atheling.
- 1925 A Draft of XVI Cantos. Three Mountains Press, Paris. The first collection of The Cantos.
- 1926 Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound. Boni & Liveright, New York
- 1928 A Draft of the Cantos 17–27. John Rodker, London.
- 1928 Selected Poems, edited and with an introduction by T. S. Eliot. Faber & Gwyer, London
- 1928 Confucius: Ta Hio: The Great Learning, newly rendered into the American language. University of Washington Bookstore (Glenn Hughes), (translation).
- 1930 A Draft of XXX Cantos. Nancy Cunard's Hours Press, Paris.
- 1930 Imaginary Letters. Black Sun Press, Paris. Eight essays from the Little Review, 1917–18.
- 1931 How to Read. Harmsworth (essays).
- 1932 Guido Cavalcanti Rime. Edizioni Marsano, Genoa (translations).
- 1933 ABC of Economics. Faber, London (essays).
- 1934 Eleven New Cantos: XXXI–XLI. Farrar & Rinehart, New York (poems).
- 1934 Homage to Sextus Propertius. Faber, London (poems).
- 1934 ABC of Reading. Yale University Press (essays).
- 1935 Alfred Venison's Poems: Social Credit Themes by the Poet of Titchfield Street. London: Stanley Nott, Pamphlets on the New Economics, No. 9 (essays).
- 1935 Jefferson and/or Mussolini. London: Stanley Nott (essays).
- 1935 Make It New. London (essays).
- 1935 Social Credit. An Impact. London, (essays). Repr.: Peter Russell, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 5, London 1951.
- 1936 Ernest Fenollosa: The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry. London: Stanley Nott.
- 1937 The Fifth Decade of Cantos. New York: Farrar & Rinehart (poems).
- 1937 Polite Essays. Faber, London (essays).
- 1937 Confucius: Digest of the Analects, edited and published by Giovanni Scheiwiller, (translations)
- 1938 Culture. New Directions. New edition: Guide to Kulchur, New Directions, 1952
- 1939 What Is Money For?. Greater Britain Publications, (essays). Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 3, London: Peter Russell.
- 1940 Cantos LXII–LXXI. New Directions, New York, (John Adams Cantos 62–71).
- 1942 Carta da Visita di Ezra Pound. Edizioni di lettere d'oggi. Rome. English translation, by John Drummond: A Visiting Card, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 4, Peter Russell, London 1952, (essays).
- 1944 L'America, Roosevelt e le cause della guerra presente. Casa editrice della edizioni popolari, Venice. English translation, by John Drummond: America, Roosevelt and the Causes of the Present War, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 6, Peter Russell, London 1951
- 1944 Introduzione alla Natura Economica degli S.U.A.. Casa editrice della edizioni popolari. Venice. English translation An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States, by Carmine Amore. Repr.: Peter Russell, Money Pamphlets by Pound, London 1950 (essay)
- 1944 Orientamini. Casa editrice dalla edizioni popolari. Venice (prose)
- 1944 Oro et lavoro: alla memoria di Aurelio Baisi. Moderna, Rapallo. English translation: Gold and Work, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 2, Peter Russell, London 1952 (essays)
- 1948 If This Be Treason. Siena: privately printed for Olga Rudge by Tip Nuova (original drafts of six of Pound's Rome radio broadcasts)
- 1948 The Pisan Cantos. New Directions, (Cantos 74–84)
- 1948 The Cantos of Ezra Pound (includes The Pisan Cantos). New Directions, poems
- 1949 Elektra (started in 1949, first performed 1987), a play by Ezra Pound and Rudd Fleming
- 1950 Seventy Cantos. Faber, London.
- 1950 Patria Mia. R. F. Seymour, Chicago Reworked New Age articles, 1912, '13 (Orage)
- 1951 Confucius: The Great Digest; The Unwobbling Pivot. New Directions (translation)
- 1951 Confucius: Analects (John) Kaspar & (David) Horton, Square $ Series, New York, (translation)
- 1954 The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius. Harvard University Press (translations)
- 1954 Lavoro ed Usura. All'insegna del pesce d'oro. Milan (essays)
- 1955 Section: Rock-Drill, 85–95 de los Cantares. All'insegna del pesce d'oro, Milan, (poems)
- 1956 Sophocles: The Women of Trachis. A Version by Ezra Pound. Neville Spearman, London, (translation)
- 1957 Brancusi. Milan (essay)
- 1959 Thrones: 96–109 de los Cantares. New Directions, (poems)
- 1968 Drafts and Fragments: Cantos CX–CXVII. New Directions, (poems).
- In "How I Began" (1913), Pound wrote: "I fought every University regulation and every professor who tried to make me learn anything except this, or who bothered me with 'requirements for degrees'."
- "This book is for Mary Moore of Trenton, if she wants it."
- Pound lived on the first floor of 10 Church Walk, Kensington, from September 1909 – June 1910 and November 1911 – April 1914. According to Moody, the two first-floor windows on the left were Pound's. According to Carpenter, Pound was on the top floor behind the window on the far left.
- What obfuscated me was not the Italian but the crust of dead English, the sediment present in my own available vocabulary ... You can't go round this sort of thing. It takes six or eight years to get educated in one's art, and another ten to get rid of that education.Neither can anyone learn English, one can only learn a series of Englishes. Rossetti made his own language. I hadn't in 1910 made a language, I don't mean a language to use, but even a language to think in.
- Ripostes also contains five poems by T. E. Hulme.
- Reacting to the magazine, the poet Lascelles Abercrombie called for the rejection of Imagism and a return to the traditionalism of William Wordsworth; Pound challenged him to a duel on the basis that "Stupidity carried beyond a certain point becomes a public menace".
- Cathay was the first of many translations Pound made from the Chinese. He often followed the translations made by Herbert Giles in his History of Chinese Literature, and used Fenollosa's work as a starting point for what he called the ideogrammic method, which proceeded on Fenollosa's entirely mistaken but fruitful idea that each character represented an image or pictograph, based on sight rather than sound. Steven Yao, scholar of American and Asian literature, sees Cathay as a "major feat"; a work where Pound shows that translation is possible without a thorough knowledge of the source language. Yao does not view Pound's lack of Chinese as an obstacle, and states that the poet's trawl through centuries of scholarly interpretations resulted in a genuine understanding of the original poem. Pound continues to be influential on contemporary Chinese poets such as An Qi, who paid homage to him in her poem Pound or the Rib of Poetry.
- On 13 January 1921, shortly before or after he left for France, The New Age published a long statement of Pound's philosophy, which he called his Axiomata and which included:
- (1) The intimate essence of the universe is not of the same nature as our own consciousness.
- (2) Our own consciousness is incapable of having produced the universe.
- (3) God, therefore exists. That is to say, there is no reason for not applying the term God, Theos, to the intimate essence ...
- Pound's radio pseudonyms included "American Imperialist" and "Manlio Squarcio", "Mr Dooley", "Piero Mazda", "Marco Veneziano", "Bruce Bairnsfather", "Langdon Billings", and "Julian Bingham".
- The Italian government was at first concerned that Pound might be a double agent. He told a friend: "It took me, I think it was, two years, insistence and wrangling etc., to get hold of their microphone."
- Pound defended his right to free speech in a letter to Attorney General Francis Biddle, which Tytell describes as "long, reasoned, and temperate".
- In October and November 1943 the Germans began concentrating Jews in major cities, including Florence, Genoa, Milan, Rome, and Trieste, in transit camps. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, "these operations had limited success, due in part to advance warning given to the Jews by Italian authorities and the Vatican, and in part to the unwillingness of many non-Jewish Italians, including Salò police authorities, to participate in or facilitate the roundups. ... In all, the Germans deported 8,564 Jews from Italy, Italian-occupied France, and the islands of Rhodes and Kos, most of them to Auschwitz-Birkenau. 1,009 returned. In addition, the Germans shot 196 Jews in Italy proper, nearly half of these at the Ardeatine Caves in March 1944. Another approximately 100 died in the police transit camps or in prisons or police custody through Italy. More than 40,000 Jews survived the Holocaust in Italy."
- The other books Pound wanted to have showcased were Giuseppe Mazzini's The Duties of Man; Aristotle's Politics; and the Testament of Confucius. Regarding "wave of useless mercy", Pound's words were "un'ondata di misericordia inservibile".
- The Associated Press reported the list of judges as Conrad Aiken, W. H. Auden, Louise Bogan, Katherine Garrison Chapin, T. S. Eliot, Paul Green, Robert Lowell, Katherine Anne Porter, Karl Shapiro, Allen Tate, Willard Thorp, and Robert Penn Warren. Also on the list were Leonie Adams, the Library of Congress's poetry consultant, and Theodore Spencer, who died on 18 January 1949, just before the award was announced.
- "At their [the committee's first] meeting [in November 1948], and to no one's great surprise, given [Allen] Tate's behind-the-scenes maneuverings and the intimidating presence of recent Nobel Laureate T. S. Eliot, The Pisan Cantos emerged as the major contender ..."
- For example, one flier was modeled on the 1914 Blast manifesto: "JAIL NAACP, alien, unclean, unchristian / BLAST irrelevant ungodly LEADERS".
- Kasper was also questioned about the 1957 bombing of the Hattie Cotton School in Nashville. He had apparently arrived at the school wanting to know whether any black students had enrolled.
- On 21 November 1932 Hemingway wrote (Statement on Ezra Pound, The Cantos of Ezra Pound: Some Testimonies, New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1933): "Any poet born in this century or in the last ten years of the preceding century who can honestly say that he has not been influenced by or learned greatly from the work of Ezra Pound deserves to be pitied rather than rebuked. It is as if a prose writer born in that time should not have learned from or been influenced by James Joyce or that a traveller should pass through a great blizzard and not have felt its cold or a sandstorm and not have felt the sand and the wind. The best of Pound's writing—and it is in the CANTOS—will last as long as there is any literature."
- Eliot's dedication in The Waste Land was "For Ezra Pound il miglior fabbro (the "better craftsman", from Canto 26 of Dante's Purgatorio).
- Preda (2005b), 90
- Pound, The Pisan Cantos (80.667), cited in Sieburth (2003), xiii
- Moody (2007), 4; Ridler, Keith. "Poet's Idaho home is reborn", Associated Press, 25 May 2008; for Idaho Territory, see Wilson (2014), 14.
- Tytell (1987), 11
- Moody (2007), xiii
- Cockram (2005), 238
- Moody (2007), 4; also see Kavka (1991), 145–148
- Cockram (2005), 238; Nadel (2007), 1
- Carpenter (1988), 36
- Wilhelm (1994), xi
- Moody (2007), 8
- Nadel (2007), 2
- Carpenter (1988), 32–33; Nadel (2007), 2
- Carpenter (1988), 33–34
- McDonald (2005), 91
- Moody (2007), 14
- Moody (2007), 15–16
- Moody (2007), 14
- Tytell (1987), 24–25; Nadel (2004), 18
- Doolittle (1979), 67–68; Tytell (1987), 26; Nadel (2007), 3
- Tytell (1987), 28; Nadel (2004), 31; Nadel (2007), 3
- Pound (1909)
- Tytell (1987), 24–28; for dedication of Personae, Nadel (2001a), xviii
- Moody (2007), 20
- Moody (2007), 20–23
- Moody (2007), 23–24
- Moody (2007), 19, 27–28
- Tytell (1987), 30
- Moody (2007), 28–29
- Moody (2007), 29–31
- Moody (2007), 29
- Moody (2007), 90
- Moody (2007), 58–59
- Tytell (1987), 34
- Moody (2007), 60–62; Carpenter (1988), 80
- Nadel (2004), 33
- Moody (2007), 62, 63; for the bakery, Tytell (1987), 36
- Canto LXXVI, quoted in Tytell (1987), 37
- Moody (2007), 66
- Tytell (1987), 38
- Carpenter (1988), 38–39, 91
- Baumann (1984), 357
- Knapp (1979), 25–27
- Wilhelm (2008), 3
- Wilhelm (2008), 4
- Wilhelm (2008), 4; Pound (2003), 80, lines 334–336
- Tytell (1987), 38–39
- Nadel (2007), 6; Wilhelm (2008), 5–11
- Baumann (1984), 358
- Wilhelm (2008), 5–11; Baumann (1984), 360
- Wilhelm (2008), 7
- Moody (2007), 113
- Tytell (1987), 45
- Tytell (1987), 45
- Crunden (1993), 272
- Tytell (1987), 46
- Tytell (1987), 44–45
- Pound (1971), 7
- Aldington (1941), 105.
- Nadel (2010b), 159
- Pound (1990), 38
- Wilson (2004)
- Erkkila (2011), 10
- Erkkila (2011), 14
- Moody (2007), 180
- Spoo (2005), 67; Moody (2017), 124–125
- Moody (2017), 117, 123
- Wilhelm (2008), 62–65
- Montgomery (1972)
- Nadel (2007), 121
- Tytell (1987), 59–62
- Moody (2007), 150
- Erkkila (2011), 45
- Redman (1991), 17
- Wilhelm (2008), 83, citing Canto 98/685.
- Hutchins (1965), 107, cited in McCracken (2005), 86; Redman (1991), 17.
- Preda (2005a), 87
- Moody (2007), between 304 and 305
- Carpenter (1988), between 370 and 371
- Arrowsmith (2011), 100, 106–107; Qian (2000), 101
- Witemeyer (1981), 112.
- Pound, "Cavalcanti".
- Venuti (1979), 88; Knapp (1979), 54
- Carpenter (1988), 185; Moody (2007), 213
- For the original text of The Seafarer, see "The Seafarer", Anglo-Saxons.net; for Pound's, "The Seafarer", University of Toronto.
- Moody (2007), 180
- Pound (1912).
- Moody (2007), 180, 222
- Pound (1968), 5; Pound (1918), 4
- Pound (1913), 201
- Witemeyer (1981), 34; Moody (2007), 209
- Monk (2005), 94
- Pound/Joyce (1967), 17–18; Carpenter (1988), 224
- Carpenter (1988), 225; Moody (2007), 240
- Moody (2007), 240; Longenbach (1988)
- Carpenter (1988), 226–227
- Moody (2007), 246
- Moody (2007), 246–249
- Tytell (1987), 74
- Moody (2007), 209
- Moody (2007), 210–211
- Nadel (2001b), 2
- Moody (2007), 230, 256
- "'Vorticist' Art". The Times. 13 June 1914. Issue 40549, 5.
- Moody (2007), 206
- Moody (2007), 222–225; Aldington (1941), 139
- Aldington (1941), 139
- Moody (2007), 222–225
- Aldington (1941), 165
- Tytell (1987), 120–121.
- Moody (2007), 319; Carpenter (1988), 258
- Carpenter (1988), 258
- Carpenter (1988), 260
- Carpenter (1988), 262
- Redman (1991), 27
- Tytell (1987), 124
- Moody (2007), 239
- Beasley (2010), 660.
- Alexander (1979), 95
- Alexander (1979), 99, citing Yip, Wai-lim (1969). Ezra Pound's Cathay. Princeton University Press.
- Kern (1996), 186–189
- Yao (2010), 36–39
- Ying (2010), 5
- Alexander (1979), 62
- Graves (1955), 138
- Moody (2007), 306–307
- Sandburg (1916)
- Tytell (1987), 71
- Moody (2007), 332–333
- Aldington (1941), 103
- Alexander (1981), 81
- Moody (2007), 325
- Moody (2007), 330, 334
- Moody (2007), 342
- Crunden (1993), 271
- Moody (2007), 334–335
- Kenner (1971), 286; Moody (2007), 353
- Kenner (1971), 286; Moody (2007), 354
- Pound, Ezra. "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley", Project Gutenberg, 18 November 2007.
- Adams (2005), 149
- Leavis (1942), 150
- Aldington (1941), 217
- Moody (2007), 394–396
- Aldington (1941), 217
- Pound (1921); Witemeyer (1981), 25–26
- Orage (1921; Moody (2007), 410
- Wilhelm (2008), 287.
- Meyers (1985), 70–74
- Cohassey (2014), 6
- Meyers (1985), 73
- Cohassey (2014), 7–8
- Meyers (1985), 74–75
- Meyers (1985), 74
- Cohassey (2014), 12
- Bornstein (2001), 33–34
- Terrell (1980), vii
- Bush (1976), xiii–xv
- Carpenter (1988), 430–431, 448
- Cohassey (2014), 31
- Cohassey (2014), 30
- Tytell (1987), 180; Wilhelm (2008), 251
- Kenner (1973), 390
- Tytell (1987), 191–192
- Tytell (1987), 193
- Tytell (1987), 197–198; Nadel (2007), 13
- Baker (1981), 127
- Tytell (1987), 225
- Tytell (1987), 198; Carpenter (1988), 448
- Cohassey (2014), 48
- Carpenter (1988), 448, 450
- Carpenter (1988), 451
- Carpenter (1988), 452–453
- Carpenter (1988), 455–456
- Carpenter (1988), 554
- Tytell (1987), 198; Van Gelder 1996
- Conover (2001), 83
- de Rachewiltz (1971), 1
- Tytell (1987), 201
- Hemingway (1925)
- Nadel (2007), 14
- Wilhelm (1994), 22–24
- Nadel (2001a), xxiii
- Tytell (1987), 215
- Julius (1995), 182
- Surrette (1999), 242
- Torrey (1992), 106
- Tytell (1987), 268–269
- Julius (1995), 184–185; "Ezra Pound–New Acquisitions". Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 7 November 2012.
- Tytell (1987), 254; Julius (1995), 183
- Tytell (1987), 227
- Tytell (1987), 228
- Redman (2001), 255
- Tytell (1987), 228–229; for the date, Feldman (2013), 15
- Menand (2008)
- Tytell (1987), 229
- Tytell (1987), 230
- Redman (2001), 256
- Hadjiyiannis (2015), 116
- Tytell (1987), 250–253
- Tytell (1987), 254–265
- Tytell (1987), 257
- Tytell (1987), 259
- Tytell (1987), 257, 259
- Tytell (1987), 254
- Feldman (2013), 4
- Pound radio broadcasts, United States Department of Justice, 7.
- Feldman (2013), 94
- Feldman (2013), 99; Hadjiyiannis (2015), 120; for The American Hour, Tytell (1987), 261
- Hadjiyiannis (2015), 121
- Carpenter (1988), 633
- Carpenter (1988), 626
- Feldman (2016), 227
- Feldman (2013), 83–84
- Tytell (1987), 261
- Tytell (1987), 260
- Feldman (2013), 107; Hadjiyiannis (2015), 121
- Swift (2017), 232
- Pound radio broadcasts. United States Department of Justice, 12–13.
- Pound radio broadcasts. United States Department of Justice, 16.
- Tytell (1987), 262
- Feldman (2013), 82
- Tytell (1987), 266
- Pound radio broadcasts. United States Department of Justice, 11.
- Tytell (1987), 266
- Tytell (1987), 263–264
- Tytell (1987), 269–270
- Friedländer (2007), 470; Sarfatti (2006), 180
- Sarfatti (2006), 180–181
- Kubica (1988), 416; Czech (2000), 187–188
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- Carpenter (1988), 627
- Tytell (1987), 272–273; Carpenter (1988), 628–629; Moody (2015), 66–67
- Moody (2015), 72
- Carpenter (1988), 632–633; Tytell (1987), 274
- Feldman (2013), 159; Hadjiyiannis (2015), 122
- Moody (2015), 79
- Feldman (2013), 159; Hadjiyiannis (2015), 123; Moody (2015), 74
- Moody (2015), 74
- Moody (2015), 85
- Tytell (1987), 272
- Moody (2015), 86
- Moody (2015), 78
- Tytell (1987), 274
- Feldman (2013), 159; Hadjiyiannis (2015), 122
- Moody (2015), 88
- Sieburth (2003b), xiv
- Tytell (1987), 276
- Sieburth (2003b), x
- Sieburth (2003), xxxvi
- Feldman (2013), 5
- Johnson (1945); Sieburth (2003b), xi; Moody (2007), 113–114
- Tytell (1987), 277
- Sieburth (2003b), xiii
- Sieburth (2003b), xiv
- Sieburth (2003b), xv
- Kimpel and Eaves (1981), 474
- Tytell (1987), 284
- Kimpel and Eaves (1981), 475–476
- Tytell (1987), 286–287
- Tytell (1987), 297
- Tytell (1987), 294
- "Julien Cornell, 83, The Defense Lawyer In Ezra Pound Case", The New York Times, 7 December 1994.
- Mitgang (1981)
- Kutler (1982), 78
- Kutler (1982), 79
- Kutler (1982), 73
- Tytell (1987), 309, 320
- Tytell (1987), 305
- Tytell (1987), 293, 302–303; McGuire (1988).
- "Pound, in Mental Clinic, Wins Prize for Poetry Penned in Treason Cell". Associated Press, 19 February 1949.
- Sieburth (2003b), xxxviii–xxxix
- Hillyer (1949); McGuire (1988)
- Ormsby (2017)
- Cohassey (2014), 142
- Tytell (1987), 303–304
- Wilhelm (1994), 286, 306
- Tytell (1987), 306; Barnhisel (1998), 283
- Tytell (1987), 306
- Swift (2017), 198
- Tytell (1987), 307; Hickman (2005), 127
- Tytell (1987), 307; Barnhisel (1998), 276ff
- Moody (2017), 379
- Tytell (1987), 308
- Barnhisel (1998), 287–288; Moody (2017), 378
- Tytell (1987), 306
- Bird, Robert S. (31 January 1957). "Pound's Ideology Permeates Kasper Speeches, Writing". The Nashville Banner. New York Herald Tribune News Service. p. 3.
- Tytell (1987), 308; Carpenter (1988), 829; Webb (2011), 88–89
- "Police Firmness in Nashville". Life magazine. 23 September 1957, 34
- Barnhisel (1998), 288
- Torrey (1992), 219
- Tytell (1987), 308; Wilhelm (1994), 286
- Carpenter (1988), 829; Marsh (2015), 229
- Stock (1970), 442–443
- Swift (2017), 27, 199; Stock (1970), xiii, 443
- Carpenter (1988), 815
- Stock (1970), 443
- Swift (2017), 199
- Stock (1970), xiii, 443
- Swift (2017), 200
- Swift (2017), 218
- "Books: An American Storyteller". Time magazine, 13 December 1954, 6/11
- Reynolds (2000), 305
- Plimpton (1958)
- Tytell (1987), 322
- Tytell (1987), 325; Lewis (1958)
- Tytell (1987), 325–326
- Swift (2017), 27
- "Ezra Pound", The Richard Avedon Foundation.
- Swift (2017), 251
- "Pound, in Italy, Gives Fascist Salute; Calls United States an 'Insane Asylum'". The New York Times, 10 July 1958.
- Moody (2015), xxxvii
- Tytell (1987), 328–332; for the reference to "Canto 113", see Sieburth (2003a), xl
- Tytell (1987), 347
- Reck (1986)
- Reck (1968), 27
- Tytell (1987), 333; Hall (1962)
- Tytell (1987), 334–335
- Redman (2001), 260
- Tytell (1987), 334–335
- Tytell (1987), 335
- Tytell (1987), 335
- Nadel (2007), 18
- Tytell (1987), 337
- Reck (1968), 28–29, 84.
- Reck (1968), 29; Carpenter (1988), 898–899
- Ricks (1988), 54
- Julius (1995), 185.
- Tytell (1987), 337–338
- Tytell (1987), 339
- Swift (2017), 244
- Tytell (1987), 339; Cohassey (2014), 162
- "Ezra Pound Dies in Venice at Age of 87". The New York Times, 2 November 1972.
- "Photograph of Olga Rudge and Ezra Pound". Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- O'Connor (1963), 7, 19
- Witmeyer (2001), 47
- Nadel (2001b), 2
- Coats (2009), 87–89
- Stark (2001) 10–12
- Ingham (2001), 236–237
- Pound (1968), 103
- Ingham (2001), 244
- Ingham (2001), 245
- Yao (2010), 34–35
- Yao (2010), 33–36
- Alexander (1997), 23–30
- Xie (2001), 204–212
- Kenner (1971), 199
- Pound, Ezra (Summer Fall 1962). "Canto 116". Paris Review. 28, 14–16; Baumann (1983)
- Bacigalupo (2020), 3
- Hemingway (2006), 24–25
- Nicholls (2001), 144
- Nadel (2001b), 9
- Nadel (2001b), 6
- O'Connor (1963), 7
- Beasley (2010), 662
- Nadel (2001b), 1–6
- Tate (1955), 264–265
- Houen (2010), 399; Wilhelm (2010), 247, citing Canto 91, 613–614
- Houen (2010), 399, citing Canto 96, 669
- Bacigalupo (2001), 188
- Bacigalupo (2001), 189
- Redman (2001), 258
- Redman (2001), 260
- Nadel (2001b), 10
- Coats (2009), 80, 83
- Barnhisel (1998), 273–274; Erkkila (2011), xlvii
- Erkkila (2011), xlvii
- Barnhisel (1998), 273–274
- Erkkila (2011), xlviii
- Surette and Tryphonopoulos (2005)
- Nadel (2001b), 14
- "Carroll Franklin Terrell '38". Bowdowin magazine, undated.
- Nadel (2010b), 162–165
- Swift (2017), 199
- Nadel (2001b), 12
- Feldman (2012), 94
- Coats (2009), 81
- Bornstein (2001), 22–23
- Nadel (2005), ix
- Witemeyer (2001), 48
- Orwell (2000), 85
- Bigsby (2009), 252
- Kenner (1985), 16
- Redman (1991), 2–3
- Rosenthal (1960), 2
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