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Tuesday, December 16, 2003
..just one topic tonight, been a long day out..
We often will excuse much in poets; they are expected to be eccentric, occasionally insane and sometimes criminal. However, Pound's transgressions passed the point of excusability: a rabid anti-semite, he made anti-American broadcasts in the service of the Fascist government in Italy during WWII. After the war, he was charged with treason, but deemed mentally incompetant to stand trial, and committed to a mental institution (St. Elizabeths) where he remained for 12 years.
Yet Pound also wrote some of the greatest, and certainly most ambitious, poetry of the 20th century. Here are a few links exploring this enigma of a man, and his work.
A selection of his poems
Canto 1 , with link to audio file of Pound reading it..
Canto LXXXI with excellent use of hypertext to elucidate it..
Critical Essay by Donald Lyons
What did Pound really Say?
The poet Elizabeth Bishop penned the poignant "Visits to St. Elizabeths" about him..
"O woe, woe,
People are born and die,
We also shall be dead pretty soon
Therefore let us act as if we were
Ezra Pound "Song in the Manner of Housman"