Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) Ezra Pound, in full Ezra Loomis Pound (born Oct. 30, 1885, Hailey,Idaho, U.S.died Nov. 1, 1972, Venice, Italy), American poet and critic, a supremely discerning and energetic entrepreneur of the arts who did more than any other single figure to advance a modern movement in English and American literature. Pound promoted, and also occasionally helped to shape, the work of such widely different poets and novelists as William Butler Yeats,James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, D.H. Lawrence, and T.S. Eliot. His pro- Fascist broadcasts in Italy during World War II led to his postwar arrest and confinement until 1958.IdahoVeniceItalythe artsAmerican literatureWilliam Butler YeatsJames JoyceErnest HemingwayRobert Frost Fascist
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) In the autumn of 1907, Pound became professor of Romance languages at Wabash Presbyterian College, Crawfordsville, Ind. Although his general behaviour fairly reflected his Presbyterian upbringing, he was already writing poetry and was affecting a bohemian manner. His career came quickly to an end, and in February 1908, with light luggage and the manuscript of a book of poems that had been rejected by at least one American publisher, he set sail for Europe.Romance languagesbehaviourpoetry
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) Pound was born in a small mining town in Idaho, the only child of a Federal Land Office official, Homer Loomis Pound of Wisconsin, and Isabel Weston of New York City. About 1887 the family moved to the eastern states, and in June 1889, following Homer Pounds appointment to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, they settled in nearby Wyncote, where Pound lived a normal middle-class childhood. After two years at Cheltenham Military Academy, which he left without graduating, he attended a local high school. From there he went for two years (190103) to the University of Pennsylvania, where he met his lifelong friend, the poet William Carlos Williams. He took a Ph.B. (bachelor of philosophy) degree atHamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., in 1905 and returned to the University of Pennsylvania for graduate work. He received his M.A. in June 1906 but withdrew from the university after working one more year toward his doctorate. He left with a knowledge of Latin, Greek, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Provenal, and Anglo-Saxon, as well as of English literature and grammar.University of PennsylvaniaWilliam Carlos WilliamsHamilton Collegeliterature
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) He had been to Europe three times before, the third time alone in the summer of 1906, when he had gathered the material for his first three published articles: Raphaelite Latin, concerning the Latin poets of the Renaissance, and Interesting French Publications, concerning the troubadours (both published in the Book News Monthly, Philadelphia, September 1906), and Burgos, a Dream City of Old Castile (October issue).
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) Now, with little money, he sailed to Gibraltar and southern Spain, then on to Venice, where in June 1908 he published, at his own expense, his first book of poems, A lume spento. About September 1908 he went to London, where he was befriended by the writer and editor Ford Madox Ford (who published him in his English Review), entered William Butler Yeatss circle, and joined the school of images, a modern group presided over by the philosopher T.E. Hulme.Ford Madox FordWilliam Butler YeatsT.E. Hulme
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) In England, success came quickly to Pound. A book of poems, Personae, was published in April 1909; a second book, Exultations, followed in October; and a third book, The Spirit of Romance, based on lectures delivered in London (190910), was published in 1910.Personae After a trip homea last desperate and unsuccessful attempt to make a literary life for himself in Philadelphia or New York Cityhe returned to Europe in February 1911, visiting Italy, Germany, and France. Toward the end of 1911 he met an English journalist, Alfred R. Orage, editor of the socialist weekly New Age, who opened its pages to him and provided him with a small but regular income during the next nine years.Alfred R. Orage
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) In 1912 Pound became London correspondent for the small magazine Poetry (Chicago); he did much to enhance the magazines importance and was soon a dominant figure in Anglo-American verse. He was among the first to recognize and review the poetry of Robert Frost and D.H. Lawrence and to praise the sculpture of the modernists Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. As leader of the Imagistmovement of 191214, successor of the school of images, he drew up the first Imagist manifesto, with its emphasis on direct and sparse language and precise images in poetry, and he edited the first Imagist anthology, Des Imagistes (1914).PoetryRobert FrostD.H. LawrenceJacob EpsteinHenri Gaudier-BrzeskaImagistlanguageDes Imagistes
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) A shaper of modern literature Though his friend Yeats had already become famous, Pound succeeded in persuading him to adopt a new, leaner style of poetic composition. In 1914, the year of his marriage to Dorothy Shakespear, daughter of Yeatss friend Olivia Shakespear, he began a collaboration with the then-unknown James Joyce. As unofficial editor of The Egoist (London) and later as London editor of The Little Review (New York City), he saw to the publication of Joyces novels Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, thus spreading Joyces name and securing financial assistance for him. In that same year he gave T.S. Eliot a similar start in his career as poet and critic.James JoyceT.S. Eliot
Pounds Biography (Encyclopedia Britannica) He continued to publish his own poetry (Ripostes, 1912; Lustra, 1916) and prose criticism (Pavannes and Divisions, 1918). From the literary remains of the great Orientalist Ernest Fenollosa, which had been presented to Pound in 1913, he succeeded in publishing highly acclaimed English versions of early Chinese poetry, Cathay (1915), and two volumes of Japanese Noh plays (191617) as well.RipostesLustraproseErnest Fenollosa
Vortograph portrait of Ezra Pound by Alvin Langdon Coburn
Contributions to Modernist Poetry More than any other writer, he was responsible for dramatic changes occurring with poetry. Urged writers to make it new Influenced other writers to discard traditional forms, techniques, and ideas Experimented with new approaches His movement was called IMAGISM
Poetry in Pictures Imagist poets focused their writing on simple images. They attempted to use words to paint pictures in their readers minds.
What is Imagism? A poetic movement established in1912 by American and English poets Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, Richard Aldington, and F. S. Flint Inspired by the critical views of T.E. Hulme, in response to the careless thought and Romantic optimism he saw prevailing in the literary arena.
Led by Ezra Pound, this poetic movement was part of a poetic insurgence against genteel poetry, which was overly sentimental and emotionally dishonest. Imagist poets believed that Romantic art was oveexcessively subjective, and argued for a renewed emphasis on the object-like nature of the art-work. Imagists penned concise verses with dry piercing clarity, exacting visual images and imagery.
Imagism Poetry written that evokes pictures or images for the reader Direct presentation of images, or word pictures Word choice is specific Adjectives are used to enhance the specificity of word choice, BUT they are not over-used. Attempt to freeze a single moment in time and capture the emotions of that moment Imagist poetry often reflect influences of haiku or tanka
Pounds Poetry His poetry reflects a deep interest in the past, particularly of ancient cultures Chinese, Japanese, and Provencal French Poems are filled with literary and historical allusions His poems are difficult to understand because they are void of explanations and generalizations Wrote The Cantos, long poetic sequence where he expressed his beliefs (eventually totaling 116 cantos)
Influences on Imagism Imagist poems were influenced by Japanese haiku poems of seventeen syllables which usually present only two juxtaposed images. This poetry strives to suggests more than its literal meaning, yet avoids overt figurative devices like allegories and metaphors. Ezra Pounds poem In a Station of the Metro is a clear example of Japanese influence. Pound states, I wrote a thirty-line poem, and destroyed it because it was what we call work 'of second intensity.' Six months later I made a poem half that length; a year later I made the following hokku-like sentence: The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.
Allusion An allusion is a reference to something well known (ie: piece of art, literatu