Tag Archives: Modernism

Must Read Monday / Ezra Pound

22 Aug

What have you been reading lately? A book? A cereal box? Was it for pleasure or work? Did you love it? Hate it?  Why don’t you link up and tell us about it – It’s MUST READ MONDAYS!


On Ezra Pound and The Cantos:

It can be said that all movements are defined by “rules” and that no movement is truly egalitarian. With each great accomplishment and shift in perspective, there will be a name(s) associated with the era in such a way that that person was instrumental in furthering the movement. And most of those people have to employ a degree of elitism, as it may be in their very nature as forerunners of a movement (and as Artists).

However, I am not entirely sure that labeling Pound as an elitist is entirely due to the fact that we don’t understand him, or are unable to relate to the immediate world that affected him.  I base my opinion first on the account of H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) who felt as if Pound treated her as a “decorative object” (NAMCP, 394). In addition his distaste towards Amy Lowell, who he saw as tainting the Imagism movement, prompted him to reject the movement that he once championed by coining it “Amyism.” Pound himself did not adhere to his own rules, as stated in the anthology, even though he (eloquently yet stingingly) ridicules others who do not follow the tenets. I don’t know if elitist is the exact term to use to describe Ezra Pound (and by his standards I should absolutely not be using it if it is not the exact word). But the man was a force; eloquent and insightful, yet chauvinistic and demanding. (And possibly an Anti-Semitic Fascist, but that is a discussion for another time.)

I will probably never understand The Cantos, but I am not sure that I have to in order to create a judgment regarding E. Pound.   His influence was immense; some of it good, some of it very much not. And maybe someday, a week or a year from now, I will be able to translate in exactly the right words, much like a “one-image poem” exactly how I feel regarding the legacy of Ezra Pound. For now, I give this attempt:

“Formidable principles and anger within the legacy of literature;

pounds’ weight on my mind.”


The rules:

    • Leave a comment talking about what you’ve read lately …OR… if you blog, write a post and link up.
    • Grab the button for your post to let everyone know that Mondays are Must Read!
    • To link up, click on the inLinkz button below to submit your link: Be aware that this will take you to a new page to enter your link. (The button is the goofy looking frog at the bottom of the bullet list.)
    • Visit the other Must Read peeps and show some literary love!
    • If you are on Twitter, I will do my best to get tweets with the #MustReadMonday hash-tag retweeted, along with any @replies to me about your contribution to the link-up.

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