Blogger – Paul Harper: Ezra Pound

Where to begin with Ezra ?
As a poet he’s best remembered for ‘The Cantos’ , regarded by some as an unmitigated mess & by others as a masterwork of poetic technology , a sort of Modernist ‘how to’ .
As an editor of magazines & books etc , he discovered the likes of William Carlos Williams & H.D . He also took the long , unwieldy & just plain dull early drafts of T.S Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ , hacked away the many dull bits & rearranged what was left into a collage of fragmented quotations & reference that doesn’t just talk about a wasteland , it enacts it : a place a disembodied voices , a place where speaker , subject , & connection are always , always in doubt .
His dodgy translations of Chinese & Japanese classics sparked interest in the West . In the short term this gave us Imagism . In the longer term Asian arts & philosophy became a vital aspect of Western cultural experience .
He was also a Fascist who gave radio speeches from Italy denouncing the Allies during WW2 . Unsurprisingly this landed him in a hell of a lot of hot water . Eventually , the loony bin

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