Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

A most controversial figure, Ezra Pound had the greatest influence over Modern Poetry and was at the root of the Imagist School, which included among other poets Hilda Dolittle (HD) and Williams Carlos Williams. The Imagists' objectives included : 'Direct treatment of the "thing" whether objective or subjective; to use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation; as regarding rhythm, to compose in sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome.' Pound had a wide knowledge of different literary cultures, including the Chinese. In 1920 he left the States, moved to Paris and then to Italy, where he settled in Rapallo. His many works include A Lume Spento (1908), Ripostes (1912), Umbra: The Early Poems (1920), A Draft of XXX Cantos (1930), The Cantos (1948, 1965, 1971).

A Pact

I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman —
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown child
Who has had a pig-headed father;
I am old enough now to make friends.
It was you that broke the new wood,
Now is the time for carving.
We have one sap and one root —
Let there be commerce between us.

Ezra Pound
See the fascinating
Poet's Corner

    Although Pound cannot by any means be counted as one of Powys's friends, he played a non negligible part in his life, for he had been an intimate friend of Frances Gregg, and if John Cowper was wary of him for a long time, the feeling was reciprocated. Pound is not mentioned in Autobiography. But in his letters to Frances, he often alludes to him, as a dangerous rival:
Have you got with your other scruples this ferocious aesthetic morale that your old Maître dans les Arts Ezra held up as his high gonfalon? and under which his yellow-grey Van Dyke beard doubtless wags still! (The Letters of John CowperPowys to Frances Gregg)
But this is what Frances Gregg has to say:
...He was no charlatan. He was a rebel. I liked all that he did, the slashing off of the simpering head of rhyme, and the swollen heads of long-winded versifiers. I liked the idea that one had the right to adapt a word from any language to fit one's onomatopoeic need of the moment. I liked to think words might be buried, or resurrected, that they were living. These things were new to us who sat at the feet of our young prophet a quarter of a century ago. (The Mystic Leeway)