Ezra Pound

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Transcript of Ezra Pound

  • 1.


  • Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, but grew up and was educated mainly in Pennsylvania
  • American poet and writer Ezra Pound had a great influence on the development of poetry in the 20th century. One of the driving forces of the Modernism movement, in particular, Imagism and Vorticism. He did not only write poems to be admired for their originality, but he also encouraged the careers of other authors, including literary greats T.S. Eliot, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway.

3. Early Life

  • Ezra Loomis Poundgrewup in Wyncote, near Philadelphia. He went to the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 16 before pursuing studies at Hamilton College, Indiana.

4. Early Life

  • He left for Europe and briefly stayed in Venice, Italy, where he wrote his first collection of poems,A Lume Spento , and had it published. He moved to London, met Ford Madox Ford,James Joyceand Wyndham Lewis, and publishedExultationsin 1909. He also quickly established himself as a strong advocate of experimental literature. He used his contacts to support and get the work of T.S. Eliot and James Joyce published for the first time.

5. Stay in Paris

  • In 1920, at 35 years old, Pound moved to Paris. He had already begun his masterpiece, the sequence of 30 poems known asThe Cantos.This work was long and complex, more so difficult to understand. It occupied Ezra Pound for most of his life. In it, he makes references to a wide range of characters, events and books from the past. Notably, Pound wantedThe Cantosto be an epic for his time, a similar fashion to the works of the great writers Homer and Dante.

6. Stay in Italy

  • By 1925, in his 40s, Pound settled in Italy, a country whose history and literature he had always loved. He stayed in Italy when World War II began and made a series of radio broadcasts that blamed the Jewish people for causing the war. After the war ended, Pound was arrested by the US Army because of his involvement with the fascist Italian government.


  • After being released, he spent 12 years in an American mental hospital, where he continued to write great poetry before returning to live in Italy.


  • Despite moments of defiance, his last years were overshadowed by self-doubt and consciousness of his 'errors and wrecks'. In rare public utterances he condemned The Cantos as a failure, a view he seems not consistently to have held; but the poem was never completed. In 1969 he concluded its publication with Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII: thirty-two pages of verse, mostly serene but poignant in its fragmentation.

9. Death

  • Pound died on November 1, 1972, in Venice. According to Katherine Anne Porter, "Pound was one of the most opinionated and unselfish men who ever lived, and he made friends and enemies everywhere by the simple exercise of the classic American constitutional right of free speech." ( The Letters of E.P., 1907-1941 , review inNew York Times Book Review , 29 Oct. 1950)

10. work

  • Pound's poetry makes references to Homero, Confucio and Dante; tackles mythologies and economic theories, as well as many historical facts, including words in Greek and Latin and Chinese ideograms in a huge effort to build a kaleidoscopic view of history and culture.

11. poems

  • A Lume Spento, 1908
  • Exultations, 1909
  • The Spirit of Romance, Book of critical essays, 1910
  • Ripostes, 1912
  • Cathay, 1915

12. poems

  • Homage to Sextus Propertius, 1917
  • The Cantos, 19917-1968 (unfinished)
  • Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, 1920
  • Personae, 1926, shorter poems of Ezra Pound
  • 'If This be Treason", 1948
  • The Pisan Cantos, 1948