This selection provides an excellent introduction to Ezra Pound's poetry for the general reader, and for the student of contemporary literature.
It takes the place of the pioneer edition edited by T.
S. Eliot which was published in 1928. A representative group of early poems is included; Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Cathay and Homage to Sextus Propertius are printed complete; and there is a selection from the Cantos up to and including Drafts & Fragments (1969).
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 192 pages, index
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 11/09/1981
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9780571109074
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Review by Luli81
Life can give you unexpected gifts sometimes, such as this delicious selection of Ezra Pound's poems, which shed some light into a rather somber day. I was delighted to discover a completely unknown Ezra Pound to me in his early poems. He, who was mostly famous for having founded the school of Imagism (where poets wrote succinct verses of dry clarity and exact visual images), started writing quite longish troubadoresque poems about the Middle Ages, something that came as a surprise. His voice, openly masculine, combines the "man of action" with the passionate lover: "I who have seen you amid the primal things Was angry when they spoke your name In ordinary places. I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind, And that the world should dry as a dead leaf, Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away, So that I might find you again, Alone." Similarly foreign were his most critical but eloquent stanzas regarding the abuse of political power and the horrific slaughter of English and American youths in WWI, which can be clearly seen in poems like "Hugh Selwin Mauberly": "These fought in any case, and some believing, pro domo, in any case... Some quick to arm, some for adventure, some from fear of weakness, some from fear of censure, some for love of slaughter, in imagination, learning later... some in fear, learning love of slaughter; Died some, pro patria, non "dulce" non "et decor"..." But still, the Pound that initially captured my heart, managed to shine even stronger with his Imagistic radical condensation. I was astounded once again with his ability to capture an instant in just a few words, taking out everything which was redundant, making of concentration the very essence of poetry and exploring the way reality can be rendered into words: "The apparition of these faces in the crowd: Petals on a wet, black bough " Isn't it amazing that an image as the one above could include narrative? I can't help but imagine a grey and uniform mass of people with some colorful faces that strike me for some reason and stand out from that multitude. Almost a photograph. And a tale. Subtly beautiful. Pound was the Master, the one who broke the rules of lyrical poetry and discovered a new way of expressing without telling much, and in that way, he opened endless worlds of interpretations which have been awakening souls for more than a century. Mine among them.A Poet of Images, a living metaphor.