Ezra

Photo by Richard Avedon

It’s the birthday of the poet and critic Ezra Pound, born in 1885 in Hailey, Idaho. Pound is famous for championing the Modernist movement, and he did this by celebrating and encouraging other writers like W.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, H. D., James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and T.S. Eliot. He is most famous for editing T.S. Eliot’s huge poem The Waste Land and eventually cutting out half of it.

Ezra Pound said, “Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”

-from the Writer’s Almanac

And because I love listening to it, and because it’s Ezra’s birthday, and because no reason is really needed, here is audio of Ezra reading Sestina: Altaforte.

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One thought on “Ezra

  1. A lovely photo; Writer’s Almanac probably overestimates how much of TWL EP cut, but it was a lot.

    Guy Davenport, who knew EP around the time of the Avedon photo (I believe it was taken on his last little tour of the US in 1958 after he’d been released from St. Elizabeths — there’s one from the same session of him standing shirtless with his hands on the shoulders of an aged & smiling WCW) once told me that the expression on EP’s face isn’t existential anguish — it’s the way Pound would screw up his face trying to remember a word in the face of increasing aphasia & impending dementia. (He was I believe 72 or 73 at the time.)

    I envy you Grant Park last night.

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