Publishing "Lume Spento" - his fist collection poems in 1908, Ezra Pound arose to become one of the foremost figures in the movement of literary modernism.
Establishing his reputation as a poet and an editor of several American Literary Magazines, Pound's championship of imagism - a writing style derived from Chines and Japanese poetry that stressed clarity, precision, and economy of language - helped to mentor and inspire an entire generation of writers renowned to this day. Writers that include Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Robert Frost.
But despite his high regard within the highest echelons of literature, Pound also proved to be an individual of polarizing proportions. Disillusioned with the horrors of WWI, and shifting the blame for its cause predominantly towards Great Britain, Pound realigned his political sympathies with fascism. Outwardly supporting Hitler and the Third Reich and accepted payments from Benito Mussolini to issue radio broadcasts criticizing the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
But despite his support for a far-right movement responsible for one of the most heinous atrocities in past, and recent memory, the native of Hailey, Idaho managed to evade charges of treason, and awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by The Library of Congress for his lifetime contribution to poetry.
Here are 5 quotes that put the pound in Ezra Pound:
1. "Literature is news that stays news."
Its one thing to be able to tell a story, its another to make literature. Literature is a story that is told, and when told again, sounds as if you're hearing the story for the first time.
2. "Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand."
While one must work to make a living, it is what he reads that determines just how much he is alive.
3. "A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him."
A free man is a man who frees himself. Not one who seeks to have another claim him.
4. "Glance is the enemy of vision."
A sight that gives the canvas a quick one over is a sight that falls short of being able to see the paint, the shade, and the texture that gives the bigger picture all of its beauty.
5. "The temple is holy because it is not for sale."
There is nothing that leaves behind a larger stain, a fouler stench upon the greatest, and the most beautiful monuments of the world than the money used to erect them. To destroy them.
Though perhaps few remain eager to remember Ezra Pound well, there also remain many. Many that did not live as he lived, nor were alive when he was alive. But nonetheless seek to remember him all the same.
As an artist, a writer, a literary craftsman who espoused poetry as memorable as memory itself. A memory as a great as the memorable novels and poems created by authors pounded into memory by Ezra Pound himself.