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Cheers!!! Fans of Ezra Pound celebrate his birthday today

Post by: Sudipto Ghosh

Only a person who is in love with the nature and the rhythm of life can understand the importance of October 30th. Today is the birthday of one of the best modern day poets who revolutionized the entire scene of the Anglo-American poetry. Ezra Pound continues to be an icon, largely due to his involvement in the Modernist movement. His best known works include the likes of Ripostes, Hugh Selwyn Maulberley and Umbra. His tryst with the Imagism Revolution blended with an accuracy of words and imagery made the world of poetic narration more easy to understand and comprehend. It brought the art of poetry closer to the ambitious readers who too began to construct poems with a lighter fascination for glory.


Ezra Pound was not an ordinary poet or a commentator on the English language. He was a mastermind, crackpot with a character that kept “knocking at empty rooms”. Ezra Pound was born on 30th October, 1885 and he remained an expatriate American all throughout his life. His contemporaries include TS Elliot, Ernst Hemmingway, Robert Frost and James Joyce.His moment of glory came with the long poem Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,that he composed in the year 1920. The long poem had two parts and it comprised of eighteen shorter ones. It is a self-criticism composition where he rates his earlier work from

 the perspective of Maulbery. His view about the structure of society is beautifully scripted through these words from the Poem XII  that formally closes with a criticism of the current tastes and concerns of society:

Beside this thoroughfare


The sale of half-hose has

Long since superseded the cultivation

Of Pierian roses. 


What brought him into the limelight was also the reason for the stirring advent of Imagism. In June 1909, Personae became Pound's first publication that managed to bring monetary success with critical acclaim.  It was "full of human passion and natural magic". From the collection of ‘In Durance’

In Durance

“I am homesick after mine own kind,

Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly

But I am homesick after mine own kind.”

Ezra Pound’s role in the Imagism movement is worth taking a note. The 20th century movement changed the course of English poetry forever. Considered to be the force behind the first organized literary revolution in English language, Ezra rejected the romanticism ad the discursiveness of the poems written in the Victorian era. Ezra’s Ripostes led the way for the movement when the 25 poem series was published in London in the year 1913. It reflected the economy of the English language by beautifully bringing out the clarity of thought projected through the principles of Imagism.


His love for the woman is a also considered a masterpiece. Umbra has a wonderful passage where he describes his gleefully happy encounter on the way to seek his bride.

Though all men say that I am mad

It is only that I am glad,


Very glad, for my bride's heart toward me a great love

That is sweeter than the love of women

That plague and burn and drive one away.

Aie-e ! 'Tis true that I am gay

Quite gay, for I have her alone here

And no man troubleth us.

 Not many know that Ezra Pound was hugely influenced by the works of WB Yeats. Pound went on to marry Dorothy Shakespeare, who introduced him to his hero. He was also influenced by the avant garde of artists during the 1920’s. Evident from his work, Pound was influenced by Japanese Poetry and Noguka.On his birthday, his famous lines continue to inspire many readers to continue with the love for rhythm and nature.

I have tried to write


 Do not move

          Let the wind speak

                    that is paradise.

Let the Gods forgive what I

                          have made

Let those I love try to


what I have


(Taken from Canto 120)

“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.”  The man who spoke these lines still has the tenacity to bring readers under one roof for the sake of English literature.



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