- Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his 800-page epic poem, The Cantos (c. 1917–1962). Pound's contribution to poetry began in the early 20th century with his role in developing Imagism, a movement stressing precision and economy of language. Working in London as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, he helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. He was responsible for the 1914 serialization of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the 1915 publication of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", and the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote in 1932 that, for poets born in the late 19th or early 20th century, not to be influenced by Pound would be "like passing through a great blizzard and not feeling its cold." Angered by the carnage of World War I, Pound blamed the war on finance capitalism, which he called "usury". He moved to Italy in 1924 and through the 1930s and 1940s promoted an economic theory known as social credit, wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, and expressed support for Adolf Hitler. During World War II and the Holocaust in Italy, he made hundreds of paid radio broadcasts for the Italian government, including in German-occupied Italy, attacking the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt and, above all, Jews, as a result of which he was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason. He spent months in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including three weeks in an outdoor steel cage. Deemed unfit to stand trial, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years. While in custody in Italy, Pound began work on sections of The Cantos that were published as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1949 by the Library of Congress, causing enormous controversy. After a campaign by his fellow writers, he was released from St. Elizabeths in 1958 and lived in Italy until his death in 1972. His political views have ensured that his life and work remain controversial. (en)
- A little light, like a rushlight
:::::::To lead back to splendour. (en)
- and the Serpentine will look just the same
and the gulls be as neat on the pond
and the sunken garden unchanged
and God knows what else is left of our London (en)
- At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back. (en)
- I have brought the great ball of crystal;
:::::::Who can lift it?
Can you enter the great acorn of light?
:::But the beauty is not the madness
Tho' my errors and wrecks lie about me.
And I am not a demigod,
I cannot make it cohere. (en)
- And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass. (en)
- Ezra Pound reclining, 1939 (en)
- You let in the Jew and the Jew rotted your Empire, and you yourselves are by the Jew. (en)
- Pound reading Mauberley, Washington, D.C., June 1958
80px|frameless|left|alt=FOR three years, out of key with his time,
He strove to resuscitate the dead art
Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime"
In the old sense. Wrong from the start—
No hardly, but, seeing he had been born
In a half savage country, out of date;
Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;
Capaneus; trout for factitious bait;
Ἴδμεν γάρ τοι πάνθ', ὅσ 'ένι Τροίη
Caught in the unstopped ear;
Giving the rocks small lee-way
The chopped seas held him, therefore, that year. (en)
- "Thank you, whatever comes." And then she turned
And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers
Fades when the wind hath lifted them aside,
Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes
One hour was sunlit and the most high gods
May not make boast of any better thing
Than to have watched that hour as it passed. (en)
- I am homesick after mine own kind,
Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces,
But I am homesick after mine own kind. (en)
- The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough. (en)
- At fifteen, I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out? (en)
- written in Crawfordsville, Indiana, 1907 (en)
- — "The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter", Cathay (en)
- — Closing lines of The Cantos (en)
- — Daniel Swift, The Bughouse, 2018. (en)
- — Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (en)
- — On meeting Mussolini (en)
- — Paris Review, 1962 (en)
- — Personae (en)
- — Personae of Ezra Pound (en)
- — Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound (en)
- — Poetry (en)
- — The Pisan Cantos (en)
- — by Wyndham Lewis (en)