Ezra Pound "Pull Down Thy Vanity"
“Pound reminds us how much language shares with music.... Under the showy surface, however, the extra-poetic Pound reveals an all too human concern with vanity wounded by questions of publication, remuneration and reputation. Through it all runs a sense of alienation from a native land he needed to whip, presumably for its own good. Such themes—along with Pound's tiresome crusade against usury and modern capitalism—bedeviled his gifted mind."
-Rockwell Gray, Chicago Tribune
“Of all the major literary figures in the twentieth century, Ezra Pound has been one of the widely acknowledged and most controversial; he has also been one of modern poetry's most important contributors, yet the least read. Early in his career, Pound aroused controversy because of his aesthetic views; later, because of his political views. For the greater part of this century, however, Pound devoted his energies to advancing the art of poetry and maintaining his aesthetic standards in the midst of extreme adversity.
The Cantos his most famous works are peopled with figures Pound considers heroic, embodying the ideals of personal freedom, courage, and independent thinking. Figures whose public policies led to enlightened governing. Pound searched through the historical and mythical past as well as the modern world to find those who embodied the Confucian ideals of "sincerity" and "rectitude" in contrast to those who through greed, ignorance, and malevolence worked against the common good. An epic designed to dramatize the gradual acquisition of cultural knowledge on two levels: one, a spiritual quest for transcendence, for the revelation of divine forces that lead to individual enlightenment; the other, an intellectual search for worldly wisdom, a vision of the Just City that leads to civic order and harmony. These goals, personal and public, are present throughout the poem; they also sustained the poet throughout his life.” -poetryfoundation.org
WHAT DREW ME IN WITH POUND, was that he directly addressed the political reality of the early 20th century. Throwing up impediment to the situations we still find ourselves in today, he uniquely overlapped his creative mind with his social conscience. Combining both forces not only in his poetic works but also in his activism. Broadcasting his own commentaries from Rome Radio, he often attacked Roosevelt’s involvement in WW2 and the Zionist bankers whom he held responsible, while elevating the economic concepts of social credit. Later, incorporating much of this experience into his award winning Library of Congress, controversial 1949 Bollingen Prize for the Pisan Cantos poetic masterpiece.
I found myself admiring this man not only for his obvious creativity, but living his moral convictions. How utterly easy would it have been to just choose power and privilege (Chris Hedges). He chose the difficult, path of truth and justice, believing his inalienable right to freedom of thought and speech were protected. As a U.S. Citizen he paid dearly for that accused of treason, imprisoned and committed for more than a decade. Hence, we learn that there are no rights if they are in conflict with popular opinion which always follows along the lines of mass media productions. And because Pound among others were silenced, derailed, by mob mentalities, we have inherited that virus on a scale I am not sure he could have even imagined, ironically leading the ill-prepared en-mass toward moral and subservient bankruptcy. –Lisa Rosch 2017
|Category||News & Politics|
|Sensitivity||Normal - Content that is suitable for ages 16 and over|
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