Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound (October 30, 1885 – November 1, 1972) was an American expatriate poet, musician and critic who was a major figure of the Modernist movement in early to mid-20th century poetry. He was the driving force behind several Modernist movements, notably Imagism and Vorticism.
Found 81 thoughts of Ezra Pound

Genius ... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.

Ezra Pound

A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.

Ezra Pound

But the one thing you should. not do is to suppose that when something is wrong with the arts, it is wrong with the arts ONLY.

Ezra Pound

The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.

Ezra Pound

'Tis the white stag, Fame, we're a-hunting, bid the world's hounds come to horn!

Ezra Pound

The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods. Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting.

Ezra Pound

Literature does not exist in a vacuum. Writers as such have a definite social function exactly proportional to their ability as writers. This is their main use.

Ezra Pound

I could I trust starve like a gentleman. It's listed as part of the poetic training, you know.

Ezra Pound

The jargon of sculptors is beyond me. I do not know precisely why I admire a green granite female, apparently pregnant monster with one eye going around a square corner.

Ezra Pound

In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.

Ezra Pound

It ought to be illegal for an artist to marry. If the artist must marry let him find someone more interested in art, or his art, or the artist part of him, than in him. After which let them take tea together three times a week.

Ezra Pound

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.

Ezra Pound

No verse is libre for the man who wants to do a good job.

Ezra Pound

If I could believe the Quakers banned music because church music is so damn bad, I should view them with approval.

Ezra Pound

Any general statement is like a cheque drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it.

Ezra Pound

Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art.

Ezra Pound

When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.

Ezra Pound

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.

Ezra Pound

Good art however "immoral" is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.

Ezra Pound

The Garden

En robe de parade.
Samain

Like a skien of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.
She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.

Ezra Pound

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

Ezra Pound

The Summons

I can not bow to woo thee
With honey words and flower kisses
And the dew of sweet half-truths
Fallen on the grass of old quaint love-tales
Of broidered days foredone.
Nor in the murmurous twilight
May I sit below thee,
Worshiping in whispers
Tremulous as far-heard bells.
All these things have I known once
And passed
In that gay youth I had but yester-year.
And that is gone
As the shadow of wind.
Nay, I can not woo thee thus;
But as I am ever swept upward
To the centre of all truth
So must I bear thee with me
Rapt into this great involving flame,
Calling ever from the midst thereof,
"Follow! Follow!"
And in the glory of our meeting
Shall the power be reborn.
And together in the midst of this power
Must we, each outstriving each,
Cry eternally:
"I come, go thou yet further."
And again, "Follow,"
For we may not tarry.

Ezra Pound

Ballad for Gloom

For God, our God is a gallant foe
That playeth behind the veil.

I have loved my God as a child at heart
That seeketh deep bosoms for rest,
I have loved my God as a maid to man—
But lo, this thing is best:

To love your God as a gallant foe that plays behind the veil;
To meet your God as the night winds meet beyond Arcturus' pale.

I have played with God for a woman,
I have staked with my God for truth,
I have lost to my God as a man, clear-eyed—
His dice be not of ruth.

For I am made as a naked blade,
But hear ye this thing in sooth:

Who loseth to God as man to man
Shall win at the turn of the game.
I have drawn my blade where the lightnings meet
But the ending is the same:
Who loseth to God as the sword blades lose
Shall win at the end of the game.

For God, our God is a gallant foe that playeth behind the veil.
Whom God deigns not to overthrow hath need of triple mail.

Ezra Pound

The Seeing Eye

The small dogs look at the big dogs;
They observe unwieldy dimensions
And curious imperfections of odor.
Here is the formal male group:
The young men look upon their seniors,
They consider the elderly mind
And observe its inexplicable correlations.

Said Tsin-Tsu:
It is only in small dogs and the young
That we find minute observation

Ezra Pound

Nicotine

Hymn to the Dope


Goddess of the murmuring courts,
Nicotine, my Nicotine,
Houri of the mystic sports,
trailing-robed in gabardine,
Gliding where the breath hath glided,
Hidden sylph of filmy veils,
Truth behind the dream is veiléd
E'en as thou art, smiling ever, ever gliding,
Wraith of wraiths, dim lights dividing
Purple, grey, and shadow green
Goddess, Dream-grace, Nicotine.

Goddess of the shadow's lights,
Nicotine, my Nicotine,
Some would set old Earth to rights,
Thou I none such ween.
Veils of shade our dream dividing,
Houris dancing, intergliding,
Wraith of wraiths and dream of faces,
Silent guardian of the old unhallowed places,
Utter symbol of all old sweet druidings,
Mem'ry of witched wold and green,
Nicotine, my Nicotine:

Neath the shadows of thy weaving
Dreams that need no undeceiving,
Loves that longer hold me not,
Dreams I dream not any more,
Fragrance of old sweet forgotten places,
Smiles of dream-lit, flit-by faces
All as perfume Arab-sweet
Deck the high road to thy feet

As were Godiva's coming fated
And all the April's blush belated
Were lain before her, carpeting
The stones of Coventry with spring,
So thou my mist-enwreathéd queen,
Nicotine, white Nicotine,
Riding engloried in they hair
Mak'st by-road of our dreams
Thy thorough-fare.

Ezra Pound
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