Archive for the ‘Pound, Ezra’ Category

In R J Dent’s Library – Ezra Pound

October 2, 2013


A look in R J Dent’s library at the essays, translations, and poetry of Modernist, Imagist, Vorticist poet – Ezra Pound.




In R J Dent’s Library – Ezra Pound


Text (c) R J Dent (2013)

Film (c) R J Dent (2013)


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Ezra Pound

August 31, 2010

Ezra Pound (1885-1972) is generally considered the poet most responsible for defining and promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry. In the early years of the twentieth century, he opened a seminal exchange of work and ideas between British and American writers, and was famous for the generosity with which he promoted the work of such major contemporary modernist writers as WB Yeats, Ernest Hemingway, DH Lawrence, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Yvor Winters, Marianne Moore, H. D., James Joyce, and especially T. S. Eliot, as well as visual artists including Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and musicians such as George Antheil.


Ezra Pound’s own significant contributions to poetry begin with his promulgation of Imagism, a movement in poetry which derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry – stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language and foregoing traditional rhyme and meter in order to, in Pound’s words, “compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of the metronome.”


A prolific author, he won the Bollingen prize for The Pisan Cantos in 1948. His later work, for nearly fifty years, focused on the encyclopaedic epic poem he entitled The Cantos, finally published in its entirety in 1975.


In 1959 Pound settled in Venice, Italy, where he lived in semi-reclusion until he died in 1972.


Selected works of Ezra Pound by year published


1908 A Lume Spento (poems)

1908 A Quinzaine for This Yule (poems)

1909 Personae (poems)

1909 Exultations (poems)

1910 Provenca (poems)

1910 The Spirit of Romance (essays)

1911 Canzoni (poems)

1912 Ripostes (poems)

1912 The Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcant (translations)

1915 Cathay (poems/translations)

1916 Gaudier-Brzeska (Memoir)

1916 Certain Noble Plays of Japan: from the MS of Ernest Fenollosa, chosen & finished by Ezra Pound, with an introduction by William Butler Yeats

1916 ‘Noh’, or, Accomplishment: a study of the classical stage of Japan, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound

1916 ‘The Lake Isle (poem)

1916 Lustra (poems)

1917 Twelve Dialogues of Fontenelle (translations)

1918 Pavannes and Divisions (prose)

1919 Quia Pauper Amavi (poems)

1919 The Fourth Canto (poems)

1920 Umbra (poems/translations)

1920 Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (poems)

1921 Poems, 1918–1921 (poems)

1922 The Natural Philosophy of Love, by Rémy de Gourmont (translations)

1923 Indiscretions (essays)

1923 Le Testament (one-act opera)

1924 Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony (essays)

1925 A Draft of XVI Cantos (poems)

1926 Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound

1927 Exile (poems)

1928 A Draft of the Cantos 17–27 (poems)

1928 Selected Poems edited by T. S. Eliot

1928 Ta Hio: The Great Learning, newly rendered into the American language


1930 A Draft of XXX Cantos (poems)

1930 Imaginary Letters (essays)

1931 How to Read (essays)

1933 ABC of Economics (essays)

1933 Cavalcanti (three-act opera)

1934 Eleven New Cantos: XXXI-XLI (poems)

1934 Homage to Sextus Propertius (poems/translation)

1934 ABC of Reading (essays)

1935 Make It New (essays)

1936 Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, by Ernest Fenollosa, edited and with a foreword and notes by Ezra Pound

1937 The Fifth Decade of Cantos (poems)

1937 Polite Essays (essays)

1937 Digest of the Analects by Confucius (translation)

1938 Guide to Kulchur (essays)

1939 What Is Money For? (essays)

1940 Cantos LII-LXXI (poems)

1944 Introduzione alla Natura Economica degli S.U.A. (prose)

1947 Confucius: the Unwobbling Pivot & the Great Digest (translation)

1949 Elektra (a play by Ezra Pound and Rudd Fleming)

1948 The Pisan Cantos (poems)

1950 Seventy Cantos (poems)

1951 Confucian Analects (translation)

1953 The Translations of Ezra Pound (translations)

1955 Section: Rock-Drill, 85–95 de los Cantares (poems)

1956 Sophocles: The Women of Trachis. A Version by Ezra Pound (translation)

1959 Thrones: 96–109 de los Cantares (poems)

1960 IMPACT: Essays on Ignorance and the Decline of American Civilization

1968 Drafts and Fragments: Cantos CX-CXVII (poems)



Selected posthumous works:


1975 Selected Poems, 1908-1959 (poems)

1976 Collected Early Poems

1975 The Cantos (ISBN 0-8112-1326-9)

1997 Ezra Pound and Music (essays)

1990 Personae: The Shorter Poems of Ezra Pound

1992 A Walking Tour of Southern France: Ezra Pound among the Troubadours (ISBN 0-8112-1223-8)

2002 Canti postumi (poems) (ISBN 88-04-51031-5)

2003 Ego scriptor cantilenae: The Music of Ezra Pound (operas/music)

2003 Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations (ISBN 978-1-931082-41-9)

2005 Early Writings (ISBN 0-14-218913-0)



Ezra Pound was a very skilled poet, as can be seen from the following poem:




The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;

Petals on a wet, black bough.



and a very skilled translator, as can be seen from the following translation:




The jeweled steps are already quite white with dew,
It is so late the dew soaks my gauze stockings,
And I let down the crystal curtain
And watch the moon through the clear autumn


by Rihaku


Note.—Jewel stairs, therefore a palace. Grievance, therefore there is something to complain of. Gauze stockings, therefore a court lady, not a servant who complains. Clear autumn, therefore he has no excuse on account of the weather. Also she has come early, for the dew has not merely whitened the stairs, but soaks her stockings. The poem is especially prized because she utters no direct reproach.



If you get a chance to read some of Ezra Pound’s poetry, then do so. It is clear, precise, interesting, beautiful poetry.


Ezra Pound’s books are available at:


R J Dent’s books are available at: