Ezra Pound

(30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972 / Hailey / Idaho)

Quotations

  • ''Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. The ABC of Reading, ch. 3 (1934).
    105 person liked.
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  • ''I dunno what my 23 infantile years in America signify. I left as soon as motion was autarchic—I mean my motion.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, October 29, 1940. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige (1950).
  • ''Mass ought to be in Latin, unless you cd. do it in Greek or Chinese. In fact, any abracadabra that no bloody member of the public or half-educated ape of a clargimint cd. think he understood.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, March 7, 1940. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige (1951).
  • ''If a patron buys from an artist who needs money (needs money to buy tools, time, food), the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, March 8, 1915. The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D.D. Paige (1951). Pound urged U.S. collector John Quinn to assist the new renaissance of the arts that Pound believed would happen.
  • ''I consider criticism merely a preliminary excitement, a statement of things a writer has to clear up in his own head sometime or other, probably antecedent to writing; of no value unless it come to fruit in the created work later.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Criterion (London, Jan. 1923).
  • ''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 (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. quoted in Humphrey Carpenter, A Serious Character, pt. 2, ch. 10 (1988). Egoist (London, 1913).
  • ''The jargon of these 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 (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, Feb. 15, 1914).
  • ''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 (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, February 1914).
  • ''Modern civilization has bred a race with brains like those of rabbits and we who are the heirs of the witch-doctor and the voodoo. We artists who have been so long the despised are about to take over control.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, February 1914).
  • ''A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, Oct. 1917).

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The Needle

Come, or the stellar tide will slip away.
Eastward avoid the hour of its decline,
Now! for the needle trembles in my soul!

Here have we had the vantage, the good hour.
Here we have had our day, your day and mine.
Come now, before this power
That bears us up, shall turn against the pole.
Mock not the flood of stars, the thing's to be.

[Hata Bildir]