Ezra Pound

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

Ezra Pound Quotes

  • ''It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse. It is obviously much easier to find inhabitants for an inferno or even a purgatorio.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
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  • ''Somebody said that I am the last American living the tragedy of Europe.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''In case I conk out, this is provisionally what I have to do: I must clarify obscurities; I must make clearer definite ideas or dissociations. I must find a verbal formula to combat the rise of brutality—the principle of order versus the split atom.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''No verse is libre for the man who wants to do a good job.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''Technique is the test of sincerity. If a thing isn't worth getting the technique to say, it is of inferior value.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''There is natural ignorance and there is artificial ignorance. I should say at the present moment the artificial ignorance is about eighty-five per cent.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963).
  • ''If the individual, or heretic, gets hold of some essential truth, or sees some error in the system being practised, he commits so many marginal errors himself that he is worn out before he can establish his point.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Second Series, ed. George Plimpton (1963). Pound was obliquely referring to his own experience, and his incarceration in an American mental institution for ten years following his arrest for treason in 1945.
  • ''Genius ... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one, and where the man of talent sees two or three, plus the ability to register that multiple perception in the material of his art.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Jefferson and/or Mussolini, Liveright (1935).
  • ''There is no topic ... more soporific and generally boring than the topic of Ireland as Ireland, as a nation.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. New Age (London, Jan. 8, 1920).
  • ''It would be about as easy for an American to become a Chinaman or a Hindoo as for him to acquire an Englishness or a Frenchness or a European-ness that is more than half skin deep.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. New Age (London, November 14, 1912).

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Best Poem of Ezra Pound

A Girl

The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast -
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are,
And all this is folly to the world.

Read the full of A Girl

Canto 49

For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses:
Rain; empty river; a voyage,
Fire from frozen cloud, heavy rain in the twilight
Under the cabin roof was one lantern.
The reeds are heavy; bent;
and the bamboos speak as if weeping.

Autumn moon; hills rise about lakes
against sunset

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