Ezra Pound

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

Ezra Pound Quotes

  • ''A general loathing of a gang or sect usually has some sound basis in instinct.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. New English Weekly (London, May 14, 1936).
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  • ''And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there.... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. "Patria Mia," New Age (London, Sept. 18, 1912).
  • ''Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Poetry (Chicago, October 1914). Pound was fulminating against the motto on Poetry's cover, that, "To have great poets, there must be great audiences too"Ma quote by Whitman. Pound preferred to think that the arts were dependent on no one.
  • ''If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 3 (1934).
  • ''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 (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 3 (1934).
  • ''The curse of me & my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, June 7-8, 1920, to James Joyce. Pound/Joyce: The Letters of Ezra Pound to James Joyce, ed. Forrest Read (1968).
  • ''Any general statement is like a cheque drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 1, sct. 2 (1934).
  • ''Literature is news that STAYS news.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 2 (1934). "If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays," Pound wrote in ch. 3.
  • ''No good poetry is ever written in a manner twenty years old, for to write in such a manner shows conclusively that the writer thinks from books, convention and cliché, not from real life.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. "Prologomena," Poetry Review (London, Feb. 1912).
  • ''The Image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy.''
    Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. "Affirmations—As for Imagisme," pt. 7, Selected Prose 1909-1965, ed. William Cookson (1973).

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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

Taking Leave Of A Friend

Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
White river winding about them;
Here we must make separation
And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.

Mind like a floating wide cloud,
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance.
Our horses neigh to each others

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