- I have noted the following from the article below:
- His fear of disorder and obsession with crackpot economic theories derived from his association with Major Charles H Douglas
- He assumed high fascist arrogance of state imposed order as a consequence
- This was delusion with nasty anti Semitism added which he later repudiated.
- H investigated the causes of the war in his lengthy essays to be discussed in another post.
- Was he a paranoid eccentric or just off the scale as a poet with a super sensitive antenna?
- Are poets the antennae of the race?
- He broke through the barriers and expanded poetry as no one previously had done.
- Note what TS Eliot who with other writers petitioned for his freedom had to say.He wrote to Archibald MacLeish concerning Pound of the problem to get Pound released. They would have to convince the authorities he was neither sane nor insane and might "be off the scale."
- One of my professors from undergraduate days at Calvin College, Henry Zylstra, suggested that possibility back in 1949. Pound's derangement, he said, might be more than a personality disorder; "Pound may be so sensitive a recording device that he is recording the schizophrenia deep within western culture." QUOTE
- His revolution was deep and broad. (More narrowly you can find Pound's imprint on the output of Pound-like cantos by Washington poet Carlo Parcelli, and on Parcelli's work with the e-magazine Flashpoint.) quote
But what finally is Washington to make of this poet-in-residence? I'm back
to Uncle Ez. The "treatment" had probably little effect. He had surrendered
himself in Italy so that he could get to Washington to "save the Constitution."
His obsession with crackpot economic theories, derived largely from Major
Charles H. Douglas, and his fear of disorder, sane enough to begin with ("1918
began investigation of causes of war, to oppose same"), twisted him into the
high fascist arrogance of state-imposed order. He carried into that delusion a
nasty anti-Semitism first acquired in the suburbs of Philadelphia. At St. E's he
was still ranting about the need for racial purity. Out of touch with America
(and also by the way with Nazi death camps, which he would instinctively have
abhorred) he had thought for years that Mussolini was the hero who would solve
the fiscal mess at the root of poverty and war. Uncle Ez was the kind of
paranoid eccentric who would listen to no one but himself. Unforgivably so. Now
all he could do, holding onto his arrogance, was to move past Mussolini's
collapse into older kinds of order that he could (and he really could) make
present and new in the later cantos. Washington meant psychoanalysts and lawyers
and bureaucrats, and that to any Uncle Ez in the world means almost nothing at
Assuming that there is such a thing as Washington poetry, hopefully
never defined, Pound of course influenced it enormously simply because he
broke through and expanded the possibilities of all poetry in English. From him
we learned to respect hard edges and metrical log jams, we learned to mine words
instead of manipulating readers with words. Our poems dared to become little
cyclotrons, energy transformers. His revolution was deep and broad. (More
narrowly you can find Pound's imprint on the output of Pound-like cantos by
Washington poet Carlo Parcelli, and on Parcelli's work with the e-magazine
It is tempting to honor Pound's achievement by setting aside
what is ugly in its content. But that won't do. You can't separate a poem's
content from its form and still be talking about a poem. Poetry is formed
content. T. S. Eliot may have seen a way through when he wrote to Archibald
MacLeish that their problem in trying to get Pound released would be to convince
others that Pound "is neither sane nor insane." That is to say, Pound might be
off the scale. One of my professors from undergraduate days at Calvin College,
Henry Zylstra, suggested that possibility back in 1949. Pound's derangement, he
said, might be more than a personality disorder; "Pound may be so sensitive a
recording device that he is recording the schizophrenia deep within western
culture." That's an interesting way of reading Pound, who said early on that
"poets are the antennae of the race."
It was only after his release from
Washington, back in what Henry James called deep dark old Europe, that Pound got
free of his furies. After long periods of silence (incredible to anyone who knew
him) he would admit to visitors that he had been wrong. "I botched it." He told
Allen Ginsberg that "the worst mistake I made was that stupid suburban prejudice
of anti-Semitism." And in the end, far from Washington, the indignant gods he
had tried to recover who had never really left us (the mind, the mind) came
almost back, close enough again in fragments of cantos to bring to his madness
and imperfections and failings a final hush:
A blown husk that is
finished........but the light sings eternala pale flare over
marshes........where the salt hay whispers to tide's change.