Figures of Speech HOME

The shipwreck on the winedark sea

Posted by Richard on  UTC 2016-08-15 07:40

Staying calm, staying sane

  • Are you one of the billions of people around the world who have never heard of the American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972)? Be happy.
  • Are you one of the few who have heard of him but have read nothing of his work? Be happy.
  • Are you one of the discerning few who picked up a copy of his monumental poem The Cantos (1917-69) in a bookshop, cracked open a few pages, then wisely and happily put the book back? Sound decision.
  • Are you one of the few who encountered Pound's works and his Cantos as part of a college course? There's hope for you: some of its participants may still be suffering, but for most the scars will eventually heal.
  • Are you one of the tiny number of enthusiasts who pay to join the Ezra Pound Society, follow and contribute to the academic literature in 'Pound Studies', go to conferences where they can mix freely with other lost souls? For you there is no hope.

Why should we bother with Ezra Pound and his monstrous poem?

Ezra Pound in Venice, 1963. Image: Wikimedia.

Ezra Pound in Venice in 1963. You can always rely on Italians for the curious stare, which they do almost as well as the French.