About

My email address is dmcd33@gmail.com .  Besides that I’ll prefer momentarily to shroud the eclectic scribblings on the front page in a degree of mystery.  Here, is a poem from Ezra Pound:

 

O helpless few in my country,
O remnant enslaved!
Artists broken against her,
A-stray, lost in the villages,
Mistrusted, spoken-against,

Lovers of beauty, starved
Thwarted with systems,
Helpless against the control;

You who can not wear yourselves out
By persisting to successes,
You who can only speak,
Who can not steel yourselves into reiteration;

You of the finer sense,
Broken against false knowledge,
You who can know at first hand,
Hated, shut in, mistrusted:

Take thought;
I have weathered the storm,
I have beaten out my exile.

 

 

Ezra Pound’s life is far more interesting than my own.  He left the US because he didn’t want to be “broken against false knowledge;” i.e. philistinism, so he set out to Europe where he become the central player in the formulation of literary modernism, guiding, teaching, and editing Yeats, Eliot, Hemingway, and a number of others.  He got pretty into fascism also, more the “protecting European culture from the perversions of the market” aspect than the anti-Semitic part, although that too.  The global (“Great”) depression sprung around the World Wars and Jewish people got a big deal of the blame both for the crash and for capitalism more broadly, which people generally did not like.  Pound later recanted his anti-semitism, realizing that he should blame the economic system and not the race large chunks of which by chance of history had ended up working in finance, which is indeed an important lesson.

Before he recanted, though, he was the propaganda minister for Mussolini, and was arrested for treason for reading passages of the constitution and the Federalist Papers to invading US troops over the Italian radio.  His general point was that capitalist USA was a perversion of the founding father’s intentions and that it was ruining the world.  For this perspicacity, he was put in solitary confinement, wherein he suffered a mental breakdown.  He recovered gradually and lived out the rest of his life, but wasn’t as wildly productive as before.

Here are the final sections of his poem “Hugh Selwyn Mauberly:”

 

IV.

THESE fought, in any case, and some believing, pro domo, in any case . . Some quick to arm, some for adventure, some from fear of weakness, some from fear of censure, some for love of slaughter, in imagination, learning later . . .

some in fear, learning love of slaughter; Died some “pro patria, non dulce non et decor”. .

walked eye-deep in hell believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving came home, home to a lie, home to many deceits, home to old lies and new infamy;

usury age-old and age-thick and liars in public places.

Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
Young blood and high blood,
Fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

fortitude as never before

frankness as never before, disillusions as never told in the old days, hysterias, trench confessions, laughter out of dead bellies.

V.

THERE died a myriad,
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization,

Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
Quick eyes gone under earth’s lid,

For two gross of broken statues,
For a few thousand battered books.

 

 

Ezra Pound predicted correctly that he would not be read except as a novelty 100 years after his death.  He did not choose his allegiances quite right, and never forgave himself for his early anti-semitism, but his general thrust was pretty spot on:

Usury has destroyed truth and beauty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s