“I have done more log rolling and attending to other people's affairs, Joyce, Lewis, Gaudier, etc. (don't regret it),” wrote Pound to Margaret Anderson, the editor of the Little Review in 1921. “But I am in my own small way, a writer myself” (EPLR, 266).
This is not a tone one often hears from the mastermind of the Great English Vortex, who thought of himself as an inventor, an instigator, an artist who caused the careers of other artists to flourish because he himself was flourishing. But by the time his London years were drawing to a close (he would move to Paris at the end of 1920), Pound was deeply worried that he was known not primarily as an artist but as a patron, a facilitator, an influencer. Although he had offered crucial aesthetic and economic support to T. S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, H. D., Robert Frost, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, and W. B. Yeats, his early Cantos were languishing.
“I am wracked by the seven jealousies,” wrote Pound to Eliot after they had worked together on the manuscript of The Waste Land, “and cogitating an excuse for always exuding my deformative secretions in my own stuff, and never getting an outline” (SL, 169). Eliot took pains to honor Pound’s crucial contribution to The Waste Land, not only dedicating the poem to him but with the phrase “il miglior fabbro” (the phrase Dante used to describe the Provenc¸al poet Arnaut Daniel) associating Pound with an artist whom Pound himself considered one of the greatest inventors in Western literature. Privately, however, Eliot was worried. “He is becoming forgotten,” he wrote of Pound to a mutual friend. “I am worried as to what is to become of him.”