Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 July 2014
Most of the stuff I write does not pretend to make itself intelligible to anyone who has not done a certain quite large amount of reading.
Ezra Pound, who published his first poem in 1902 and his last in 1969, understood the necessity of context. The range, volume, and arcane nature of his material, as impressive as it was immense, required background which he expected of his readers. Initially, this meant knowledge of the Provençal poets, Dante, Confucius, and a healthy dose of Greek and Latin, as well as Chinese and American history. As editor, translator, anthologist, essayist, and poet, he anticipated that his readers would understand as well the sources, allusions, and origins of his work. The complex of materials was part of being modern.
Pound worked hard to educate his peers who recognized his skills. T.S. Eliot called him “il miglior fabbro,” “the better craftsman.” James Joyce declared he was “a miracle of ebulliency, gusto and help.” Yeats recalled that to “talk over a poem with him” was “like getting you to put a sentence into dialect. All becomes clear and natural.” He redirected the poetry of Yeats, discovered Robert Frost, and promoted H.D. He edited The Waste Land, oversaw the publication of Ulysses, and created new movements like Imagism and Vorticism. Wyndham Lewis summed him up as the “demon pantechnicon driver, busy with removal of the old world into new quarters.”
- Ezra Pound in Context , pp. 1 - 10Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2010