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This first volume of what will be a full-scale biography presents Ezra Pound
as a very determined and energetic young genius--at 15 he told his father "I
want to write before I die the greatest poems that have ever been
written"--setting out to make his way both as a poet and as a force for
civilization in England and America in the years before, during and just after
World War I.
In this lively narrative A. David Moody weaves a story of Pound's early life
and loves, his education in America, and his years in London, where he trained
himself to become a great poet-learning from W. B.Yeats, Ford Madox Hueffer,
and others-and exhorting his contemporaries to abandon Victorian sentimentality
and "make it new." Pound was at the center of everything, forming his own
Imagiste group, joining with Wyndham Lewis in his Vorticism, championing the
work of James Joyce, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, and T. S. Eliot,
and constantly on the lookout for new talent as International Editor for
Harriet Monroe's Poetry magazine. Moody traces Pound's evolution as a poet from
the derivative idealism and aestheticism of his precocious youth to his
Cathay," based on the transliterations of the Sineologist Ernest Fenollosa, to
the stunningly original Homage to Sextus Propertius and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.
By 1920 Pound was established as a force for revolution in poetry and in his
critical writing as a brilliant iconoclast who argued against stifling
conventions and the economic injustice of the capitalist system.
Ezra Pound: Poet gives us illuminating readings of the major early works and
a unforgettable portrait of Pound himself-by turns brilliant, combative,
selfless, ambitious-and always fascinating.