Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ezra gets a Pounding

Ezra Pound disturbs me more because I find too much of dense, as in brick, and abstruse, as in elusive for the sake of being hard to follow .This is distinct from abstract, a quality where there is an actual idea being deployed and which, in turn, can be parsed by a reader with due diligence. There is no argument with how important Pound is to the reformation of literature and advancing the Modernist aesthetic, but some one who was so obsessed, in theory, with reconfiguring language arts so that a new generation of readers can have fresh perceptions of reality and discover means with which to change it, Pound seemed seduced by the legend he was making for himself and delved headlong into his admixture of projects without a sense of how his materials and sources would come to make a generalized sense of themselves.It seems obvious to me that he reveled in the difficulty of his work. His innovations as poet, for me, are worth studying in line with his critical pieces, but beyond their importance in establishing a time line, the language , the style, the attitude has not traveled well through the decades. He seemed like the brilliant critic and tireless promoter of new talent who put himself in competition with his fellows, ie Joyce, Yeats, Eliot, Stevens, Williams, et al. Pound believed that art was the chief process through which a particular priesthood of painters and poets can perceive the world, and it was the artist who could correctly provide the inspiration and spiritual means to change the way reality was constructed and lived in. He was attracted to strong leaders with pronounced visions of a Better Future, was attracted to the notion of violently blowing up the artifacts of the past in order to forge a new order from the ground up, and it was apparent to everyone that he aligned himself with such leaders. He wanted to be considered one of those who would show everyone the way to the new dawn, whether they wanted to or not.

Frost , although over estimated, is an acceptable minor poet and a canny careerist, neither of which are offensive to anyone who understands the need to make a living.

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