Who was he: Ezra Pound may have been the prototypical angry poet. He was highly respected within the international community of writers and well known for helping his contemporaries in any manner possible. Pound was a journalistic critic as well as a poet and advanced the careers of several historically prominent writers. Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot were among his protégés. His interpretation of writing set the standard for the modernist poetic movement. The poetic writing style utilizes musical phrasing for word sets instead of metronome and rhyme.
Pound's life changed immensely after moving to Europe and becoming part of the literary clique. His initial publication was poetry, which he published himself. He was severely angry over the number of people killed in World War I and reflected as much in his writing. He became highly critical of the United States, becoming one of the first journalists to claim that capitalism and international banking created the entire war theatre. His criticism continued into World War II. Pound was eventually arrested in 1945 by United States forces in a US controlled area of Europe and charged with treason for broadcasting fascist propaganda into United States territory.
Pound was supportive of the Nazi movement and very critical of the Jewish race, following Hitler's lead on the politics of hatred. Later in his life, Pound claimed his only regret of his political career was the Jewish persecution from his broadcasting career. Pound had left London in 1920 and moved to Paris, leaving the Imagist movement behind. This was also around the time that his first work of commercial success appeared, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley. The work was loosely an autobiography. His political career would progress after the move, with Pound still being angry with an unnecessary WW I.
While incarcerated in 1945 Pound began work on his most famous writing, The Pisan Cantos. Part of a larger work, The Cantos, it would play an important part in securing Pound's release from custody. This highly controversial group of poems defined his poetry and consumed his writing during the turmoil he faced for his political criticism. It was released in sections over an extended time period. The writing was representative of his support for Mussolini and his stance against the war and the usury industry.
A group of Pound's literary friends gave him the Bollingen Library of Congress Award for this work in 1948 while he was incarcerated. Pound was cleared of treason charges in 1946, but was determined insane and placed in a mental institution. After awarding him the prize, they implemented a writing campaign requesting Pound's release. He was finally released in 1958 and returned to Venice, Italy, to live the remainder of his life largely as a recluse.
Background: Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho in 1885, the grandson of a former United States congressional representative from Wisconsin. Pound was a maternal descendant of William Wadsworth. Much of his early education and childhood was spent in Pennsylvania after his father was appointed to a position at the Philadelphia Mint.
Pound also spent a considerable amount of time in Europe as a child, eventually returning to London in 1908 to begin writing poems and fiction. Pound had taught language at Wabash College in Indiana before moving to London, after receiving his Master's degree in romantic language. His sarcastic misbehavior was problematic as an educator, leaving the small college after a short period.
Pound married Dorothy Shakespear in 1914, daughter of literary figure, Olivia Shakespear. Pound's mother-in-law raised his son, Omar, in the Kensington area of London. His wife would stay in England in the summer, a time in which Pound developed a relationship with Olga Rudge, who also had a child with Pound. The result was that his children were raised in opposite social settings.
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