Ezra Pound was one of the greatest writers of the past century, a major figure of the modernist movement. There was Yeats, Joyce, Eliot – and Pound.
(Also for ABC Wednesday: "O" is for "orneriness")
I am a poet.
I am one of the greatest of the modernist movement.
One aspect of my work was to use ancient Chinese poetry as my source. And in my translations I created a unique literary style. As an example, take this poem to a little girl:
“Tree you are, moss you are.
You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are,
And all this is folly to the world.”
I explained my method with Chinese poetry in this way: “The blossoms of the apricot blow from the east to the west, and I have tried to keep them from falling,”
But just when you believed you understood me, the peaceable poet, I wrote this: ''Modern civilization has bred a race with brains like those of rabbits and we artists who have been so long the despised are about to take over control.''
And for sheer orneriness, this: ''The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods.”
Think on these things. Think on the lightness, the delicacy of my poetry.
“A child – so high – you are.”
Think how I tried to keep the Confucian apricot blossoms from falling as they blew from east to west.
And think too…
That you kept me, certainly one of the greatest poets of the age, locked like a caged animal, in an actual animal’s cage.
And then answer this.
Who am I?