Personae: The Shorter Poems of Ezra Pound

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New Directions Publishing, 1990 - Drama - 304 pages
13 Reviews
If the invention of literary modernism is usually attributed to James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, it was Pound alone who provided (in Hugh Kenner's words) "the synergetic presence") to convert individual experiment into an international movement. In 1926 Pound carefully sculpted his body of shorter poems into a definitive collection which would best show the concentration of force, the economy of means, and the habit of analysis that were, to him, the hallmarks of the new style.This collection, where Pound presented himself in a variety of characters or "masks," was called Personae. In 1926, Personae's publication gave solidity to a movement today the work stands as one of the classic texts of the twentieth century. Pound scholars Lea Baechler (of Columbia) and A. Walton Litz (Holmes Professor of English Literature at Princeton) have prepared a corrected text and supplied an informative "Note on the Text" explaining both Pound's original criteria for his selection and the volume's subsequent history.
  

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Review: PersonŠ: The Shorter Poems

User Review  - Talbot Hook - Goodreads

Empty are the ways, Empty are the ways of this land And the flowers Bend over with heavy heads. They bend in vain. Empty are the ways of this land Where Ione Walked once, and now does not walk But seems like a person just gone. Read full review

Review: PersonŠ: The Shorter Poems

User Review  - Sunduri - Goodreads

Over rated Read full review

Contents

The Tree
3
DeEgypto
17
Piere Vidal Old
28
Satiemus
41
Silet
55
Portrait dune Femme
57
The Alchemist
70
Tenzone
83
Dans un Omnibus de Londres
156
Langue dOc
169
Cantico del Sole
182
E P Ode Pour LElection De Son Sepulchre
185
Homage to Sextus Propertius 1917
203
Cantus Planus
225
Leave Casella
234
Anothers a halfcracked fellowJohn Heydon
241

Ite
96
Amities
102
Image from DOrleans
115
Women Before a Shop
118
Song of the Bowmen of Shu
131
SouthFolk in Cold Country
143
UNCOLLECTED POEMS 19121917
247
War Verse 1914
253
THE COMPLETE POETICAL
265
INDEX OF TITLES AND FIRST LINES
277
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

With T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound was one of the two main influences on British and U.S. poetry between the two world wars. The collection of his Letters, 1907--1941 revealed the great erudition of this most controversial expatriate poet. Born in Idaho in 1885, Pound graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and went abroad to live in 1908. His first book, A Lume Spento, a small collection of poems, was published in Venice in 1908. With the publication of Personae in London in 1909, he became the leader of the imagists abroad. Pound's writings have been subject to many foreign influences. First he imitated the troubadours; then he came under the influence of the Chinese and Japanese poets. The Cantos (1925--60), his major work, to which he added for many years, is a mixture of modern colloquial language and classical quotation. The Pisan Cantos (1948), written during his imprisonment in Italy, is more autobiographical. Pound's prose, as well as his poetry, has been extremely influential. The Spirit of Romance (1910) is a revision of his studies of little-known romance writers. ABC of Reading (1934) is an exposition of his critical method. His critical writings include Literary Essays of Ezra Pound (1954), Instigations (1920), and Guide to Kulchur (1938). Pound was a linguist, whom Eliot called "the inventor of Chinese poetry for our time." His greatest translating achievements from Japanese, Chinese, Anglo-Saxon, Italian, Provencal, and French are collected in The Translations of Ezra Pound (1933). Among his other writings are Make It New: Essays; Jefferson and/or Mussolini, a discussion of American democracy and capitalism and fascism; and The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan, with Ernest Fenollosa. Living in Italy, Pound felt that some of the practices of Mussolini were in accord with the doctrines of social credit, in which he had become interested in the 1920s and 1930s. He espoused some of the general applications of fascism and also was a strong advocate of anti-Semitism. During World War II, he broadcast a pro-Fascist series of programs addressed to the Allied troops on Italian radio. Indicted for treason and brought to the United States to stand trial in 1946, he was judged mentally incompetent to prepare a defense and was committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. in what is now considered less of a reflection on his sanity than on his politics. After a concerted appeal to the federal government by American poets, led by Robert Frost, Pound was at last released in 1958 and returned to Italy. Critics have recently begun to face squarely the connections between his fascism and his poetry; facts of his life and work continue to arouse mixed feelings. 030

A. Walton Litz is professor emeritus of English at Princeton University.

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