This Difficult Individual, Ezra Pound
If you ask anyone these days who was Ezra Pound 99.9 % would answer "poet". Sure Ezra Pound was a poet but his poetry was censored! In reality his whole person was censored, quarantined from the outside world by the Rothschilds et al.... Ezra Pound was the most dangerous person on the planet. The antichrist Freemasonic elite gave him but one choice either play insane or die by hanging... Had his message been propagated, the world would be very a very different place today... [ More to come on this amazing person in a future post...]
BY MULLINS, EUSTACE
In 1949, I was introduced to the poet Ezra Pound, who was at' that time an inmate of St. Elizabeths Hospital. There had been' conflicting reports as to his mental condition; that is to say, the' reports of the government psychiatrists, and the reports of everyone' else who knew him. The hospital officials avoided the issue by' describing him to prospective visitors quite honestly as a "political' prisoner". In the interests of national security, Pound was being' kept under guard by the Federal Bureau of Health, Education and' Welfare. I also was a ward of the government. My status as a' veteran of the Second World War had won me paid subsistence at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Washington.
In those days, the Institute housed the sad remnants of the "avant-garde" in America. It was inevitable that the name of Ezra Pound, who for nearly half a century had personified all that was.
EZRA POUND was born on October 30, 1885, in Hailey, Idaho. He was the son of Homer Loomis Pound and Isabel Weston Pound. In later years, the sculptor Lekakis humourously referred to
Ezra as "Homer's son", a mot that was repeated among the Greeks.
Hailey was a frontier town, such as those that can be seen today on any American television screen. Homer Pound was employed in the government land office. Ezra recalls seeing some burly gentle men striding about with large six shooters strapped to their waists.
In 1888, Homer Pound was appointed assayer to the United States Mint in Philadelphia. The family was caught in the famed "Blizzard of '88" during their return to the East. They settled in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, a prosperous suburb, with such neighbors as a certain Mr. Curtis, who published a well-known periodical of that era.
Ezra's interest in money as a phenomenon, in contrast to the usual attitude toward money as something to get, is a legitimate one. His paternal grandfather, Thaddeus Coleman Pound, had been a pioneer railroad-builder and lumberman in Wisconsin. He served several terms as a Congressman and became an ardent advocate of monetary reform. While he was in Washington, his lumber interests were wiped out by the rapid expansion of the Weyerhaeuser firm.
He returned home to salvage what he could, and for a time, he paid his workers in scrip money.
ALTHOUGH POUND, who had arrived unknown in London, had within a few years achieved fame on two continents, he was profoundly discontented. The cause of his unrest was the break
down in communications. The failure of The English Review was a great setback. For the next decade, he busied himself with a number of inadequate successors, in order to have an outlet for
his work. He finally realized that it is easier to write an epic poem than to manage an intelligent periodical in the twentieth century, and he retired to Italy to work on his Cantos.
The magazines that he edited or contributed to during the remainder of his London period were supplemented by his activities in the literary clubs. The artistic life of prewar London was centered in these groups, which were informal in character, and usually built around a central personality. There were few salons worthy of note, but some of the writers and artists entertained at home once a week, an event known as an "evening".
T. E. Hulme's evenings in his rooms at 67 Frith Street attracted many of the wits of London, and indirectly, the Imagist and Vorticist movements, with which Pound was involved, were born of
these associations. His interest in the writings of the East also stemmed from the paideuma that he accrued through attendance at these affairs.
IN RETROSPECT, the furor over the literary movement known as Imagism seems excessive only if we forget that it represented a courageous revival of vers libre. Free verse opened the gates to all sorts of outpourings, but it was a healthy reaction against the Victorian metronome.
Imagism, as did its Poundian successor, Vorticism, had its origins in the personality of Thomas Edward Hulme, a youthful London intellectual who once had walked across Canada for the
exercise. Hulme started a Poetry Club in 1908 with a government clerk, F. S. Flint. They advanced some of the principles which would later be known as Imagist, but the other members of the club proved to be too stodgy, and they withdrew. Hulme and Flint started another club the following year, which met weekly, and in 1910, Hulme inaugurated his brilliant "Tuesdays" at 67 Frith Street.
Most of the "bright young men" of London were to be found
there until 1914, when Hulme went off to the war. He stood up
when everyone else was ducking, and a direct hit by a high ex
plosive shell blew him to bits. Wyndham Lewis relates that they
were unable to find any remains. Richard Aldington used this event
as the basis for his first successful book, the novel Death of a
Hero ( 1929).
POUND'S LAST effort with group participation in the arts, before
he retreated to a position of individualism, was his association with
the Vorticists in London. Although some of the principles advanced
by this group had first been heard in the rooms of T. E. Hulme, its
key figures were Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and Gaudier-Brzeska.
Hulme was not a joiner, and he preferred to watch them from a
distance. A giant of a man, he once startled Wyndham Lewis by
holding him upside down over the railings of Soho Square in order
to emphasize a point. There were many quarrels and fierce rivalries
in the London Bohemia, and Hulme had Gaudier-Brzeska make a
brass knuckle-duster for him which he carried everywhere.
One of the characters prominently seen, and gawked at, during
this period was a Cheapside tout named Hixen, who sometimes
performed missions for the artists. He ran about the town like
a Western road runner. Hixen suffered from a pronounced stutter,
the result of his having been caught stealing from a church poor-
box when he was about six years old. The priest had painted such
a frightening picture of the torments of hell that the poor lad had
gone into shock, and stuttered ever afterwards.
Pound was boosting the work of his various "discoveries" in
every issue of The Egoist. These enthusiasms included Lewis,
Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, and James Joyce. His closest friend
during the Vorticist period was Wyndham Lewis.
THE FIRST WORLD WAR was a great psychic shock to a
Europe that had known many years of peace. The subsequent
blood-letting removed France and England from the scene as
world powers. As Pound has often pointed out, it also broke up a
process that had been continuously at work since the dissolution of
the Holy Roman Empire. A young, bewildered and pathetically
ill-prepared America emerged as the heir of Western civilization,
as so often happens after a regicide.
Pound also was deeply shocked by the war. Never again would
he be content to be merely an artist. In a brief autobiography pre-
fixed to the New Directions volume of Selected Poems ( 1949), he
stated that "In 1918 began investigation of causes of war, to
The English writers and artists, almost to a man, rushed into
the fray. Pound remained in London, for American sentiment,
we should remember, remained equally balanced between pro-
German and pro-British sympathies, until George Sylvester
Viereck's inept pro-German propaganda pushed the Americans
into the British camp.
Wyndham Lewis, seriously ill with septicemia, had to wait
nearly a year before he was sufficiently recovered to go off to
the slaughter. Ford enlisted, after a farewell party given for him
at South Lodge that ended badly.
ONE OF POUND'S most fruitful relationships was his work
with James Joyce. In this case, he did little or no editing, and
had few personal contacts with the writer. The connection con
sisted, essentially, of Pound's unflagging sponsorship of Joyce's work
over a period of ten years, 1914-24. It was during this period that
Joyce did his important work, and that his reputation was made.
In 1913, William Butler Yeats had called Pound's attention to
some poems by James Joyce as being worthy of inclusion in the Des
Imagistes anthology, which Pound was compiling. Pound liked the
work, and entered into correspondence with the poet. Soon after
ward, Joyce sent him the first chapters of Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man ( 1916). They were enthusiastically received, for
Pound at once realized that the contributor was a writer who was
trying to do a great deal; and in art, effort is half the battle.
Pound did not always accept Joyce's work as flawless in execution, particularly some parts of Ulysses ( 1922), and he balked at Finnegan's Wake ( 1939); but the mission had been accomplished. One of the most advanced, and most difficult, writers of the twentieth century had been launched.
In the January 15, 1914, issue of The Egoist, Pound devoted
his weekly book review column to citing Joyce's ten-year struggle
to get Dubliners ( 1916) printed. Joyce had found one publisher
willing to bring out the book, but he had backed out.
"THERE WAS never a day so gay for the Arts as any twenty-
four hours of the early 1920s in Paris," says Ford Madox Ford, in
the opening sentence of his charming book of memoirs, It Was
Because the Versailles Peace Conference was held there, Paris
became the symbol of man's hope that there would be no more
wars. From all over the world, people came to bask in the com
forting glow of the rays of peace sent out from the City of Light.
In this false light, a Renaissance of arts and letters took place.
After the Second World War, young writers and artists again
flocked to Paris, to live as their parents had done. Only one thing
was missing--talent. There were no Pounds, no Eliots, no Heming
ways among the shaggy creatures who disguised themselves in
secondhand GI clothing.
The cast of characters in the Bohemian drama " Paris--the
1920s" reads like a Who's Who of Eumerican arts. In addition to
Pound, Eliot, and Hemingway, there were James Joyce, Gertrude
Stein, Ford Madox Ford, Robert McAlmon, Peggy Guggenheim,
Caresse Crosby, and many other fine talents.
Ezra's departure from England was not abrupt. Robert Graves
recalls that he met Pound in Lawrence's rooms at that time. Graves
himself characterized post-World War I England as being sym
bolized by jazz and mad dogs.
IN THE 1920s one of the places of refuge from the great cities
of Europe was the charming seaside village of Rapallo, on the
Italian Riviera. Once Nietzsche had stalked its shores, and in 1923,
Ezra Pound arrived, to remove himself from the deadening influence
of the twentieth century's mass man.
Perhaps in the future, we shall come to think of Pound's successive
retreats as abnegations of the modern idea that everything
can be packaged and sold. It was packaged people, who wrapped
themselves in cellophane, who had gotten on his nerves, people
who pushed up to one, peering for a name tag, and asking, "What
group are you with?" It was this desire to turn life into a perpetual
convention of properly labelled "Unpeople", as Cummings would
call them, which galled the artist. And even more, Pound resented
being forced into a group that termed itself "Artists".
This development was one of the consequences of the abdication
of the aristocracy. For they did abdicate. Viereck tells the story
of Prince Rupert, after the Bavarians had pushed him off his
throne. They soon regretted having to rule themselves, and a delegation
came to him and asked him back. He replied, "Clean up
your own mess."
Ezra has written somewhere that it is the function of an aristocracy
to select. Until European civilization collapsed in the First
World War, the artist functioned with some aristocrat's seal of approval.
IN THE MIDST of one of the most destructive wars in the
history of mankind, Ezra Pound remained true to his calling.
While fifty million human beings were dying by violence, he went
down to Rome and read his poems over the international wireless.
And, as he had been doing all of his life, he interspersed his poetry
with blistering invective against politicians and usurers.
He was the only Bohemian of the Second World War. In a
world gone mad, he continued to cry out, "Stop it! Stop it!" He
has never raised his hand against another human being.
Pound was duly indicted for treason, but the chief complaint
against him seems to have been that he refused to take part in the
slaughter. While so many millions were dipping their hands in
blood, he asked only for peace.
His purpose was serious, although the result was disastrous for
him. The fury against Pound, which is still unabated in many quar
ters, stems from the fact that he refused to become a barbarian.
Almost alone of Western men, he has no blood on his conscience.
It was not a crime to remain a poet during the war, and, in its
essentials, this is what he did. The war was characterized by
the most brutal outrages against civilians ever recorded by civilized
man. Pound was past the age of military service; as an American
citizen residing abroad, he could have remained peacefully im
mobilized there throughout the war, as did his friend George.
THOSE INNOCENT of the intrigues of the literary world
might suppose that Ezra Pound's imprisonment, as well as his
alleged insanity, would influence his critics in his favor, but any
creative talent that has swum too near the piranha-like jaws of
the liberal book reviewer knows too well that such is not the
case. The parasite prefers that its host should not defend itself,
and the waters of the literary world are constantly boiling as the
body of some new writer is torn to pieces and the stripped
skeleton slowly sinks to the bottom.
Ezra Pound was one of the few talents of the twentieth century
who survived every attack of these creatures. These half
hearted talents have burrowed into the muscles of every literary
journal in the western world, in the approved manner of the
trichinosis worm, and from these vantage points they have steadily
sickened and paralyzed the healthy development of our literature.
It is too kind to explain their conduct by merely saying that
they had to project their sickness into their surroundings, and it
ignores the fact that the community has the right to protect itself
against any harmful influence, whether it be a rapist or a literary
critic who has allied himself with the forces of destruction. They
gained a certain strength through placing themselves in the hands
of the new Moloch, the monolithic power of the post-Rousseauian
FOR SOME forty years, Ezra Pound had been regarding the
antics of his critics with mild amusement. The furor over the
Bollingen award, which took his native land by surprise, was
nothing new to him. He continued to work in his dreary cell, his
only recreation the daily visits of his wife and his friends.
On summer afternoons, the Pounds created a little world of their
own as they looked down from their height upon the wedding cake
dome of the United States Capitol. Usually they sat near a giant
Japanese pine, but because of the ban on taking photographs, I
was never allowed to take a picture of Ezra standing beneath this
rugged tree, which was so much like him.
Whenever they emerged from the ward, carrying their chairs,
their string bags bulging with odd lots of food, books and letters
for the visitors, their pet blue jays always set up a great screeching,
wheeling above them as the chairs were arranged. Then the
squirrels would come skipping down from nearby trees for their
daily treat. Ezra would lure them up onto a bench with a peanut
tied to a string. He taught them to take the nut from between his
fingers, a practice that I considered reckless.
During these afternoons, Ezra's manner was that of a deservedly
popular professor at a small but highly-regarded school, who was
having some of his star students in for tea. His bonhomie was always
perfect for the occasion.
EZRA'S VISITORS were divided into two groups, those literati,
such as Huntingdon Cairns and other semi-official personages, who
came to visit him out of a sense of duty, and the young men who
realized instinctively, as there were no advertisements to that effect,
that they would find at the madhouse the consideration and instruction
(inspiration, if you will) that they needed.
One literary figure has bemoaned the fact that so many "immoral
rightwing beatniks" were numbered among Pound's regular
visitors. This impression has probably stemmed from the publicity
attendant upon the exploits of John Kasper and a few other reck
less young people who were attracted by the Bohemian legend of
Pound. He rarely turned away a young visitor. He liked expounding
his theories to the young, and the groves of St. Elizabeths became
an academy which may produce America's leader of the future,
although the thought is enough to cause a wave of suicides among
our liberal intellectuals.
Pound had no way of investigating the background or personal
habits of his visitors. On several occasions, I recall that he refused
to believe revelations about the characters of some of his circle. He
seemed to attribute these stories to the jealousy among the inti
mates, who maneuvered to get the positions closest to him, and
certainly such jealousy was evident.
IN 1955, Ezra Pound had already suffered ten years of imprisonment,
under conditions that would have crushed most men,
both physically and mentally. Rex Lampman says of St. Eliza
beths, "If you're not crazy when they bring you in here, you will
be nuts within three days."
I was frequently told that Pound did not deserve to be housed
in such comfort as he enjoyed at St. Elizabeths. The persons who
said this were those who had never gone out to see him, and who
had heard this observation from other people who had never gone
out to see him. The propaganda that Ezra occupied luxurious
quarters, where he could entertain guests and carry on his work,
made it difficult to interest influential people in his release.
Robert Hillyer wrote in The Saturday Review that Pound's com
fort "may with just indignation be contrasted to the crowded
wards in which are herded the soldiers who lost their minds de
fending America, which Pound hated and betrayed."1 Mr. Hillyer
is so accustomed to flinging about his fallacies--most of which,
I am sure, he himself believes--that he is probably impervious to
St. Elizabeths was begun as a veterans' hospital, and the ma
jority of its patients are veterans of our two world wars. Pound
was offered no comfort at the hospital that was not given to these
veterans, and during his incarceration in Howard Hall, he suffered
AS SOON AS the treason indictment had been dropped,
government officials stated that there was no longer any objection
to Pound's release from St. Elizabeths Hospital. This substantiated
what both his friends and enemies had said all along--that he
was not insane, and that he should either be tried or released.
Even a vindictive critic might have agreed that he could be
freed by 1950. Alger Hiss had served but three years and eight
months for lying about his activities as an espionage agent for
Soviet Russia, and five years would have been sufficient punish
ment for Pound's patriotic broadcasts, that is, for airing political
views in wartime. A predecessor of Pound in the continuing fight
for the Bill of Rights, Chief Justice Roger Taney, had resigned
from the Supreme Court in disgust after President Abraham
Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus during the Civil War.
Pound's case recalls another cause célèbre of the Civil War,
the strange story of Doctor Mudd. Like Pound, Doctor Mudd had
been confined in a grim fortress, shut away from his countrymen,
because of his involvement in a political matter. He was sent to
Fort Jefferson, Florida, a medieval type of fortress, which could
only be reached by boat from the mainland. In obedience to his
Hippocratic oath, he had tended the wounds of John Wilkes
Booth, although there is a strong likelihood that he was imprisoned
because he had learned too much about the strange circumstances
of Lincoln's death. End
Who was John Wilkes Booth?
Have a history teacher explain this----- if they can.
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.
Now it gets really weird.
Lincoln 's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.
Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
John Wilkes Booth, who 'assassinated Lincoln', was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who 'assassinated Kennedy', was born in 1939.
Both 'assassins' were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Now hang on to your seat.
Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford.'
Kennedy was shot in a car called ' Lincoln' made by 'Ford.'
Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse. Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.
Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
And here's the kicker...
A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.
Creepy huh? But it is 100% true. Send this to as many people as you can, cause: Hey, this is one history lesson people don't mind reading