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Everett Lee Lady <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Sep 1999 10:14:07 -1000
text/plain (46 lines)
>Date:  Thu, 16 Sep 1999 09:20:14 -1000
>From:  Jonathan Morse <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Visitors and fish
>Lee was there and I wasn't, but I don't think it can be correct that Pound
>was simply at home to anybody who felt like dropping in. Evidence to the
>contrary can be found on Jonathan Williams' Website,
Correct.  A new visitor could definitely not just drop in.  The standard
procedure was to write a letter to St. Elizabeth's asking for permission
to visit Pound.  The hospital then checked with Pound, who would make the
decision.  If Pound approved ths request, one's name was added to the
file of permitted visitors, until such time as Pound decided that one
was no longer welcome.  On each visit, a visitor was supposed to check
in with the hospital office upon arrival.  I got a little lax about
this after a while, and Pound asked me to please comply with standard
I had a friend who knew T. David Horton and who had visited a number of
times.  This was undoubtedly the reason why I got approval for the first
visit.  I had never heard of Ezra Pound up till then and was not
especially interested in poetry.  But my friend Erik made it sound like
visiting him would be an interesting experience.
My first visit was sometime during the winter, because Pound was
receiving inside, in an alcove of the Chestnut Ward.  There were about
twenty people visiting that first time, which I would later learn was an
unusually large crowd.  Pound was in top form, talking continuously with
nobody else saying much of anything.  I didn't understand a word he said,
so I just sat there and listened and looked around at the scene.
Among the visitors was a somewhat large youthful male with a large boil
on his forehead and an expression on his face that I found rather
disturbing.  I wondered whether this might be a fellow inmate.  For all I
knew, it might be possible that other inmates sometimes attended Pound's
lectures.  Later I would learn that this was John Chatel, who was
certainly not crazy, but often seemed a bit of a fool.
I was later told that the reason I was invited back after that first time
was that I had sat quietly and not tried to interrupt with comments or
--Lee Lady