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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Pawel Karwowski <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 13:14:32 -0000
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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On 98-07-21, at 02:19, Jonathan Morse wrote:
 >Sursum corda, Pawel, and consider the case of eighteenth-century English  poetry: a body of verse dominated from beginning (the death of Dryden in >1700) to end (the publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge's _Lyrical  Ballads_) by the overwhelming influence of a single great writer  Alexander  Pope. Pope himself died in 1744, but his influence on language was so  pervasive (even now, he's the second-most-quoted English poet after  Shakespeare) that for the next half-century the poets could hardly write  unless they submitted themselves to his genre model. Result: not  surprisingly, most English poetry in the second half of the century is  simply an inferior imitation of Pope. Yes, that reminds me of the second  half of the twentieth century.But then Wordsworth and Coleridge came along, demonstrated that poetry was  ready again for change, and thereby brought closure at last to the Age of  Pope. And in what year did they publish _Lyrical Ballads_? Be of good  cheer  and invest in a rhyming dictionary; the an
swer is 1798. If that history is  a guide, the Pound Era too may be about to come to its end. Let's honor it  as it passes, but let's let it pass as it must.
Mr  Morse
I  entirely  agree  with  you  ,but  anyway  I  would  like  to  point  on  certain  elements  of  E. P.  writing  which  are  according  to  my  opinion  - still  actual  . Those  are  :
 >1 .  The  ideographical  method  / resembling  quick  movie  with  all
the  time  changing  pictures ,but  anyway  with  relations  between  them  strictly   organized  / I  disaree   with   opinions  that  they  are   "chaotical"  /
>2 .  The  "incomparable  Pound's   ear"  ,which    first  of  all  means  a phenomenal  sense  of  rhytm  and  music,  taken  from  Provance and   perfectly   developed .
/I  think  that XXI cent . poetry  simply  must  to  go  into  that  direction . Michel  Butor    words   he  has  written  40  years ago   are  surprisingly   still  valid /.
3 .  Genial  method  of  formulating  questions  -  I  dont  know  any   other  poet ,  who  sets  questions  like  Pound  -  that  is  -  questions to  "something"   E.P.  has  in  mind  ,but  God  knows  what  is  it  and  how  to  conect  this "something"   with  maine  subject .         Additionally   it  doesn't   disturb  my   possibilyty  of the comprehention
/ abstractive  comprehention/ of the  text.
As  long  as  I  will  not  find  a  poet  who  sets  questions  better  than  E. P.  so  long  I  will  not  believe  in  the  end  of "Pound  Era".
>4 .  Pound  was  equally  poet  of  the  West  and  the  East  .  He  tried to  balance    in  himself  the  rational  mind  of  western  people  and
" irrationalism  &  spirituality"   of  the  East .  Even  not  as   much  excited  about  E.P.  writing  H. Carpenter  wrote   in  his  biography  something    like  " certain  passages  of  Pisan ...  give  to  the  reader a  sort  of  "enghlitenment"  / I  forget   on  which  page / . In  my  opinion  Pound  understood  that  the  whole    Western  Cyvilization   has strong  limits  and  those  limits  are   generally  conected  with         "a  broken  symmetry  of  reactions  on  events " . Typical  Westerner  uses only  his  own   rational  mind  and  doesn't  pay  attention  on  the  rest of  the  spectrum .
>5 .  Looking  from  distance  I  have  to  agree  with  Ch.  Booth   opinion  that  O'Hara , Ashberry ,   Schulyer  and  other  writers  are  inferior  to  Pound .  There  is  not  as  much  "relations  between  relations "  which  Pound  has  found  so  many  and  if   ever  some  E.P. passages  are  presently  "old  fashioned "  there  is  still  a lot  of   actual  . Pound  crosses  the  boundry   of  XXI  century  practically  / and  almost /  alone  .I  think  that  his  writing  can  be  compared  to  Homer's   writing   which  was  actual  for  a  couple  of  hundred  of   years  after his  death .
                                              Pawel  Karwowski                                                                                                                                        Cracow 25.07.98
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