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Sender: Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 21:18:54 -0600
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From: "John K. Taber" <[log in to unmask]>
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laura and jeff wrote:
> how did everyone become interested in pound?
> myself:
> my love of poetry eventually (and i'd think quite naturally) led me to him
> at a young age (as i have already refered to).
> just interested.
> jeff.
Josephine Miles at Berkeley introduced me to Pound in her Lyric
Poetry class about 1963. I was intrigued with _Homage to Sextus
Propertius_, especially the political element.
I found the _Cantos_ baffling, and put them off till my old age,
when I promised myself to undertake the _Cantos_, the Mahabharata,
and to try to solve the second Zodiac cipher. I'm an aging
computer programmer getting ready to retire.
The Companion is indispensable for me, and I can only marvel at
you guys who are at home with the Cantos without it.
I belong to a small group of poetry readers. We meet regularly
and practice reading the repertoire. Our own stuff is forbidden.
The idea is to learn how to read a poem, and how to perform it
out loud.
The group's reaction to Pound was interesting. I thought it best
to introduce the _Cantos_ with XLVI because it is a sort of
summing up. It sounded familiar because it sounded like our
fathers or uncles ranting about current events. That was the
group's assessment. The discussion was lively. I also provided
handouts on the money system, the Feds, and banking that I culled
from the saner posters to sci.econ.
This was not the case for Canto II which I tried next. The
allusions to Bacchus and Ovid were too much for the group's
immediate appreciation. I had read Ovid in Berkeley long ago
so the story was not so strange to me. There was no animated
discussion afterwards. And I had picked Canto II on purpose
for not being so difficult!