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I hope this gets through.
I describe Pound as my favorite and least favortie poet.
Nonetheless, I am a Poundian, both intellectually and emotionally and
poetically, for all our disagreements and agreements.
Sorry about all the contradictions (do I dontradict myself?  Very well,
I contradict myself.  I am large.  I contain multitudes.  Hey, come one,
everyone likes at least one Whitman line. . .)
I first got into Pound while taking a Yeats and Eliot class my junior
year of high school.  I was also, as I am now, listening to a lot of Bob
Dylan music (and had gone through never to return the Beatnik Ginsberg
phase), and the line in Desolation Row "Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
fighting in the captain's tower" really intrigued me.
No, I don't look up all the references in Dylan songs, just as I don't
look up all the references in Pound's songs.
I was also just beginning to study Chinese, with Daoism as my great
inspiration there.  And the first thing I read of his was the Kung
Canto, XIII.
The common interest with disagreements drew me to his poetry, and when I
read Hugh Selwyn Mauberley I was in love.  It took me a long time to
recognize the emotion in Pound in addition to the intellect, but when I
did I realized even more why I read and re-read his poems.
No, I still haven't read the Cantos fully, I must admit, but I love most
of what I've read.  I also love his poetic theories--ABC of Reading is
one of my bibles.
I also hate a lot of the Cantos.  Being a Daoist of Jewish descent, how
could I really love his hatred of Taozers and his rails against the
But you love in spite of, not because of.
And we all know that if it weren't for EP, there would be no 20th
century poetry in any form we know it.
Also, as for this whole Ezra in the classroom thing, I know I'm not
smart enough to teach Pound and I'm not dumb enough to try.  I think a
lot of professors feel this way (no, I'm not a professor, just an
undergraduate, but I can't forsee ever teaching a class on Pound as
Pound).  Just like for all the wonderful things I've heard of Finnegans
Wake, I know nowhere where it's introduced to the general student.  the
emotions may be the most important and enduring of any great literary
work, but the intellect involved opens only a narrow mail-slot that most
packages can't fit through, either not intellectual enough to be taught
or too much for the professors to teach.  Neither pound nor ferlinghetti
are taught, notice.
politics notwithstanding.
Lucas Klein
[log in to unmask]
Say it!  No ideas but in things.  Mr.
Paterson has gone away
to rest and write.  Inside the bus one sees
his thoughts sitting and standing.  His
thoughts alight and scatter
                      William Carlos Williams