Lecture 9 - Ezra Pound

author: Langdon Hammer, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: July 1, 2010,   recorded: February 2007,   views: 18671
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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The lecture introduces the poetry of Ezra Pound. Tensions in Pound's personality and career are considered, particularly in terms of his relationships with other poets and his fascism and anti-capitalism. The poem "The Seafarer" is examined as a quintessentially Poundian project in its treatment and translation of poetic forms. The first Canto of his epic project, The Cantos, is analyzed as a meditation on the process of expressing and engaging with history and literary tradition.

Reading assignment:

Ezra Pound: "A Pact," "The Rest," "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," Canto I-II, "Sestina: Altaforte," "The Seafarer"


Handout 7: Ezra Pound [PDF]
Paper 1: Topics and Preparation [PDF]

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Jon G., October 17, 2010 at 3:45 a.m.:

The paradox at the beginning of the lecture - Pound as strong, heroic personality, and Pound's receptive and porous aesthetics - condenses the tensions in Pound's career. The paradigm Prof. Hammer sets up is useful for me as I study for my Ph.D. comprehensive exams and would, I imagine, be useful for others in the same capacity.

The hand gestures combined with readings are also helpful for Pound in particular, given the flat tone of many of his poems on the page. They require a lively and active reader, such as the one modeled here.

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