Saturday, December 17, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 43.3 (Ezra Pound)

Literary Essays of Ezra Pound
Pound, Ezra
Literary Essays of Ezra Pound

Purchased at the Fordham University Bookstore.

This book was used in the aforementioned course in Modernist Poetry I took as an undergraduate. My memory is a little clearer now of how Pound was taught. As I recall, we read a couple of brief poems from his Selected Poems, which I no longer own, and then utilized his essays as a way to read both his poems and the poems of the other modernists. Yes, that's it. Pound was posited as an important theorist, and someone good at discovering talent (Eliot, Hemingway, et al), but his poems were considered too difficult to bother with.

On the cover page is a list of words. My guess is that they are words I intended to look up. I used to make lists of all the words I did not understand and then look them up after I'd finished reading. If I could not understand what came after, I would look them up immediately. Otherwise, I'd make a list somewhere in the book or the notebook I was using at the time, like this one:

Simian
Uxorious
Ambergris
Crocus
Scur
Pinion
Twain
Weal

I must have written the definitions down elsewhere. The only word I can't say I remember the definition to is "scur." According to my dictionary app, it means "A distorted horn, regrown after the disbudding operation of a goat, sheep, or cow." Hmm.


I also marked the essays we were assigned for the course: "The Tradition," "Troubadours–Their Sorts and Conditions," "The Later Yeats," "Dr. Williams' Position," & "T.S. Eliot." Which reminds me that we did also read Yeats in our modernism class. That always struck me as an odd choice, given that his writing always seemed more like a final flowering of Victorianism than the initial stirrings of the modern.


But what do I know.


from
The Literary Essays of Ezra Pound

from 
A Retrospect

I begin on the chord thus querulous, for I would much rather lie on what is left of Catullus' parlour floor and speculate the azure beneath it and the hills off Salo and Riva with their forgotten gods moving unhindered amongst them, than discuss any processes and theories of art whatsoever. I would rather play tennis.

1 comment:

Mr. Edwards said...

he did have a good sense of humor (sometimes) in a sardonic kind of way

i will steal "scur"

",,,Mauberley" w/out which would have been no "Wasteland"\

Bukowski, re: E.P. "a dull craftsman"

yes- you're right on about Victorian that's in "Mauberley"

the guy tells him to give up the Pre-Raphaelite bit because there's no $ in it

good post