I have always really liked his poems, which indicates to me that he has a kind of entry-level appeal. Most people who don't read poetry like Pound as far as poetry goes.
But he does piss me off with his overly academic themes and allusions (but then again TS Eliot annoys me for the same reason).
For some reason Bloom and Nabakov seemed to think he was shit, but this hasn't ever stopped me from enjoying his poems.
He's also a very good reader of poems: there are some recordings of him reading his poems on Youtube and they're a ton of fun; I think he took the whole Troubador oral performance roots of the craft seriously and intended to revive it.
>>7620597 In my opinion, he's one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. More objectively speaking, he was profoundly influential on the modernist movement. I mean, if it weren't for him, Ulysses wouldn't exist. Aside from the whole jews are evil thing, he was purportedly the best friend you could have.
>>7621375 >>7621400 alright, this brings me to a point. having studied The Waste Land, and started a properly annotated reading of Ulysses, and now reading this about Pound, i have to ask it here before i make an idiot of myself in class tuesday: modernism is always associated with rich allusiveness, but is it at all possible that the modernists are being ironists when they drench their works in allusions? or maybe, more sinister, an active attempt to exhaust the prior western canon, to allude to everything there is worth alluding to, so as to clear the way for a postmodernism free of such pretension?
As for Ulysses, for example: the allusions show (this is a superficial reasoning for it but it's not wrong bear in mind) the character's attachment to the world around them, and the world around them consists of their culture's legends, literature, poetry, history, etc. It's not that it's an allegory for the Odyssey, it's that the Odyssey is part of the tradition of the characters' culture, and thus they are propagated to fit into the legend.
I have a deep respect for the man. One of the most important persons for modern literature.
His early poems (his own selection in Personae is the best of them I believe) are great, but The Cantos are the real shit. I love them and consider them a huge influence on myself. I mean, there's everything. And even though I love it, I don't believe I will ever understand them (fully, or at least from 50 %). One has to be supersmart, has tonnes of knowledge and secondary literature, know at least basics of used languages and so on. But even without these things, you can be enjoying it as pure poetry, because that's what it is.
Absolutely marvellous vortex of places, time periods, persons, historical events, ideas and voices from all over the world. Just look at this (From Canto XVI):
Dey vus a bolcheviki dere, und dey dease him: Looka vat youah Trotzsk is done, e iss madeh deh zhamefull beace!! “He iss madeh de zhamefull beace, iss he? “He is madeh de zhamevull beace? “A Brest-Litovsk, yess? Aint yuh herd? “He vinneh de vore. “De droobs iss released vrom de eastern vront, yess? “Un venn dey getts to deh vestern vront, iss it “How many getts dere? “And dose doat getts dere iss so full off revolutions “Venn deh vrench is come dhru, yess, “Dey say, “Vot?” Un de posch say: “Aint yeh heard? Say, ve got a rheffolution.”
That’s the trick with a crowd, Get ‘em into the street and get ‘em moving. And all the time, there were people going Down there, over the river.
There was a man there talking, To a thousand, just a short speech, and Then move ‘em on. And he said: Yes, these people, they are all right, they Can do everything, everything except act; And go an’ hear ‘em but when they are through Come to the bolsheviki…
And that's not all, Pound's language is pure, crystalline, no useless words (look at the Canto XLIX):
For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses: Rain; empty river; a voyage, Fire from frozen cloud, heavy rain in the twilight Under the cabin roof was one lantern. The reeds are heavy; bent; and the bamboos speak as if weeping.
Autumn moon; hills rise about lakes against sunset Evening is like a curtain of cloud, a blurr above ripples; and through it sharp long spikes of the cinnamon, a cold tune amid reeds. Behind hill the monk's bell borne on the wind. Sail passed here in April; may return in October Boat fades in silver; slowly; Sun blaze alone on the river.
And he was a inspiration for another great poets and poems, Patterson by Williams, Maximus poems by Olson and "A" by Zukofsky (This is the thing I'd love to read, but I fear it's far too complex and that it would go way above my head).
Is it because of double 't' in Paterson, or because of labeling those things as great, or because of mentioned influence?
I read small parts of Paterson (only first book) and The Maximus and I liked it, I haven't seen them as whole. Haven't ever touched Zukofsky, but from what I've read about him and about his work and I thought I'd like that (and Pound himself, if I'm not mistaken, dedicated his Guide to Kulchur to Zukofsky and Bunting; and Briggflatts is amazing piece of work).
If you think those poets/poems are bad, why is that? I'm just curious.
smug narcissist who wrote second-rate verse, some of it good.
poseur and dandy of the worst variety. terribly shallow. horrible as a philosopher and his prose is unreadable.
But, again, some of his poetry is good.
His translations are not translations so much as original poems, which is usually said to his credit—that he was highly original and creative, etc. Which is at least partially true. It is also plausible that he was a poor translator with a tendency to produce unorthodox and idiosyncratic readings, often losing the tone or purpose of the original text. I think it was a mix of both.
>>7624242 >If you think those poets/poems are bad, why is that? I'm just curious.
Well, with William Carlos Williams, even if I WERE to concede his other poems (Spring and All and later) as GOOD rather than just "important", I just couldn't get myself to do it for Paterson. The First Book of Paterson, which you read, has a few points of interest, and sets the whole "poem" up for being an interesting carry on of Pound's Cantos, or Joyce's Ulysses (more of this latter one), except in Paterson NJ (I think it's NJ).
The problem is that it's extremely self-indulgent even in book 1, and after book 1 after the novelty of the newspaper clippings and disjointed narration go away, and the bland philosophical platitudes "Say it, No ideas but in things!" it's all the same as book 1 except more disjointed and lacking the narrative of the first book. At this point Williams just starts throwing in snippets of speech he heard at parks, things from letters sent to him, etc. It's just a huge failure as a piece of literature, it's a bad ripoff of Ulysses, and as poetry it's awful.
Charles Olson had very little to say and just decided to say it in formally new ways. Except his ways aren't new at all, they're just the logical progression from Williams' and Pound's and Emerson's later ideas on poetics. Maximus Poems isn't even worth parsing, there's nothing poetic there. It's a bland experiment that isn't experimental.
> Bunting; and Briggflatts is amazing piece of work
I've only read a few snippets of Briggflatts because I'm still looking for a copy. I have nothing at all against Bunting though. never have. Pretty decent minor poet.
"A" by Zukovsky has its moments but I'll say that other than the semi-famous little verse of Marx's Capital in the metrical scheme of a Cavalcanti verse, and the first few sections, it just becomes muddled like Williams' Paterson. I'm not sure it's worth reading cover to cover. I'm not sure it's worth reading much at all.
I've never been one impressed by mere "formal experimentation". All of the greatest poets were formal experimenters, but we forget that as we go on because they were even better as, well, poets. WH Auden was a master of form, but he's not remembered for it. Keats wrote in vastly new verse styles for the time, and while they look Victorian now, they were breathtakingly original. We remember him for the content of his poems, though.
We don't remember Williams for the content of his poems. Nobody could ever recite a few lines of Olson they liked, because he doesn't have any good lines. Zukovsky isn't too far.
But I can certainly recite hundreds of lines of Pound and he was an "innovator". Problem was that he was actually a good poet, too.
If you were a writer in the early 20th century he was the best friend you could have. He would help his friends get published, defend them when attacked, help them financially, help them move and meet important people. Without him people like Joyce, Eliot, frost, Hemingway, and H.D. might not have been as successful as they were. Some might not have even been recognized or published. He was the most important person for the modernist movement. His writing is good but not as important as as the people he helped imo.
probably a few entire poems from Ripostes. some of hugh selwyn mauberley, which admittedly is too catchy not to go immediately to the memory banks. Some of the cantos, mostly in snippets of lines. a few meme poems like River Merchant's Wife. Cino is another poem that went immediately to the memorization banks.
He's not my favorite poet by a long shot but he's written some of my favorite poems.
>>7624268 Ah, thanks for explaining. My problem is that I have never read much of the those poets. And I was writing it under impression of what has been written about them. And, there's something that makes me interested in this 'objectivist poetry' idea (btw, have you read Charles Reznikoff?) - but I probably like it more like a theoretical concept, and to think about it rather than read it. (Bolaño wrote pretty harshly about Olsen in Nazi Literature...)
>semi-famous little verse of Marx's Capital in the metrical scheme of a Cavalcanti verse
That's the exact thing that made me interested in it. And reason why I though he will be great.
Nevermind, I'll probably stay with The Cantos, because I feel I can find there everything. Even though I can't completely get a grip when he's writing about Medici bank or Cantos XXXI–XLI (those about America). But that's probably just because I don't have that much knowledge about those things.
>>7620597 I don't know if he was good or not, but I'm sure most of the "overrated" chant comes from the fact he was anti-Jewish. Your legacy is never going to be great when you attack the people who own all of the media in this country, including publishing. It's better to just shut your mouth and accept things sometimes. I mean, really, who cares how much power they have? It's not like he could do anything about it. He really needed to learn some common decency and accept reality as it is.
personally I really enjoy him. Working up the reading bank to tackle the cantos, maybe a few more years. I really love this poem which isn't one of his most well- known:
The Tomb At Akr Çaar
‘I am thy soul, Nikoptis. I have watched These five millennia, and thy dead eyes Moved not, nor ever answer my desire, And thy light limbs, wherethrough I leapt aflame, Burn not with me nor any saffron thing.
See, the light grass sprang up to pillow thee, And kissed thee with a myriad grassy tongues; But not thou me. I have read out the gold upon the wall, And wearied out my thought upon the signs. And there is no new thing in all this place.
I have been kind. See, I have left the jars sealed, Lest thou shouldst wake and whimper for thy wine. And all thy robes I have kept smooth on thee.
O thou unmindful ! How should I forget! -Even the river many days ago, The river? thou wast over young. And three souls came upon Thee- And I came. And I flowed in upon thee, beat them off; 1 have been intimate with thee, known thy ways. Have I not touched thy palms and finger-tips, Flowed in, and through thee and about thy heels? How 'came I in'? Was I not thee and Thee?
And no sun comes to rest me in this place, And I am torn against the jagged dark, And no light beats upon me, and you say No word, day after day.
Oh! I could get me out, despite the marks And all their crafty work upon the door, Out through the glass-green fields. . . .
>>7625400 I also really enjoy these photographs by Richard Avedon of Pound, they really illustrate the myth of the 'mad street-corner poet/seer' that I think Pound was known for, like beginning his Cantos on a roll of toilet paper while held in a small cage by the American army in Pisa
>>7621111 This sums up my thoughts quite well. I think plebs (like myself) will always gravitate towards Imagism when presented with a variety of poetic styles/movements, probably because of its relative clarity.
>>7625283 >Your legacy is never going to be great when you attack the people who own all of the media in this country, including publishing. It's better to just shut your mouth and accept things sometimes. I mean, really, who cares how much power they have? It's not like he could do anything about it. He really needed to learn some common decency and accept reality as it is.
C'mon m8. He had his ideas and wanted to do something. Read his Cantos about Usura a you will see.
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