Ezra Pound Additional Biography

Biography

(Poets and Poetry in America)

It seems appropriate that Ezra Loomis Pound should have been born on the frontier (in Hailey, Idaho, in 1885) and then moved to Philadelphia at the age of two, to be reared in the suburb of Wyncote until his education at the University of Pennsylvania Hamilton College (Ph.B. 1905, and M.A. 1906). Pound, though always presenting himself as the ultimate American, kept moving east, in search of culture, in a voyage that would lead him to England, then to France, finally to Italy, and in spirit all the way to China.

After his education in romance languages and philology—what today would be called comparative literature—he took a teaching position at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Given his scholarly bent, he might easily have become a teacher and a scholar, but a scandal involving Pound’s offering a night’s hospitality to a destitute woman ended his career at Wabash and, as it was to turn out, his academic career as well.

He left for Venice in 1908, published his first book of poems there, A Lume Spento, and then went to London, where he was to spend the next twelve years remaking literature. Tiring of London after World War I, he moved to Paris in 1921; in 1924 he moved again, to the lovely Italian seaside town of Rapallo. In his twenty years of residence there, he became increasingly enamored of the policies of Italy’s fascist ruler, Benito Mussolini. When war broke out between Italy and the United States in 1941,...

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Biography

(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Ezra Loomis Pound is a controversial poet, the lasting stature of whose poetry is greatly argued but whose importance as one of the central figures in the shaping of twentieth century literature is not. Pound was born on October 30, 1885, in Hailey, Idaho. His family moved eighteen months later to Pennsylvania, eventually settling in a suburb of Philadelphia. His first taste of Europe, where he would spend the majority of his life, came in 1898, when he traveled there for three months with his great-aunt.

Early in life, Pound declared his intention to learn all there was to know about the art of poetry. After studying at Hamilton College in upstate New York and at the University of Pennsylvania, Pound resigned a teaching job in 1907 to travel to Italy and seek his literary fortune. While living in Venice, he published at his own expense his first book of poetry, A Lume Spento. Armed with copies of the book for introduction, Pound headed for London, at that time the most vital center of literary activity in the English-speaking world. He especially wanted to meet the Irish poet William Butler Yeats; soon he was meeting regularly not only with Yeats but also with many other leading writers of the time. A brash American given to bohemian dress and loud declarations, Pound became a leading figure in the avant-garde attempt to revolutionize modern art and literature.

In 1912 Pound spearheaded the Imagist movement, the most visible product of a widespread attempt to rid modern poetry in English of embellishment and conventionalism. Although he edited the first anthology of Imagist poetry in 1914, he had already moved on by that time to involvement in vorticism, an art and literary movement in London that constituted England’s most important early contribution to the modern revolution in art. During this period, Pound was helping to change the common perception of literature through dozens of articles, promoting the work of innovators such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost, the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis, and the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, editing the important papers of Ernest Fenollosa, and all the while writing and translating poetry. In countless ways, Pound worked tirelessly and sacrificially on behalf of what he regarded as genuine art; many of the then-unknown writers whose work he...

(The entire section is 957 words.)

Biography

(Poetry for Students)

Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, in 1885, and raised in Philadelphia, the son of Homer Loomis Pound and Isabel Weston Pound. He made his...

(The entire section is 331 words.)

Biography

(Poetry for Students)

Ezra Pound was born October 30, 1885, in Hailey, Idaho. When he was two years old, his parents moved to Wyncote, a suburb of Philadelphia,...

(The entire section is 927 words.)

Biography

(Epics for Students)

One of the most significant literary figures of the twentieth century, Ezra Loomis Pound was born in Idaho in 1885. His family soon moved to...

(The entire section is 461 words.)