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Ezra Pound

Poet and critic Ezra Weston Loomis Pound ( bn. Hailey, Idaho October 30, 1885 - November 1, 1972) was, along with T. S. Eliot, one of the major figures of the modernist movement in early 20th century poetry. He was the driving force behind several sub-movements within modernism, most notably Imagism and Vorticism.

He taught at Wabash College for two years, and afterward he travelled to Spain, and London, England where, under the employment of scholar Ernest Fenellosa[?], he became fascinated with Chinese and Japanese poetry. He married Dorothy Shakespear[?] in 1914. In 1924, he moved to Italy.

He lived in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France for a time during the gathering of great artists. Frequently, Pound could be seen at the café Le Dome, playing chess on the terrace with Ford Madox Ford.

He is noted as the editor of Eliot's The Waste Land, which he pared down to become the major poem that it is today.

Pound was an American citizen, but during World War II he lived in Italy and supported the Fascist regime of Mussolini there, broadcasting anti-American propaganda. After the war, he was incarcerated outdoors in an open cage in Pisa for six months, then transferred to the US where he was tried for treason, found insane and subsequently imprisoned in a mental institution in Washington, D.C. (St. Elizabeth's Hospital) for 12 years.

Distinguished and recognized writers, in spite of Pound's politics, awarded him the Bollingen-Library of Congress Award for the Pisan Cantos[?]. (February 19, 1949) Repeated appeals from writers earned him release from the hospital in 1958, and he returned to Italy, settling in Venice, where he was to complete his life.

He was a polyglot - adept at learning languages, and became proficient in Spanish, ancient Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Provençal, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Anglo-Saxon and ancient Egyptian. His works frequently featured untranslated passages in some of these languages.

Major works include the Cantos[?]. Probably his most famous work is the haiku-like "In a Station of the Metro[?]."



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