American Expatriate Poet and Critic
Ezra Pound, fully Ezra Weston Loomis Pound
American Expatriate Poet and Critic
Anyone who is too lazy to master the comparatively small glossary necessary to understand Chaucer deserves to be shut out from the reading of good books forever.
Good art however "immoral" is wholly a thing of virtue. ... Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
I should consent to breed under pressure, if I were convinced in any way of the reasonableness of reproducing the species. But my nerves and the nerves of any woman I could live with three months, would produce only a victim... lacking in impulse, a mere bundle of discriminations. If I were wealthy I might subsidize a stud of young peasants, or a tribal group in Tahiti.
It would be about as easy for an American to become a Chinaman or a Hindoo as for him to acquire an Englishness or a Frenchness or a European-ness that is more than half skin deep.
No teacher has ever failed from ignorance. That is empiric professional knowledge. Teachers fail because they cannot `handle the class.' Real education must ultimately be limited to men how INSIST on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.
Small talk comes from small bones.
The individual cannot think and communicate his thought, the governor and legislator cannot act effectively or frame his laws without words, and the solidity and validity of these words is in the care of the damned and despised litterati...when their very medium, the very essence of their work, the application of word to thing goes rotten, i.e. becomes slushy and inexact, or excessive or bloated, the whole machinery of social and of individual thought and order goes to pot.
There are few things more difficult than to appraise the work of a man suddenly dead in his youth; to disentangle ''promise'' from achievement; to save him from that sentimentalizing which confuses the tragedy of the interruption with the merit of the work actually performed.
What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross. What thou lovÂ’st well shall not be reft from thee? What thou lovÂ’st well is thy true heritage.
Artists are the antennae of the race but the bullet-headed many will never learn to trust their great artists.
Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. It doesn't matter whether the good writer wants to be useful, or whether the good writer wants to be harm.
L'art: Green arsenic smeared on an egg-white cloth, crushed strawberries! Come, let us feast our eyes.
No verse is libre for the man who wants to do a good job.
Somebody said that I am the last American living the tragedy of Europe.
The intellect is a very nice whirligig toy, but how people take it seriously is more than I can understand.
There is natural ignorance and there is artificial ignorance. I should say at the present moment the artificial ignorance is about eighty-five per cent.
When I carefully consider the curious habits of dogs I am compelled to conclude that man is the superior animal. When I consider the curious habits of man I confess, my friend, I am puzzled.
As a bathtub lined with white porcelain, when the hot water gives out or goes tepid, so is the slow cooling of our chivalrous passion, o my much praised but-not-altogether-satisfactory lady.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.
If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.
Literature does not exist in a vacuum. Writers as such have a definite social function exactly proportional to their ability as writers. This is their main use.
Nothing matter but the quality of the affectionÂ—in the endÂ—that has carved the trace in the mind dove sta memoria.
Song in the Manner of Housman: O woe, woe, people are born and die, we also shall be dead pretty soon therefore let us act as if we were dead already. The bird sits on the hawthorn tree but he dies also, presently. Some lads get hung, and some get shot. Woeful is this human lot. Woe! woe, etcetera... London is a woeful place, Shropshire is much pleasanter. Then let us smile a little space upon fond nature's morbid grace. Oh, Woe, woe, woe, etcetera...