Monday, February 16, 2009

1916: "A Pact" by Ezra Pound

A Pact

I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman—
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown child
Who has had a pig-headed father;
I am old enough now to make friends.
It was you that broke the new wood,
Now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root—
Let there be commerce between us.

The Author: Ezra Pound

It’s hard to overcalculate the influence of poet Ezra Pound during the early decades of the 20th century. With roots in Idaho and Pennsylvania, he spent most of his adult life in Europe, writing poetry (much of it experimental), developing poetic theory (including situating himself and his Imagist school in relation to earlier influential poets as seen in this poem), and nurturing the careers of young poets. In later life, his political choices threatened to overshadow his poetic legacy, though many consider his long poem The Cantos, written over 50 years, to contain brilliant examples of his work.

--Trisha Yarbrough

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