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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Ezra Pound Developing Ideas - 1057 words
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Ezra Pound's Developing Ideas Often called 'the poet's poet,' because of his profound influence on 20th century writing in English, American poet and critic, Pound, believed that poetry was the highest of the arts. You never would have believed that a writer and optimist such as Ezra Pound would have been born in Hailey, Idaho in 1885. From the sound of his work you'd thing he was definitely one of those European Imagist. In 1908, after teaching college for two years, Pound traveled abroad to Spain, Italy, and London. He followed the teachings of Ernest Fenellosa and became very intrigued by Japanese and Chinese poetry. The literary figure who has had the most substantial impact on modern thought is without a doubt Ezra Loomis Pound.
In The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (1988), he is described in the following manner: 'The most extraordinary career in modern poetry has unchallengingly been that of Ezra Pound. It was he more than anyone who made poets write modern verse, editors publish it, and readers read it' (374) One poem that stood out for me was Pound's work 'A Virginal.' Composed in 1912, this is a great example of Pound's skillful and early developing sonnets. It is very catching how Pound opens the sonnet with great emotion, 'No, no speaking in pretense of a lover discarding a lady. In the concluding sestet Pound returns to the original two stressed syllable, 'No, no,' a dismissal of his discarded love, and the beginning of his reason for abandoning the attraction of traditional verse. 'No, no! Go from me
I have left her lately. I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness, For my surrounding air hath a new lightness; Slight are her arms, yet they have bound me straightly And left me cloaked as with a gauze of aether; As with sweet leaves; as with subtle clearness. Oh, I have picked up magic in her nearness To sheathe me half in half the things that sheathe her. No, no! Go from me. I have still the flavour, Soft as spring wind that's come from birchen bowers.
Green come the shoots, aye April in the branches, As winter's wound with her sleight hand she staunches, Hath of the trees a likeness of the savour: As white as their bark, so white this lady's hours.'Intent on experimentation, he prefers the green shoots that shows a new thrust through earth's crust. It's also interesting how he alliterates the past as a "winter wound" and looking ahead to April's 'white-barked trees,' using the color white as symble of an developing purity. "A Virginal," seems to have expressed Pound's exasperation with the predictable American artistry and with poets who refused to let go of the past. The poems of Lustra (1916) reflect the range of Pound's intellectual interests, the variety of his technical experiments, and the extent of his artistic achievement in his London years. Such as 'In a Station of the Metro.' 'The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.'For Pound as for other modernists, the First World War marked a turn away from the aestheticism of his early years toward what he would call "the poem including history." Having laid to rest the aesthete figure of his early period in "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," which was published in 1920, Pound departed for Europe and turned his main energies into writing his epic Cantos.
Under the influence of C. H. Douglas's ideas on Social Credit and, after 1924, the politics of Mussolini in Italy, Pound came to attribute the waste of the war and the depression of the modern world to the taking over of bankers and defense manufacturers, usury, and Jews. Insisting on the relationship between good government, good art, and the good life, Pound incorporated his social and economic views into the works he published during the thirties. Around about the 1910s, just as the automobile and airplane were beginning to accelerate the pace of human life, and Einstein's ideas were transforming our perception of the universe, there was an explosion of modernization and creative energy that shook every field of artistic pastime. Artists from all over the world assembled in London, Paris, and other great cities of Europe to join in the commotion of new ideas and movements: Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, Acmeism, and Imagism were among the most influential banners from which the new artists were grouping themselves. It was an era when major artists were fundamentally questioning and reinventing their art forms such as Matisse and Picasso in their paintings.
However the excitement came to a terrible climax in 1914 with the start of the First World War, which wiped out an entire generation of young men in Europe, and shot Russia into a devastating revolution, and sowed the seeds for even worse disastrous outbreaks in the decades to follow. By the war's end in 1918, the centuries-old European domination of the world had ended and the 'American Century' had at last begun. For artists and many others in Europe, it was a time of profound disillusion with the values on which a whole civilization had been founded. But it was also a time when the 'avante-garde' experiments that had preceded the war would, like the technological wonders of the airplane and the atom, brutishly establish a new dispensation, which we call modernism. Among the most contributory of all artists in effecting this change were a handful of American poets. Ezra Pound, the most aggressively modern of these poets, made 'Make it new!' his own battle cry.
In London Pound encountered and encouraged his fellow friend in exile, T. S. Eliot, who wrote what is arguably the most famous poem of the twentieth century, 'The Waste Land' using revolutionary techniques of composition, such as the collage. Both poets turned to untraditional sources for inspiration, Pound chose to turn to classical Chinese poetry and Eliot to the ironic poems of the 19th century French symbolist poet and then followed Pound to Europe and wrote poems which, in their extreme concision and precise visualization, most purely embodied his famous doctrine of Imagism. Work Cited 1. http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/fa/pound.ezra.s cope.html 2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic figures/index.shtml 3. http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=162 4. http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=162.
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