Ezra Pound Quotes

Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea, London has swept about you this score years And bright ships left you this or that in fee: Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things, Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet. Portrait d'une Femme (l. 1-5). . . The Selected Poems of Ezra Pound. (1957) New Directions.
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For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things, Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff: In the slow float of differing light and deep, No! there is nothing! In the whole and all, Nothing that's quite your own. Yet this is you.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet. Portrait d'une Femme (l. 25-30). . . The Selected Poems of Ezra Pound. (1957) New Directions.
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If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 3 (1934).
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You preferred it to the usual thing: One dull man, dulling and uxorious, One average mind—with one thought less, each year.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet. Portrait d'une Femme (l. 8-10). . . The Selected Poems of Ezra Pound. (1957) New Directions.
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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.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 3 (1934).
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The curse of me & my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Letter, June 7-8, 1920, to James Joyce. Pound/Joyce: The Letters of Ezra Pound to James Joyce, ed. Forrest Read (1968).
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Any general statement is like a cheque drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 1, sct. 2 (1934).
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The author's conviction on this day of New Year is that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music; but this must not be taken as implying that all good music is dance music or all poetry lyric. Bach and Mozart are never too far from physical movement.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Prefatory "Warning," ABC of Reading (1934).
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Literature is news that STAYS news.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. ABC of Reading, ch. 2 (1934). "If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays," Pound wrote in ch. 3.
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No good poetry is ever written in a manner twenty years old, for to write in such a manner shows conclusively that the writer thinks from books, convention and cliché, not from real life.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. "Prologomena," Poetry Review (London, Feb. 1912).
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