Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Ezra Pound

Quote of the Day

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W.S. Merwin

I went to see Ezra Pound when I was nineteen or so. He told me something that I think I really already knew. He said that it was important to regard writing as not a chance or romantic or inspired—in the occasional sense—thing, but rather a kind of spontaneity which arises out of discipline and continual devotion to something…But I don’t understand people who can program themselves to the point where they can predict another one.

W.S. Merwin, in an interview with Artful Dodge

Written by nevalalee

August 5, 2016 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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Ezra Pound

Go in fear of abstractions. Don’t retell in mediocre verse what has already been done in good prose. Don’t think any intelligent person is going to be deceived when you try to shirk all the difficulties of the unspeakably difficult art of good prose by chopping your composition into line lengths…Use either no ornament or good ornament.

Ezra Pound, “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste”

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April 28, 2016 at 7:30 am

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Quote of the Day

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Ezra Pound

Poetry is a sort of inspired mathematics, which gives us equations, not for abstract figures, triangles, squares, and the like, but for the human emotions. If one has a mind which inclines to magic rather than science, one will prefer to speak of these equations as spells or incantations; it sounds more arcane, mysterious, recondite.

Ezra Pound

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March 27, 2014 at 7:30 am

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“We will feel assent in our quickening pulse…”

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Donald Hall

There is a nonintellectual beauty in the moving together of words in phrases—”the music of diction”—and in resolution of image and metaphor. The sophisticated reader of poetry responds quickly to the sensual body of a poem, before he interrogates the poem at all. The pleasure we feel, reading a poem, is our assurance of its integrity. (So Pound said that technique is the test of sincerity.) We will glance through a poem rapidly and if it is a skillful fake we will feel repelled. If the poem is alive and honest, we will feel assent in our quickening pulse—though it may take us some time to explain what we were reacting to.

Donald Hall, Claims for Poetry

Written by nevalalee

February 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

“Poetry is a centaur…”

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Ezra Pound

Poetry is a centaur. The thinking word-arranging, clarifying faculty must move and leap with the energizing, sentient, musical faculties. It is precisely the difficulty of this amphibious existence that keeps down the census record of good poets. The accomplished prose author will tell you that he ‘can only write poetry when he has a bellyache’ and thence he will argue that poetry just isn’t an art.

I dare say there are very good marksmen who just can’t shoot from a horse.

Ezra Pound

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January 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

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Ezra Pound on cheap good books

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Books have an immaterial as well as a material component, and because of this immaterial component they should circulate free from needless impediment, and should not be hindered in their migrations, even for the sake of material gain….The country, any country, wants all the books it can get. Only cheap good books can compete with cheap bad books. It would even be a blessing if all the second-hand book shops in Charing Cross Road could be dumped in an American city, any American city.

Ezra Pound, in 1918

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October 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

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Written by nevalalee

June 3, 2011 at 6:55 am

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