Ezra Pound – A Masterpiece
“I resolved that at age thirty I would know more about poetry than any man living” (Annenberg Media): Ezra Pound said this about himself, and may have actually achieved this goal – at least in his own mind. While some have decided Ezra Pound was a raving lunatic, others see him as a brilliant poet and a master of his art. To his critics, he was “one of the most controversial of American poets” (Annenberg Media) but to me, he was facinatingly familiar.
To understand why, we must first consider that inside a mind like Pound’s, another entirely different world merges with the one we share: one where anything is possible and where everything exists and where there may be answers for every question that anyone has ever asked, throughout all of time, just waiting for discovery, among vast amounts of endless possibilities. However, only the mind this world exists in can access the world; no one else can enter. Imagine what a burden it would be to carry such a world inside one’s own head. Consider, too, how lonely it would be if no one understood how it was to live with this realm infecting every thought. What if some of that world leaked out into our shared world, would it look like madness to everyone else?
Gifted poets and creative artists, like Pound, have amazing imaginations that allow them to see unique perspectives that are undetectable to the vast majority of non-poets. This gift is a double-edged sword, however, because it also isolates the poet from the non-poets in the manner of their thinking and in their ability to relate to one another. Pound’s WWII broadcasts are glaring examples how these mental paths diverge and leave the vast majority wholly shocked by the distance a poets mind is able travel away from that of the non-poets: Lee Lady, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Hawaii, summed up these opposing views with his comments regarding Pound’s mental state. He said,