Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ezra Pound: Canto 120

By Ezra Pound [1]
[Richard Avedon's 1958 photos of Ezra Pound, shortly after he was released from his 13 year stint in St. Elizabeth's mental hospital in Washington, D.C., where he was committed in lieu of being tried for treason for his broadcasts from Italy during WW II]
"I have tried to write Paradise
Do not move
let the wind speak
that is paradise
Let the Gods forgive what I
have made
Let those I love try to forgive
what I have made.”
[1] E.P. wrote many wonderful and some baffling works.  I truly love a lot of the Cantos.  The problem with liking E.P. are the broadcasts, and his virulent rants about the the Jews and the alleged international banking conspiracy.  He broadcast hundreds of addresses over Italian radio, paid for by the Italian government.  And of course, when the Americans liberated Italy, one of the first persons they came looking for was Ez.   So, how do you reconcile this?  Do good works somehow ameliorate the invective and hate speech?  I've read about anti-Jewish comments coming from people I admire (just a sampling: Harry Truman, T.S. Eliot, Lennin, Churchill, Martin Luther, George Washington), , and whose work I love. My best friend (R.I.P.) had a thing about Jewish people...not hatred I don't think, but a very deep mistrust  Do you forgive and forget, or forgive but never forget?  Maybe it all falls under "hate the sin; love the sinner."

Of the mainly poor blue collar families people I grew up with, there was plenty of animosity toward African-Americans.  Until I was maybe in high school, I don't think I ever heard anyone describe them as black, or even negro.  Except on television.  They used the other four words--the n word, the c word, the j word, and the s word.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

who wrote this piece re pound? don't see an attribution.