Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Ezra Pound's Romantic Roots

Originally posted on my old Tripod blog on Sunday, 28 October 2007

I have an essay called 'Ezra Pound and the Romantic Ideal' at:

www.dur.ac.uk/postgraduate.english/JSideEPoundRomanticIdeal.htm

The essay examines the poetic ideas of Ezra Pound and shows that they have similarities to the poetic ideas of William Wordsworth, especially with regard to Wordsworth's advocating a naturalistic and descriptive mode of poetic writing that became the principal style of poetry for the rest of the nineteenth century and the greater part of the twentieth.

The essay also argues that the received opinion that Pound's poetical radicalism was largely motivated by his antipathy to Romantic poetry is exaggerated. Rather his radicalism was the result of his reaction to the stylistic excesses of late Victorian poetry, and as such can be paralleled with Wordsworth's reaction to the stylistic excesses of late seventeenth-century poetry.

To this extent, Pound's poetic ideas can be seen as a continuation of certain Romantic ideals in poetry; ideals primarily articulated by Wordsworth, having been developed from seventeenth-century empiricist philosophy.