Tag Archives: Ezra Pound

Response to “A Retrospective” and “A Few Don’ts” By Ezra Pound

The essay, “A Retrospect” and “A Few Don’ts” by Ezra Pound showcases a deliberate use of difficult language, enhanced by the inclusion of Latin, Spanish, and Italian. This linguistic complexity might leave readers grappling with the meaning behind Pound’s words. The strategic infusion of these languages raises questions about his intent and the level of exclusivity he seeks to establish in his words. 

Pound appears conscious of his pretentiousness, recognizing that he writes for a particular audience. The intricate language he employs suggests an expectation of intellectual sophistication from his readers. This self-awareness contributes to an aura of exclusivity, as Pound assumes his audience possesses the wisdom necessary to unravel the layers of meaning within his text.

His bold assertion that “no one writes much poetry that matters” positions Pound as a discerning arbiter of poetic significance. This claim reinforces his image as a figure who boldly asserts knowledge of what truly constitutes meaningful poetry. Pound thus establishes himself as a literary authority, imparting a sense of confidence in his ability to distinguish between the trivial and the profound in the realm of poetry.

Pound’s perspective on poetry as a product of its time and culture underscores his belief in its specificity. He argues that poetry is not a universal art form but is intricately tied to its historical and cultural context. This stance suggests that Pound sees poetry as a nuanced creation meant for a specific audience one that can appreciate the intricacies of its cultural and temporal roots.

In conclusion, Pound’s use of difficult language, awareness of his pretentious tone, and strong opinions on the significance of poetry collectively paint a picture of a writer who writes with a certain elitism. The inclusion of various languages, the claim about the rarity of meaningful poetry, and the emphasis on poetry as a product of its time all contribute to Pound’s persona as a confident and exclusive voice within the literary landscape.