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An essay that speaks to the essence of Pound's disdain is titled 'A Retrospect.' Please read the following short excerpt from the essay and focus on Pound's writer's 'voice' and discussion of the importance of imagism. Richard Aldington and myself decided that we were agreed upon the three principles following: 1.'A Retrospect' There has been so much scribbling about a new fashion in poetry, that I may perhaps be pardoned this brief recapitulation and retrospect. Direct treatment of the 'thing' whether subjective or objective 2.In the early 1900s, Pound published a series of essays; the majority of his essays discussed his opinions and critiques on the current modernist movement in poetry.
He was a member of poetry's Imagist movement in the early-mid 1900s.
We'll also read and analyze a poem and essay excerpt.
Designed for use by both literary critics and secondary and college teachers of English, this work would also be of value to undergraduate and graduate students of literature.
In the lesson, we'll discuss a brief biography of the American poet, Ezra Pound.
Well, here in this poem, Pound is discussing his disdain for 'the thoroughly smug' people of the world; one can easily make the comparison between Pound's opinion of both smug people and American modernist poets.
He discusses how the current generation is made up of self-righteous individuals who never once think of others.He was a critic of the early modernist movement in American poetry, which was partially responsible for his desire to leave the country and settle in Europe.Throughout his life in Europe, he became a huge proponent of Imagism, a more classical movement in poetry. The first time you read it, simply read it for the content.Pound describes the smiles he witnesses on fishermen picnicking, which one can infer would never been seen on the faces of arrogant men performing the same action.These men Pound describes smile and laugh while doing mundane, everyday tasks, whereas the current, entitled generation worries more about worldly possessions, like clothes; Pound concludes his poem illustrating this exact remark through the image of happy fish frolicking about in the water naked.What other words did you notice that helped illustrate Pound's contempt?You probably took note of his discussion of how he and the other writer's opinions 'differed' in 'taste' as well as referring to the readers as 'dull' and how the good poetry is only found in 'stray phrases.' Pound was not one to hide his opinions!Criticism is not a circumscription or a set of prohibitions. In the first line, you should have noticed Pound's use of the word 'scribbling' in reference to the current styles of poetry being published.This is a word that poets would undoubtedly find insulting and offensive; Pound chose this use of diction because, in his opinion, modernist poetry is nothing more than scribbling.The smug people Pound is describing do not think or care about families; they only think of themselves.Therefore, Pound chose these two images to describe to the reader the importance of thinking of others and looking past just the surface.