AN Wilson on Ezra Pound – a great poet despite his appalling worship of Mussolini
I always look forward to the arrival of AGENDA, the poetry magazine founded by William Cookson, when still an undergraduate at New College, Oxford, at the instigation of Ezra Pound himself. Cookson died in 2003, but his mag continues, now under the admirable editorship of Patricia McCarthy. The current issue, entitled POUND RECONSIDERED is an absolute corker. It contains a superb memoir by Michael Alexander, much the best translator from Old English. (His Penguin Beowulf is much to be recommended, but so too is the volume entitled The First Poems in English. He was inspired to start this vein of work by reading Pound’s version of The Seafarer.) His is a serious reassessment of Pound as poet, but he also has good anecdotes. I liked the fact that when he called on Olga Rudge and Pound at Rapallo in 1962, she saluted him as “Mr Beowulf, I presume”. Ezra, of...
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