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rsz mary lufter

 

 

Wednesday 8 July

 

  

 

 

When I got to the castle on Wednesday, the courtyard was already full. I did not miss Mary de Rachewiltz’s words of welcome and the joy in her voice when she announced the new Ezra Pound Research Center in Merano, an initiative of the Academy of Italian-German Studies in the city. I met both Ralf Lüfter and Ivo de Genaro on that occasion and arranged to meet again on Saturday afternoon to visit the center.

rsz rittersaalThe conference had begun in earnest: off to the first sessions! The family had foreseen three rooms for the purpose, so conference goers had to choose one of three options: the first room, called “Rittersaal” was the largest and I would say the most picturesque – a huge window gave a panoramic view over the Alto Adige River and the city of Merano in the valley. There were  showcases, artifacts, paintings, books, all ideal for larger-scale representation. On the table, I noticed a copy in metal of Gaudier’s “Boy with a coney” – a sign for me that every detail had been thought out for us, the guests at the castle. The second room, called “The Pound Room” was smaller, but very cosy. I kept looking at a large poster of Olga Rudge and Gerhart Münch’s concert in Chiavari in 1934. The poster looked brand-new, as if the concert had taken place just the week before.

The third room was piu piccola and repaid the adventure of going down the winding stars in what looked like a cool basement. We needed the cool: all through the conference we had to battle the inordinate heat of the Italian July. It is towards this room called the "Gothic Room” that I made my way for the first session of this conference. I listened to excellent presentations that afternoon, by Peter Liebregts, Krista Roscoe and Orla Polten.poetry reading

Afterwards we “grabbed a bite” (speak struggled with huge portions) together at a pizzeria in the village before going to the event of the evening. At the library, Catherine Paul had arranged for a number of us to read parts of Yeats’s A Packet for Ezra Pound. That was followed by what is by now a beautiful tradition at the EPICs - the reading of new poems by Stephen Romer, John Gery, Ron Smith, Mary and Patrizia de Rachewiltz, Biljana Obradovic, Rhett Forman, Dave Capella and many others.