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MARK BYRONEzra Pound’s Eriugena

London: Bloomsbury, 2014.



“Pound’s encyclopaedic imperative [...] led him to question intellectual orthodoxies, and to seek out and understand ideas and texts that ran counter to the received narratives of literary and cultural history. One prominent figure in Pound’s counter-tradition is the ninth-century Irish theologian, scholar and poet Johannes Scottus Eriugena. This figure came to prominence in the court of Charles the Bald, two generations after Charles’s grandfather, Charlemagne, had initiated the Carolingian Renaissance by establishing a new centre of learning at Aachen. 

Pound saw in Eriugena a strikingly original and courageous thinker, willing to endure ecclesiastical opprobrium in his pursuit of systematic theology, and an intellectually adventurous scholar who sought to advance Greek learning in Western Europe at a time of its near-eclipse. Pound was prescient in his support of Eriugena’s importance in intellectual history, made the more striking by the fact that it is only in recent decades that his contributions to theology, poetics and dialectics have received the scholarly attention they deserve. Eriugena served multiple intertwined functions for Pound: he was an intellectual sphinx, arising out of the desert wastes of early medieval thought as an alternative to scholastic narrow mindedness; his embroilment in various controversies demonstrated that he was prepared to stand for his beliefs counter to a bull-headed ecclesiastical hierarchy, and for which he earned the loyalty and protection of his royal patron; and in the composition of courtly poetry in Greek, Eriugena serves Pound as a model for his own cosmopolitan, polyglot, experimental poetics.” (M. Byron, Preface xv-xvi)


Introduction 1

1 Pound’s Eriugena: Neoplatonist and Heretic 15

2 John Scottus Eriugena: the Meeting of Athens and Rome in Gaul 51

3 The Missing Book of the Trilogy 113

4 The Poetics of Exile: Laon to Changsha 207


A Francesco Fiorentino at Brunnenburg: An Annotated Transcription of Pound’s Reading in Eriugena 259

B YCAL MSS 53 Series II, Box 29 Folder 627

Cantos LXXIV–LXXXIV, Typescript Drafts in Italian 267

Bibliography 270

Index of Works by Pound 288

Index of Works by Eriugena 289

General Index 290



rsz moody


A. DAVID MOODY. Ezra Pound: Poet. 

A Portrait of the Man and his Work.

II: The Epic Years 1921-1939

Oxford University Press, 2014


This second volume of A. David Moody's full-scale portrait, covering Ezra Pound's middle years, weaves together into a single highly readable and challenging narrative, in a way that has not been done before, the illuminating story of his life, his achievement as a poet and a composer, and his one-man crusade for economic justice. 

There is new insight into his complicated personal relationships. There are detailed accounts of the composition of his two operas and of his original contribution to the theory of harmony. A canto by canto and decad by decad elucidation of the form and meaning of the first seventy-one cantos of his epic reveals their hitherto unperceived musical structures and their overall design. The thinking behind his support for Mussolini's economic programme during the Great Depression of the 1930s is brought to light, and shown to be not "fascist" but essentially true to the principles of the American Revolution, and, behind that, to Confucian ideas of responsible government. At the same time it is made clear that he saw only what he wanted to see in Mussolini's Fascism, and later in Hitler's Nazism, and was blind to their darker policies. And it is clear that he went most seriously wrong in deploying, as a weapon in his war on the injustice of the capitalist financial system, the anti-Semitism endemic in Europe and America and at that time turning murderous in Nazi Germany. 

Pound is revealed as a great poet and a flawed idealist caught up in the turmoil of his darkening time and struggling, sometimes blindly and in error and self-contradiction, to be a force for enlightenment. 



List of illustrations


Part One: 1921-1932

1: A Year in Paris, 1921-24

2: From Rapallo, 1924-1932

Part Two: 1933-1939

3: A Democrat in Italy, 1933

4: Things Fall Apart, 1933-37

5: Ideas of Order, 1937-39

6: Alien in America


A: Outline of Pound's Le Testament or Villon 

B: A brief history of Le Testament or Villon

C: Outline of Cavalcanti. A sung dramedy in 3 acts

D: 'Huey, God bless him', an unpublished article (1935)

E: The founding of the Bank of England, & the U. S. National Banks Act








Hemingway and Pound:

A Most Unlikely Friendship

Jefferson: McFarland, 2014


Unique individuals of fiery temperament, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound made an odd pair on the streets of 1920s Paris. If the elder cane-carrying Pound appeared the out-of-date poet, Hemingway was the epitome of his generation’s Flaming Youth. Meeting on the high ground of art, these two literary giants formed a friendship that survived until Hemingway’s death. During their short time together in Paris, Pound edited Hemingway’s early work.

Over decades Hemingway considered Pound a major poet and read The Cantos as they appeared in little magazines and published volumes. Eventually living in countries half a world apart, Hemingway and Pound maintained a lively and sometimes contentious correspondence. When Pound was incarcerated in America for his World War II broadcasts over Radio Rome, Hemingway played a vital role in freeing his old poet friend—the man who edited his early work, the “good game guy” whose wit and brilliance he never forgot. This narrative of a friendship lays bare the triumphs and tragedies of two giants of modern literature. 




1. Crossing Paths in Paris

2. A Modernist Apprenticeship

3. Among Pound’s Constellation

4. Little Magazines

5. Transatlantic Paris

6. Ascendant Star, Poet Outlier

7. Fame and World Crisis

8. Friends on Different Shores

9. Two Voices, Two Men

10. United Fronts, Divided Friendships

11. Wordsmiths in Wartime

12. An Exile’s Return

13. “A good year to release poets”

Conclusion: The Snows of Yesteryear

Chapter Notes




rsz news from afar

 News from Afar: 

Ezra Pound and Some Contemporary British Poetries.

Ed. Richard Parker

Bristol: Shearsman Books, 2014



“The Pound event was an upheaval of the whole field of British poetry. Pound’s work was a total stance towards poetry and the world, a fierce rejection not only of mediocrity but of a ‘botched civilisation’, and through it we can pose some of the most vital questions concerning poetry that’s contemporary with the historical present. …

This is a book that travels that road, on the lookout for the signs that speak most strongly to the now. Merciless war against mediocrity, sharpest eye and ear for syntax, awareness of culture in its relation to politics, use of translation as workshop for change, suspension of limits between prose and poetry, opening of poetry to what its bourgeois practice excludes: here is the generic Pound, present to contemporary needs. The struggle for a practice of resistance, discrimination of antagonisms, with all the resources poetry is capable of, here is the Pound alive in current poetry. Pound is at the core. There is, as this book shows, no way round that.” —William Rowe


1. Richard Parker – “Here’s Your Fucking Light Shithead”: 

Ezra Pound and Contemporary British Poetry    9

2. Keston Sutherland – In Memory of Your Occult Convolutions     21

3. Amy Evans – “So I think a beginning has been made”: 

Ezra Pound, Robert Duncan and Eric Mottram    25

4. Eric Mottram (ed. Amy Evans) – Pound, Olson and he Secret of the Golden Flower     53

5. Robert Hampson – Eric Mottram and Ezra Pound: 

“there is no substitute for a life-time.”      86

6. Alexander Howard – Compacts, Commerce, and a Few Remarks Concerning 

Andrew Crozier     109

7. Mark Scroggins – he “half-fabulous ield-ditcher”: Ruskin, Pound, Geofrey Hill      122

8. Josh Kotin – Blood-Stained Battle-Flags: 

Ezra Pound, J. H. Prynne and Classical Chinese Poetry      133

9. Ryan Dobran – Myth, Culture and Text: 

Ezra Pound’s Homer and J.H. Prynne’s Aristeas      142

10. Gareth Farmer – “Obstinate Isles” and Rhetorical Sincerity: 

Veronica Forrest-Thomson and Ezra Pound     161

11. Laura Kilbride – “Real Games With Books”: 

On Anna Mendelssohn and Ezra Pound      184

12. Allen Fisher – Atkins Stomp    194

13. Juha Virtanen – Allen Fisher Reading: Facture, “Atkins Stomp” and Ezra Pound     198

14. Gavin Selerie – Pound and Contemporary British Poetry: the Loosening of Form      212

15. Gavin Selerie – Poems from Hariot Double       229

16. David Vichnar – P.S.: Pound and Sinclair’s Intertextual Ley Lines      235

17. Harry Gilonis – Second Heave – Fracture Syntax       245

18. Tony Lopez – Darwin in Rome: Pound and Stein      258

19. Tony Lopez – From Darwin, a section of Only More So    266

20. Robert Sheppard – the Li Shang-yin Suite       268

21. Sean Pryor – Some houghts on Refrigeration       273

22. Danny Hayward – Or Storming the Shopping Centre: 

Poetry, Competition, Pound, Quid      281

23. Alex Pestell – “All in for folly and mustard”: Pound, Zukofsky and Word is Born      303

24. Tim Atkins – Happiness / 

the Art of Poetry Being a Translation of the 10 Buddhist Ox-Herding Poems       313

Author Biographies       324