Pound, Ezra (Weston) Loomis
(1885-1972)
   Ezra Pound studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Hamilton College and graduated with an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1906. After being dismissed from a teaching position in 1907 for “bohemian” behavior, Pound traveled in Europe before settling in London, England, where he became part of the literary avant-garde from 1908 until 1920. He remained an expatriate for the rest of his life. Pound’s first volume of poetry, A Lume Spento, was published in 1908. This was followed by Personae (1909), Canzoni (1911), and Ripostes (1912). During this period, he established the Imagist movement and later joined the Vorticists, with whom he published two volumes of BLAST: A Review of the Great English Vortex between 1914 and 1915. After World War I, Pound published Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and worked with T. S. Eliot on Waste Land (1922). In 1921, Pound joined the expatriate set, including Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway in Paris, but in 1924 he moved to Rapallo, Italy, where he remained until the end of the war.
   During the interwar period, Pound produced his Cantos series of poems, published from 1925 to 1940. He increasingly identified with Italy and Benito Mussolini, was critical of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, and wrote Jefferson and/or Mussolini in 1937. Cantos XXXI to LXXI appeared in the 1930s. Between 1941 and 1943 Pound made several broadcasts for Radio Rome attacking U.S. policies. Accused of treason, he was arrested in 1945 and after an imprisonment in Pisa, Italy, was transferred to Washington, D.C., where he was found unfit to stand trial. From 1945 until 1958, Pound was held in an insane asylum. His work the Pisan Cantos appeared in 1948 and was controversially awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1949. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950. Those who felt that he had been a traitor during the war criticized both awards. Pound published several other works before his death, but none reached the level of his earlier poetry.
   See also Literature and theater.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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