The Pound Era by Hugh Kenner

Copyright 1971
Checked out 8 times in 30 years
Last checked out 11 years ago

This 550+ page book centers on Ezra Pound, as the title suggests, but also looks at T.S Eliot, James Joyce, visual artist Wyndham Lewis, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. He examines how the ideas and influences of the time knit these artists together and allowed their differences.

I’m not a fan of Pound and only browsed this book for this review. However, I want to let Pound fans (which are almost certainly scholars) that this book appears to go into some depth on the influences of languages on Pound and the Chinese language system in particular.

Since this library has no volume of poetry by Pound (or Stevens or Williams), it seems strange to me that it has such an in-depth book about him. And I’m surprised it has gotten as much attention as it has over the years. I can’t believe any of the high school or community college students have been researching Pound, who has written some of the most difficult poetry to fathom, full of historical and personal allusions and bits of foreign language, Greek and Latin particularly.

Since Pound’s poetry is so difficult, I can’t recommend that the Albertville library purchase a volume of it.  Instead, I suggest that they let go of this book that is largely about him. It was only checked out once in the 90s and 2000s, so circulation has dwindled to almost nothing.

I also suggest they discard the following 46-page brief critical assessment of Pound for the same reasons as those above:
Ezra Pound by William Van O’Connor
Copyright 1963
Checked out 8 times in 43 years
Last checked out 21 years ago


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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