Pound, Ezra


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Pound, Ezra (Weston Loomis)

(1885–1972) poet, writer; born in Hailey, Ida. Brought up in Pennsylvania, he studied at Hamilton College, N.Y. (B.Ph. 1905), and the University of Pennsylvania (M.A. 1906). He taught at Wabash College, Ind. (1906), traveled in Europe (1906–07), then lived in London (1908–20), Paris (1920–24), and Italy (1924–45). He was arrested and jailed for treason by the United States (1945) because he had made public broadcasts in Italy during World War II supporting anti-Semitism and Fascism. Judged insane, he was committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington, D.C., and was released in 1958. He then returned to Italy. He was a founder of the imagist poetry movement, and was editor of several intellectual periodicals, such as Poetry (1912–19), The Little Review (1917–19), and The Exile (1927–28). A prolific translator, literary critic, and poet, both as an editor and mentor he helped shape the poetry of the 20th century—playing a major role, for instance, in the final version of T. S. Eliot's "The Wasteland." Of his own work, he is most apt to be remembered for Hugh Selwyn Mauberly (1920) and for his Cantos, a series of poems written from 1917 to 1970.