Ezra Pound
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist
Modernist poetry in English
Modernist poetry in English is generally considered to have emerged in the early years of the 20th century with the appearance of the Imagists. In common with many other modernists, these poets wrote in reaction to the perceived excesses of Victorian poetry, with its emphasis on traditional...

 movement in poetry. He became known for his role in developing Imagism
Imagism was a movement in early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry that favored precision of imagery and clear, sharp language. The Imagists rejected the sentiment and discursiveness typical of much Romantic and Victorian poetry. This was in contrast to their contemporaries, the Georgian poets,...

, which, in reaction to the Victorian and Georgian poets, favored tight language, unadorned imagery, and a strong correspondence between the verbal and musical qualities of the verse and the mood it expressed.

Poetry must be as well written as prose.

Letter to Harriet Monroe, (January 1915)

Hang it all, Robert Browning, there can be but the one "Sordello."

From Draft of XXX Cantos (1933), No.2

Make it new!

Book title (1935)

But the one thing you shd. not do is suppose that when something is wrong with the arts, it is wrong with the arts ONLY.

Guide to Kulchur (1938)

The temple is holy because it is not for sale.

Cantos, XCVII.

The author's conviction on this day of the New Year is that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.


Literature is news that STAYS news.


Any general statement is like a cheque drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it.

p. 25

The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets literature decay than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.

p. 33

AT ABOUT THIS POINT the weak-hearted reader usually sits down in the road, removes his shoes and weeps that he 'is a bad linguist' or that he or she can't possibly learn all those languages. One has to divide the readers who want to be experts from those who do not, and divide, as it were, those who want to see the world from those who merely want to know WHAT PART OF IT THEY LIVE IN.

p. 42