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When Poets Attack

Pound.jpgFrom Saturday's Guardian Review a piece by James Campbell on the Modernist version of the mad, bad and dangerous to know poet, Ezra Pound:

As soldiers do when marching into battle, Ezra Pound heralded his progress through London with songs. He arrived from Philadelphia 100 years ago, on a mission to liberate English verse: to throw out the leftover Victoriana - "nine-tenths of all the bad poetry now accepted as standard" - and replace it with "something for the modern stage". . .

Enemy ranks were stuffed with "third-hand Keats, Wordsworth, heaven knows what". The focus for his ire was the group known as the Georgians, which included John Masefield, Rupert Brooke, JC Squire, Lascelles Abercrombie and others. Tilting sombrero to top hat, Pound challenged Abercrombie to a duel, on the basis that "stupidity carried beyond a certain point becomes a public menace". Permitted a choice of weapons, Abercrombie suggested the two poets attack each other with unsold copies of their own books.

Perhaps I should challenge some Baltimore Poeist to a duel with editions of Poe's works.

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