Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ez

It's Ezra Pound's Birthday

We know, we know! Anti-Semite! Fascist! Lousy poet! Yeah, we know, he was all those things but let's, like old Jesus when he's loose, forgive him his sins and compliment him for the not-lousy poems at all, but great works of poetic art, dazzling in their multiclues and language tricks and references and all bundled up in Ez's special bag, his bag of tricks, his trick bag, same as Krazy Kat's and Felix the Cat's. And after WWII when the American troops captured ole Ez as a war criminal, they put Ez in a chicken coop pen, out in the open, just a wooden roof over his by then war-haggard head--and ole Ez paid for his sins, folks, he really did; and then the Feds put ole war criminal Ez in Saint Elizabeth's nuthatch in the District of Corruption and think of that, a sane and constantly thinking gentleman being tortured by having his freedom taken away from him by imprisoning him in a nuthatch full of yodelers and mockers and fiddlers and hooters and howlers and munchers and catatonic bodies reveling in the throes of pure Nothingness, a pure existential state--a wooden state--but Ez, even surrounded by such a circus of confused and tortured screamers, still was able to write his poetry, to memorize more and more lines of what he couldn't write down. We've always admired ole Ez, especially as the first lover of one of our favorite women, Hilda Doolittle, H.D., who learned how to put her poems into imagistic forms from ole Ez though soon Ez lost interest in her, there were other fish to fish out of the romantic pools of wild old England during those turn-of-the-past-century, the early 1900s, days--and then there was WWI, but Ez wasn't a war criminal in WWI, though his opinions were probably pretty well gelled by then.

Here's one of our favorite of Ez's poems--thegrowlingwolf wrote it out for us from memory:

Ancient Music
Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sin Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
And ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, goddamm, 'tis why I am goddamm,
So 'gainst this winter's balm.

Sing goddamm, sing goddamm
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Old Ez at his best; a delightful little ditty.
Ezra Pound as drawn by another weird, wonderful, great one, Wyndham Lewis.
Gautier's Head of Ezra.
Ez near the end; a recluse in his beloved Italy--with his beloved Olga Rudge. Adios.

Happy Birthday, Ez, wherever you are--we see you though, Ez; you can't hide from us; we're simply words, too.

for The Daily Growler

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