Ezra Pound (October 30, 1885, Idaho – November 1, 1972, Venice, Italy) is widely considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century; his contributions to modernist poetry were enormous. Around 1912 Pound helped to create the movement he called “Imagisme”. The original Imagist group included Pound, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Richard Aldington, F.S. Flint, and later William Carlos Williams. Pound helped and promoted writers such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Robert Frost.
As for his political activities: “An admirer of Mussolini, he lived in fascist Italy beginning in 1925. When World War II broke out, Pound stayed in Italy, retaining his US citizenship, and broadcasting a series of controversial radio commentaries. These commentaries often attacked Roosevelt and the Jewish bankers whom Pound held responsible for the war. By 1943 the US government deemed the broadcasts to be treasonous; at war’s end the poet was arrested by the US Army and kept imprisoned in a small, outdoor wire cage at a compound near Pisa, Italy. For several weeks during that hot summer, Pound was confined to the cage. At night floodlights lit his prison. Eventually judged to be mentally incompetent to stand trial, Pound was incarcerated in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC. … Upon his release from St. Elizabeth’s in 1958, Pound returned to Italy, where he lived quietly for the rest of his life.” * (from Poetry Foundation article on Pound)
This new edition by Shearsman Press (UK) contains translations of Marina Tsvetaeva’s narrative poems (поэмы). They can be seen as markers of various stages in her poetic development, ranging from the early, folk-accented On a Red Steed to the lyrical-confessional Poem of the Mountain and Poem of the End to the more metaphysical later poems, An Attempt at a Room, Poem of the Mountain, a beautiful requiem for Rainer Maria Rilke, New Year’s Greetings, and Poem of the Air, a stirring celebration of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight and the quest for the soul’s freedom. These translations were first published by Ardis in 1998 and reprinted by Overlook in 2004 and 2009. The current edtion was published by Shearsman Press (UK) in 2021.