Inspiration, Quotes, Productivity and More

A Collection of Ezra Pound Quotes

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound, also known as Ezra Pound, was born on October 30, 1885 in Idaho. Recognized as one of the major poets and modernist writers of the 20th Century, Pound spent most of his life outside the United States.

Pound went on to influence poetry by creating a new movement called “Imagism” which signaled a break from the Victorian and Romantic poetry and had at heart the promotion of language in poetry. He was credited to have influenced other great writers such as T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, among others; writers who went on to be great observers of the Lost Generation.

Pound spent his time in England, France and Paris; he wrote more than70 books during his career, made a reputation as one of the poets who redefined poetry and its use to society. However, Ezra Pound position on Fascism and the Hitlerism movement was quite an ambiguous one. He came across the economic theory of social credit by C.H. Douglas which stipulates that the poor would keep on getting poorer due to the government’s lack of purchasing power which will always lead to a poorer distribution of wealth.

Pound went on to believe that the financial capitalism was doomed and responsible for the state of the world and saw in fascism an answer to combat poverty. He defended Mussolini, and showed support for Hitler in Germany and Oswald Mosley in Great Britain. Ezra pound became the vehicle for the fascism propaganda in Europe as he would go on to criticize the Americans and the Jews. He was arrested on treason by the American forces in 1945. He died in Italy in 1972.

The Lost Generation – Authors & Writers

Ernest Hemingway

Ezra Pound
John Steinbeck

Gertrude Stein
William Faulkner

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Almost half a century after his death, Ezra Pound remains a controversial figure. Although he was credited to creating a new landscape of poetic innovations, his position on politics and the fascist movement has damaged his reputation as the modern thinker who had at heart the promotion of arts, culture and civilization.

Ezra Pound’s Quotes

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance… poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.

Ezra Pound

Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.

Ezra Pound

It ought to be illegal for an artist to marry. If the artist must marry let him find someone more interested in art, or his art, or the artist part of him, than in him. After which let them take tea together three times a week.

Ezra Pound

Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.

Ezra Pound

People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf.

Ezra Pound

Nothing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market.

Ezra Pound

No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.

Ezra Pound

Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art.

Ezra Pound

Literature does not exist in a vacuum. Writers as such have a definite social function exactly proportional to their ability as writers. This is their main use.

Ezra Pound

Men do not understand books until they have a certain amount of life, or at any rate no man understands a deep book, until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.

Ezra Pound

When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.

Ezra Pound

Literature is news that stays news.

Ezra Pound

No verse is libre for the man who wants to do a good job.

Ezra Pound

Somebody said that I am the last American living the tragedy of Europe.

Ezra Pound

Technique is the test of sincerity. If a thing isn’t worth getting the technique to say, it is of inferior value.

Ezra Pound

The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.

Ezra Pound

The art of letters will come to an end before A.D. 2000. I shall survive as a curiosity.

Ezra Pound

The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy.

Ezra Pound

The jargon of sculptors is beyond me. I do not know precisely why I admire a green granite female, apparently pregnant monster with one eye going around a square corner.

Ezra Pound

The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods. Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting.

Ezra Pound

The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.

Ezra Pound

Wars are made to make debt.

Ezra Pound

When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take – choose the bolder.

Ezra Pound

In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.

Ezra Pound

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

Ezra Pound

The worst mistake I made was that stupid, suburban prejudice of anti-Semitism.

Ezra Pound

Either move or be moved.

Ezra Pound

A civilized man is one who will give a serious answer to a serious question. Civilization itself is a certain sane balance of values.

Ezra Pound

A general loathing of a gang or sect usually has some sound basis in instinct.

Ezra Pound

A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.

Ezra Pound

A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.

Ezra Pound

A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.

Ezra Pound

All great art is born of the metropolis.

Ezra Pound

Allow me to say that I would long since have committed suicide had desisting made me a professor of Latin.

Ezra Pound

And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there… Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.

Ezra Pound

Colloquial poetry is to the real art as the barber’s wax dummy is to sculpture.

Ezra Pound

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

Ezra Pound

If the individual, or heretic, gets hold of some essential truth, or sees some error in the system being practiced, he commits so many marginal errors himself that he is worn out before he can establish his point.

Ezra Pound

Genius… is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.

Ezra Pound

I have always thought the suicide should bump off at least one swine before taking off for parts unknown.

Ezra Pound

If I could believe the Quakers banned music because church music is so damn bad, I should view them with approval.

Ezra Pound

If a patron buys from an artist who needs money, the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates.

Ezra Pound

I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn’t irascible.

Ezra Pound

Gloom and solemnity are entirely out of place in even the most rigorous study of an art originally intended to make glad the heart of man.

Ezra Pound

I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them.

Ezra Pound

I could I trust starve like a gentleman. It’s listed as part of the poetic training, you know.

Ezra Pound

I consider criticism merely a preliminary excitement, a statement of things a writer has to clear up in his own head sometime or other, probably antecedent to writing; of no value unless it come to fruit in the created work later.

Ezra Pound

Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.

Ezra Pound

Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.

Ezra Pound

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.

Ezra Pound

Good art however “immoral” is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.

Ezra Pound

If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.

Ezra Pound

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