Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College, Cambridge before receiving acclaim as a professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy. Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections: The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she became the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death. Early life Plath was born during the Great Depression on October 27, 1932 at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Her mother, Aurelia Schober Plath (1906-1994), was a first-generation American of Austrian descent, and her father Otto Plath (1885-1940), was from Grabow, Germany. Plath's father was an entomologist and was professor of biology and German at Boston University; he also authored a book about bumblebees. Plath's mother was approximately twenty-one years younger than her husband. They met while she was earning her master's degree in teaching and took one of his courses. Otto had become alienated from his family after choosing not to become a Lutheran minister, as his grandparents had intended him to be. In April 1935, Plath's brother Warren was born and in 1936 the family moved to Winthrop, Massachusetts. Plath's mother, Aurelia, had grown up in Winthrop, and her maternal grandparents, the Schobers, had lived in a section of the town called Point Shirley, a location mentioned in Plath's poetry. While living in Winthrop, eight-year-old Plath published her first poem in the Boston Herald's children's section. In addition to writing, she showed early promise as an artist, winning an award for her paintings from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in 1947. Otto Plath died on November 5, 1940, a week and a half after Plath's eighth birthday, of complications following the amputation of a foot due to untreated diabetes. He had become ill shortly after a close friend died of lung cancer. Comparing the similarities between his friend's symptoms and his own, Otto became convinced that he, too, had lung cancer and did not seek treatment until his diabetes had progressed too far. Raised as a Unitarian Christian, Plath experienced a loss of faith after her father's death, and remained ambivalent about religion throughout her life. He was buried in Winthrop Cemetery; visiting her father's grave prompted Plath to write the poem Electra on Azalea Path. After his death, Aurelia Plath moved her children and her parents to 26 Elmwood Road, Wellesley, Massachusetts in 1942. In one of her last prose pieces, Plath commented that her first nine years "sealed themselves off like a ship in a bottle—beautiful inaccessible, obsolete, a fine, white flying myth". Plath attended Bradford Senior High School in Wellesley, graduating in 1950. College years In 1950, Plath attended Smith College and excelled academically. She wrote to her mother, "The world is splitting open at my feet like a ripe, juicy watermelon." She edited The Smith Review and during the summer after her third year of college Plath was awarded a coveted position as guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine, during which she spent a month in New York City. The experience was not what she had hoped it would be, and it began a downward spiral. Many of the events that took place during that summer were later used as inspiration for her novel The Bell Jar. During this time she was refused admission to the Harvard writing seminar. Following electroconvulsive therapy for depression, Plath made her first medically documented suicide attempt in late August 1953 by crawling under her house and taking her mother's sleeping pills. She survived this first suicide attempt after lying unfound in a crawl space for three days, later writing that she "blissfully succumbed to the whirling blackness that I honestly believed was eternal oblivion." She spent the next six months in psychiatric care, receiving more electric and insulin shock treatment under the care of Dr. Ruth Beuscher. Her stay at McLean Hospital and her Smith scholarship were paid for by Olive Higgins Prouty, who had successfully recovered from a mental breakdown herself. Plath seemed to make a good recovery and returned to college. In January 1955, she submitted her thesis The Magic Mirror: A Study of the Double in Two of Dostoyevsky's Novels and in June, graduated from Smith with highest honors. She obtained a Fulbright scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge where she continued actively writing poetry and publishing her work in the student newspaper Varsity. At Newnham, she studied with Dorothea Krook, whom she held in high regard. She spent her first year winter and spring holidays travelling around the continent. Career and marriage n a 1961 BBC interview (now held by the British Library Sound Archive), Plath describes how she met Ted Hughes: I happened to be at Cambridge. I was sent there by the [US] government on a government grant. And I'd read some of Ted's poems in this magazine and I was very impressed and I wanted to meet him. I went to this little celebration and that's actually where we met... Then we saw a great deal of each other. Ted came back to Cambridge and suddenly we found ourselves getting married a few months later... We kept writing poems to each other. Then it just grew out of that, I guess, a feeling that we both were writing so much and having such a fine time doing it, we decided that this should keep on. Plath described Hughes as "a singer, story-teller, lion and world-wanderer" with "a voice like the thunder of God”. The couple were married on June 16, 1956 at St George the Martyr Holborn in the London Borough of Camden with Plath's mother in attendance, and spent their honeymoon in Benidorm. Plath returned to Newnham in October to begin her second year. During this time, they both became deeply interested in astrology and the supernatural, using Ouija boards. In early 1957, Plath and Hughes moved to the United States and from September 1957 Plath taught at Smith College, her alma mater. She found it difficult to both teach and have enough time and energy to write and the middle of 1958, the couple moved to Boston. Plath took a job as a receptionist in the psychiatric unit of Massachusetts General Hospital and in the evening took creative writing seminars given by poet Robert Lowell (also attended by the writers Anne Sexton and George Starbuck). Both Lowell and Sexton encouraged Plath to write from her experience and she did so. She openly discussed her depression with Lowell and her suicide attempts with Sexton who led her to write from a more female perspective. Plath began to conceive of herself as a more serious, focused poet and short-story writer. At this time Plath and Hughes first met the poet W. S. Merwin, who admired their work and was to remain a lifelong friend. Plath resumed psychoanalytic treatment in December, working with Ruth Beuscher. Plath and Hughes traveled across Canada and the US, staying at the Yaddo artist colony in New York State in the autumn of 1959. Plath says that it was here that she learned "to be true to my own weirdnesses", but she remained anxious about writing confessionally, from deeply personal and private material. The couple moved back to the United Kingdom in December 1959 and lived in London at 3 Chalcot Square, near the Primrose Hill area of Regent's Park, where an English Heritage plaque records Plath's residence. Their daughter Frieda was born on 1 April 1960 and in October, Plath published her first collection of poetry, The Colossus. In February 1961, Plath's second pregnancy ended in miscarriage; a number of her poems, including "Parliament Hill Fields", address this event. In August she finished her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar and immediately after this, the family moved to Court Green in the small market town of North Tawton in Devon. Nicholas was born in January 1962. During the summer of 1962, Hughes began to keep bees, which would be the subject of many Plath poems. In 1961, the couple rented their flat at Chalcot Square to Assia and David Wevill. Hughes was immediately struck with the beautiful Assia, as she was with him. He would later write in "Dreamers" (Birthday Letters, 1998) "The dreamer in her Had fallen in love with me and she did not know it. That moment the dreamer in me Fell in love with her and I knew it,” In June, Plath had had a car accident which she described as one of many suicide attempts. In July 1962 Plath discovered Hughes had been having an affair with Wevill and in September the couple separated. Beginning in October 1962, Plath experienced a great burst of creativity and wrote most of the poems on which her reputation now rests, writing at least 26 of the poems of her posthumous collection Ariel during this time. In December 1962, she returned alone to London with their children, and rented, on a five year lease, a flat at 23 Fitzroy Road—only a few streets from the Chalcot Square flat. William Butler Yeats once lived in the house, which bears an English Heritage blue plaque for the Irish poet. Plath was pleased by this fact and considered it a good omen. The winter of 1962 was one of the coldest in 100 years; the pipes froze, the children—now two years old and nine months—were often sick, and the house had no telephone. Her depression returned but she completed the rest of her poetry collection which would be published after her death (1965 in the UK, 1966 in the US) . Her only novel, The Bell Jar, came out in January 1963, published under the pen name Victoria Lucas, and was met with critical indifference. Death Dr. John Horder, a close friend who lived near Plath, prescribed her antidepressants a few days before her death. Knowing she was at risk alone with two young children, he says he visited her daily and made strenuous efforts to have her admitted to a hospital and when that failed, he arranged for a live-in nurse. Some commentators have argued that because anti-depressants may take up to three weeks to take effect, her prescription from Horder would not necessarily have helped. Others say that Plath's American doctor had warned her never again to take the anti-depressant drug which she found worsened her depression but Horder had prescribed it under a proprietary name which she did not recognize. The nurse[Notes 1] was due to arrive at nine o'clock the morning of 11 February 1963 to help Plath with the care of her children. Upon arrival, she could not get into the flat, but eventually gained access with the help of a workman, Charles Langridge. They found Plath dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in the kitchen, with her head in the oven, having sealed the rooms between herself and her sleeping children with wet towels and cloths. At approximately 4:30 am, Plath had placed her head in the oven, with the gas turned on. She was 30. It has been suggested that Plath had not intended to kill herself. That morning she asked her downstairs neighbor, a Mr. Thomas, what time he would be leaving. She also left a note reading "Call Dr. Horder", including the doctor's phone number. Therefore, it is argued Plath turned on the gas at a time when Mr. Thomas would have been able to see the note. However, in her biography Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath, Plath's best friend, Jillian Becker wrote, "According to Mr. Goodchild, a police officer attached to the coroner's office ... [Plath] had thrust her head far into the gas oven... [and] had really meant to die." Dr. Horder also believed her intention was clear. He stated that "No-one who saw the care with which the kitchen was prepared could have interpreted her action as anything but an irrational compulsion." In his 1971 book on suicide, friend and critic Al Alvarez claimed that Plath's suicide was an unanswered cry for help. Following death An inquiry on the day following Plath's death gave a ruling of suicide. Hughes was devastated; they had been separated five months. In a letter to an old friend of Plath's from Smith College, he wrote, "That's the end of my life. The rest is posthumous." Plath's gravestone, in Heptonstall's parish churchyard of St Thomas the Apostle, bears the inscription that Hughes chose for her: "Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted." Biographers variously attribute the source of the quote to the 16th century Buddhist novel Journey to the West written by Wu Ch'eng-En or to the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita. The gravestone has been repeatedly vandalized by those aggrieved that "Hughes" is written on the stone; they have attempted to chisel it off, leaving only the name "Sylvia Plath." When Hughes' partner Assia Wevill killed herself and their four-year-old daughter Shura in 1969, this practice intensified. After each defacement, Hughes had the damaged stone removed, sometimes leaving the site unmarked during repair. Outraged mourners accused Hughes in the media of dishonoring her name by removing the stone. Wevill's death led to claims that Hughes had been abusive to both Plath and Wevill. In 1970, radical feminist poet Robin Morgan published the poem "Arraignment", in which she openly accused Hughes of the battery and murder of Plath; other feminists threatened to kill him in Plath's name. In 1989, with Hughes under public attack, a battle raged in the letters pages of The Guardian and The Independent. In The Guardian on April 20, 1989 Hughes wrote the article "The Place Where Sylvia Plath Should Rest in Peace": "In the years soon after [Plath's] death, when scholars approached me, I tried to take their apparently serious concern for the truth about Sylvia Plath seriously. But I learned my lesson early. [...] If I tried too hard to tell them exactly how something happened, in the hope of correcting some fantasy, I was quite likely to be accused of trying to suppress Free Speech. In general, my refusal to have anything to do with the Plath Fantasia has been regarded as an attempt to suppress Free Speech [...] The Fantasia about Sylvia Plath is more needed than the facts. Where that leaves respect for the truth of her life (and of mine), or for her memory, or for the literary tradition, I do not know." On March 16, 2009, Nicholas Hughes, the son of Plath and Hughes, hanged himself at his home in Alaska, following a history of depression. Works Plath wrote poetry from the age of eight, a poem that appeared in the Boston Traveller. By the time she arrived at Smith College she had written over fifty short stories and published in a raft of magazines. At Smith she majored in English and won all the major prizes in writing and scholarship. She edited the college magazine Mademoiselle and on her graduation in 1955, she won the Glascock Prize for Two Lovers and a Beachcomber by the Real Sea. Later at Newnham, Cambridge, she wrote for the Varsity magazine. By the time Heinmann published her first collection, The Colossus and other poems in the UK in late in 1960, Plath had been short-listed several times in the Yale Younger Poets book competition and had had work printed in Harper's, The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement. All the poems in The Colossus had already been printed in major US and British journals and she had a contract with The New Yorker. It was however her 1965 collection Ariel, published posthumously, on which Plath's reputation essentially rests. In 1971, the volumes Winter Trees and Crossing the Water were published in the UK, including nine previously unseen poems from the original manuscript of Ariel. Writing in New Statesman, fellow poet Peter Porter wrote: "Crossing the Water is full of perfectly realised works. Its most striking impression is of a front-rank artist in the process of discovering her true power. Such is Plath's control that the book possesses a singularity and certainty which should make it as celebrated as The Colossus or Ariel. The Collected Poems, published in 1981, edited and introduced by Ted Hughes, contained poetry written from 1956 until her death. Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, the first poet to win the prize posthumously. In 2006 Anna Journey, then a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University, discovered a previously unpublished sonnet written by Plath entitled Ennui. The poem, composed during Plath's early years at Smith College, is published in Blackbird, the online journal. According to Hughes, Plath left behind "some 130 [typed] pages of another novel, provisionally titled Double Exposure. That manuscript disappeared somewhere around 1970.” Reception The Colossus received largely positive UK reviews, highlighting her voice as new and strong, individual and American in tone. Peter Dickinson at Punch called the collection "a real find" and "exhilarating to read", full of "clean, easy verse". Bernard Bergonzi at the Manchester Guardian said the book was an "outstanding technical accomplishment" with a "virtuoso' quality". From the point of publication she became a presence on the poetry scene. The book went on to be published in America in 1962 to less glowing reviews. Whilst her craft was generally praised, her writing was viewed as more derivative of other poets. Some later critics have described the first book as somewhat young, staid or conventional in comparison to the more free-flowing imagery and intensity of her later work. It was Hughes' publication of Ariel in 1965 that precipitated Plath's rise to fame. As soon as it was published critics began to see the collection as the charting of Plath's increasing desperation or death wish. Her dramatic death became her most famous aspect, and remains so. Time and Life both reviewed the slim volume of Ariel in the wake of her death. The critic at Time said: "Within a week of her death, intellectual London was hunched over copies of a strange and terrible poem she had written during her last sick slide toward suicide. 'Daddy' was its title; its subject was her morbid love-hatred of her father; its style was as brutal as a truncheon. What is more, 'Daddy' was merely the first jet of flame from a literary dragon who in the last months of her life breathed a burning river of bile across the literary landscape. [...] In her most ferocious poems, 'Daddy' and 'Lady Lazarus,' fear, hate, love, death and the poet's own identity become fused at black heat with the figure of her father, and through him, with the guilt of the German exterminators and the suffering of their Jewish victims. They are poems, as Robert Lowell says in his preface to Ariel, that 'play Russian roulette with six cartridges in the cylinder.'"[Notes 3] Some in the feminist movement saw Plath as speaking for their experience, as a "symbol of blighted female genius". Writer Honor Moore describes Ariel as marking the beginning of a movement, Plath suddenly visible as "a woman on paper", certain and audacious. Moore says: "When Sylvia Plath’s Ariel was published in the United States in 1966, American women noticed. Not only women who ordinarily read poems, but housewives and mothers whose ambitions had awakened [...] Here was a woman, superbly trained in her craft, whose final poems uncompromisingly charted female rage, ambivalence, and grief, in a voice with which many women identified." The United States Postal Service will introduce a postage stamp featuring Sylvia Plath in 2012. Themes Sylvia Plath's early poems exhibit what became her typical imagery, using personal and nature-based depictions featuring, for example, the moon, blood, hospitals, fetuses, and skulls. They were mostly imitation exercises of poets she admired such as Dylan Thomas, W. B. Yeats and Marianne Moore. Late in 1959, when she and Hughes were at the Yaddo writers' colony in New York State, she wrote the seven-part "Poem for a Birthday", echoing Theodore Roethke's Lost Son sequence, though its theme is her own traumatic breakdown and suicide attempt at 21. After 1960 her work moved into a more surreal landscape darkened by a sense of imprisonment and looming death, overshadowed by her father. The Colossus is shot through with themes of death, redemption and resurrection. After Hughes left, Plath produced, in less than two months, the forty poems of rage, despair, love, and vengeance on which her reputation mostly rests. The poems in Ariel mark a departure from her earlier work into a more personal arena of poetry. Robert Lowell's poetry may have played a part in this shift as she cited Lowell's 1959 book Life Studies as a significant influence, in an interview just before her death. Posthumously published in 1966, the impact of Ariel was dramatic, with its dark and potentially autobiographical descriptions of mental illness in poems such as '"Tulips", "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus". Plath's work is often held within the genre of confessional poetry and the style of her work compared to other contemporaries, such as Robert Lowell and W.D. Snodgrass. Plath's close friend Al Alvarez, who has written about her extensively, said of her later work: "Plath's case is complicated by the fact that, in her mature work, she deliberately used the details of her everyday life as raw material for her art. A casual visitor or unexpected telephone call, a cut, a bruise, a kitchen bowl, a candlestick—everything became usable, charged with meaning, transformed. Her poems are full of references and images that seem impenetrable at this distance but which could mostly be explained in footnotes by a scholar with full access to the details of her life." Many of Plath's later poems deal with what one critic calls the "domestic surreal" in which Plath takes every day elements of life and twists the images, giving them an almost nightmarish quality. Plath's fellow confessional poet and friend Anne Sexton commented: "Sylvia and I would talk at length about our first suicide, in detail and in depth—between the free potato chips. Suicide is, after all, the opposite of the poem. Sylvia and I often talked opposites. We talked death with burned-up intensity, both of us drawn to it like moths to an electric lightbulb, sucking on it. She told the story of her first suicide in sweet and loving detail, and her description in The Bell Jar is just that same story." The confessional interpretation of Plath's work has led to some dismissing certain aspects of her work as an exposition of sentimentalist melodrama; in 2010, for example, Theodore Dalrymple asserted that Plath had been the "patron saint of self-dramatization" and of self-pity. Revisionist critics such as Tracy Brain have, however, argued against a tightly autobiographical interpretation of Plath's material. Journals and letters Plath's letters were published in 1975, edited and selected by her mother Aurelia Plath. The collection, Letters Home: Correspondence 1950–1963, came out partly in response to the strong public reaction to the publication of The Bell Jar in America. Plath had kept a diary from the age of 11 until her death, doing so until her suicide. Her adult diaries, starting from her first year at Smith College in 1950, were first published in 1982 as The Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Frances McCullough, with Ted Hughes as consulting editor. In 1982, when Smith College acquired Plath's remaining journals, Hughes sealed two of them until February 11, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of Plath's death. During the last years of his life, Hughes began working on a fuller publication of Plath's journals. In 1998, shortly before his death, he unsealed the two journals, and passed the project onto his children by Plath, Frieda and Nicholas, who passed it on to Karen V. Kukil. Kukil finished her editing in December 1999, and in 2000 Anchor Books published The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. More than half of the new volume contained was newly released material; The American author Joyce Carol Oates hailed the publication as a "genuine literary event". Hughes faced criticism for his role in handling the journals: he claims to have destroyed Plath's last journal, which contained entries from the winter of 1962 up to her death. In the foreword of the 1982 version, he writes, "I destroyed [the last of her journals] because I did not want her children to have to read it (in those days I regarded forgetfulness as an essential part of survival).” The Bell Jar Plath's semi-autobiographical novel was published in 1963 and in the US in 1971, which her mother wished to block. Describing the compilation of the book to her mother, she wrote, "What I've done is to throw together events from my own life, fictionalising to add colour- it's a pot boiler really, but I think it will show how isolated a person feels when he is suffering a breakdown.... I've tried to picture my world and the people in it as seen though the distorting lens of a bell jar". She described her novel as "an autobiographical apprentice work which I had to write in order to free myself from the past". She dated a Yale senior named Dick Norton during her junior year. Norton, upon whom the character of Buddy in The Bell Jar is based, contracted tuberculosis and was treated at the Ray Brook Sanatorium near Saranac Lake. While visiting Norton, Plath broke her leg skiing, an incident that was fictionalized in the novel. Hughes controversy As Hughes and Plath were legally married at the time of her death, Hughes inherited the Plath estate, including all her written work. Hughes has been condemned from some quarters for burning Plath's last journal, saying he "did not want her children to have to read it." He lost another journal and an unfinished novel and instructed that a collection of Plath's papers and journals should not be released until 2013. In the reams of literary criticism and biography published after their deaths, after the release of new material, biopics, or any old-new controversy, the debate over Plath's literary estate is very often reduced to black and white, that is, whose story the readers choose. Hughes has been accused of attempting to control the estate for his own ends, although royalties from Plath's poetry were placed into a trust account for their two children, Frieda and Nicholas. Still the subject of speculation and approbation, Hughes published Birthday Letters in 1998, his own collection of 88 poems about his relationship with Plath. Hughes had published very little about his experience of the marriage and subsequent suicide and the book caused a sensation, being taken as his first explicit disclosure, topping best seller charts. It was not known at the volume's release that Hughes was suffering from terminal cancer and would die later that year. It went on to win the Forward Poetry Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and the Whitbread Poetry. The poems, written after her death, in some cases long after, are an account of a failure; they circle round a missing centre, trying to find a reason for why Plath took her own life. Plath was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2003 film Sylvia. Frieda Hughes, now a poet and painter, who was two years old when her mother died, was angered by the making of entertainment featuring her parents' lives. She accused the "peanut crunching" public of wanting to be titillated by the family's tragedies. In 2003 she published the poem "My Mother" in Tatler: Now they want to make a film For anyone lacking the ability To imagine the body, head in oven, Orphaning children [...] they think I should give them my mother's words To fill the mouth of their monster, Their Sylvia Suicide Doll Poetry collections * The Colossus and Other Poems (1960, William Heinemann) * Ariel (1961–1965) * Three Women: A Monologue for Three Voices (1968) * Crossing the Water (1971) * Winter Trees (1971) * The Collected Poems (1981) * Selected Poems (1985) * Plath: Poems (1998) * Sylvia Plath Reads, Harper Audio (2000) (Audio) Collected prose and novels * The Bell Jar: A novel (1963), under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" * Letters Home: Correspondence 1950–1963 (1975) * Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts (1977) * The Journals of Sylvia Plath (1982) * The Magic Mirror (published 1989), Plath's Smith College senior thesis * The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil (2000) Children's books * The Bed Book (1976) * The It-Doesn't-Matter-Suit (1996) * Collected Children's Stories (UK, 2001) * Mrs. Cherry's Kitchen (2001) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Plath
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an American expatriate poet, critic and a major figure of the early modernist movement. His contribution to poetry began with his promotion of Imagism, a movement that derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–1969). Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, Pound helped to discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost, and Ernest Hemingway. He was responsible for the publication in 1915 of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and for the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote of him in 1925: "He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. ... He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying ... he advances them hospital expenses and dissuades them from suicide." Outraged by the loss of life during the First World War, he lost faith in England, blaming the war on usury and international capitalism. He moved to Italy in 1924 where throughout the 1930s and 1940s, to his friends' dismay, he embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Oswald Mosley. The Italian government paid him during the Second World War to make hundreds of radio broadcasts criticizing the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in particular Jews, broadcasts that were monitored by the U.S. government, as a result of which he was arrested for treason by American forces in Italy in 1945. He spent months in detention in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including 25 days in a six-by-six-foot outdoor steel cage that he said triggered a mental breakdown: "when the raft broke and the waters went over me." Deemed unfit to stand trial, a decision disputed for decades after his death, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years. While in custody in Italy he had begun work on sections of The Cantos that became known as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library of Congress. The award triggered enormous controversy, mostly because of his antisemitism and the charge of treason, and in part because it raised literary questions about whether a supposedly "mad" poet who held such contentious views could produce work of any value. He was released from St. Elizabeths in 1958, thanks to a protracted campaign by his fellow writers, and returned to live in Italy until his death. His political views ensure that his work remains controversial; in 1933 Time magazine called him "a cat that walks by himself, tenaciously unhousebroken and very unsafe for children." Hemingway nevertheless wrote: "The best of Pound's writing – and it is in the Cantos – will last as long as there is any literature.” Background Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho Territory, the only child of Homer Loomis Pound (1858–1942) and Isabel Weston (1860–1948). Both parents' ancestors had emigrated from England in the 17th century. On his father's side, John Pound, a Quaker, sailed from England around 1650. His grandfather, Thaddeus Coleman Pound (1832–1914), was a retired Republican Congressman for north-west Wisconsin who had made and lost a fortune in the lumber business. His son Homer, Pound's father, had worked for Thaddeus until Thaddeus secured him an appointment as Register of the Government Land Office in Hailey. On his mother's side Pound was descended from William Wadsworth, a Puritan who emigrated from England to Boston on the Lyon in 1632. The Wadsworths married into the Westons of New York, and Harding Weston and Mary Parker produced Isabel Weston, Pound's mother. Harding apparently spent most of his life without work, so his brother, Ezra Weston and his wife, Frances, looked after Mary and Isabel's needs. Isabel was unhappy living in Hailey, and when her son was 18 months old she left with him to go back East. Homer followed them, and in 1889 Homer took a job as an assayer at the Philadelphia Mint. The family moved to 417 Walnut Street in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, then in July 1893 bought a six-bedroom house at 166 Fernbrook Avenue in the town of Wyncote, Pennsylvania. Education Pound's early education took place in a series of so-called dame schools, some of them run by Quakers: Miss Elliott's school in Jenkintown in 1892; the Misses Heacock's Chelten Hills school in Wyncote in 1893; and the Florence Ridpath school from 1894, which became the Wyncote Public School a year later. From 1898 until 1900 he attended the Cheltenham Military Academy, where the boys wore Civil War-style uniforms and were taught military drilling, how to shoot, and the importance of submitting to authority. Pound was clever, independent-minded, conceited, and unpopular. He knew early on that he wanted to be a poet. His first publication was on 7 November 1896 in the Jenkintown Times-Chronicle, a limerick about American politician William Jennings Bryan, who had just lost the presidential election: By E.L. Pound, Wyncote, Aged 11 years: "There was a young man from the West, / He did what he could for what he thought best." Pound's first trip overseas came two years later when he was 13, a three-month tour of Europe with his mother and Aunt Frances, who took him to England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. He was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal Arts in 1901 at the age of 15: I resolved that at 30 I would know more about poetry than any man living, that I would know what was accounted poetry everywhere, what part of poetry was "indestructible," what part could not be lost by translation and – scarcely less important – what effects were obtainable in one language only and were utterly incapable of being translated. In this search I learned more or less of nine foreign languages, I read Oriental stuff in translations, I fought every University regulation and every professor who tried to make me learn anything except this, or who bothered me with "requirements for degrees.” He met Hilda Doolittle at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of the professor of astronomy, and later became known as the poet H.D. Doolittle wrote that she felt her life was irrevocably intertwined with Pound's; she followed him to Europe in 1908, leaving her family, friends, and country for little benefit to herself, and became involved with Pound in developing the "Imagisme" movement in London. He asked her to marry him in the summer of 1907, though her father refused permission, and wrote several poems for her between 1905 and 1907, 25 of which he hand-bound and called "Hilda's Book". He was seeing two other women at the same time – Viola Baxter and Mary Moore – later dedicating a book of poetry, Personae (1909), to the latter. He asked Mary to marry him that summer too, but she turned him down. With his parents and Frances Weston, Pound took another three-month European tour in 1902, after which he transferred to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York – possibly because of poor grades – where he studied the Provençal dialect with William Pierce Shephard, and Old English with Joseph D. Ibbotson. David Moody writes that it was at Hamilton with Shephard that he read Dante, and out of the discussions emerged the idea for a long poem in three parts – dealing with emotion, instruction, and contemplation – which planted the seed for The Cantos. He graduated with a BPhil in 1905, then studied Romance languages under Hugo A. Rennert at the University of Pennsylvania, obtaining his MA in the spring of 1906. He registered as a PhD student to write a thesis on the jesters in Lope de Vega's plays, and was awarded a Harrison fellowship and a travel grant of $500, which he used to visit Europe again. He spent three weeks in Madrid in various libraries, including one in the royal palace; he was actually standing outside the palace during the attempted assassination on 31 May 1906 by anarchists of King Alfonso, and left the country for fear he would be identified with them. He moved on to Paris, spending two weeks in lectures at the Sorbonne, followed by a week in London. He returned to the U.S. in July, and his first essay, Raphaelite Latin, was published in Book News Monthly in September. In 1907 at the university, he apparently annoyed Felix Schelling, the head of English, with silly remarks during lectures – which included insisting that George Bernard Shaw was better than Shakespeare, and taking out an enormous tin watch and winding it with slow precision – and his fellowship was not renewed at the end of the year. Moreover Schelling told Pound he was wasting his own time and that of the institution; Pound abandoned his dissertation and left without finishing his doctorate. Teaching In the fall of 1907 he took a job as a teacher of Romance languages at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, a conservative town that he called the sixth circle of hell, with an equally conservative college from which he was dismissed after deliberately provoking the college authorities. Smoking was forbidden, so he would smoke cigarillos in his office down the corridor from the President's. He annoyed his landlords by entertaining friends, including women, and was forced to move from one house after "[t]wo stewdents found me sharing my meagre repast with a lady gent impersonator in my privut apartments," as he told a friend. He was eventually caught in flagrante, although the details remain unclear and he denied any wrongdoing. The incident involved a stranded chorus girl to whom he offered tea and his bed for the night when she was caught in a snowstorm; when she was discovered the next morning by the landladies, Misses Ida and Belle Hall, his insistence that he had slept on the floor was met with disbelief, and he was asked to leave the college. Glad to be free of the place he left for Europe soon after. London (1908–20) Introduction to literary scene Pound returned to Europe in the spring, arriving in Gibraltar in April with $80 in his pocket, but during the next few months earned money as a guide to American tourists. He sent poems to Harper's Magazine and began writing fiction that he hoped he could sell, and by the summer was in Venice, living over a bakery near the San Vio bridge. In July he self-published his first book of poetry, the 72-page A Lume Spento (With Tapers Spent), which sold 100 copies at six cents each. The London Evening Standard called it "wild and haunting stuff, absolutely poetic, original, imaginative." The title was from the third canto of Dante's Purgatorio, alluding to both the excommunicate Manfred's death, and to that of his friend, the Philadelphia artist William Brooke Smith, who died of consumption in his 20s. In August he moved to London, where he ended up staying almost continuously for 12 years. He wanted to meet W.B. Yeats, the greatest living poet in Pound's view, and they became close friends, although Yeats was older by 20 years. He had sent Yeats a copy of A Lume Spento, and Yeats had replied that he found it charming. Pound told William Carlos Williams, a friend from university: "London, deah old Lundon, is the place for poesy." English poets such as Maurice Hewlett, Rudyard Kipling, and Alfred Lord Tennyson had made a particular kind of Victorian verse – stirring, pompous, and propagandistic – popular with the public. James Knapp writes that Pound wanted to focus on the individual experience, the particular, the concrete, and rejected the idea of poetry as versified moral essay. Arriving in the city with ₤3, he first rented a room at 8 Duchess Street in the West End, then later at 48 Langham Street, near Great Titchfield Street, just a penny bus-ride from the British Museum. The house (see right) sat across an alley from the Yorkshire Grey pub, which made an appearance decades later in the Pisan Cantos, "concerning the landlady's doings / with a lodger unnamed / az waz near Gt Titchfield St. next door to the pub". Pound persuaded the bookseller Elkin Mathews – publisher of Yeats's Wind Among the Reeds and the Book of the Rhymer's Club – to display A Lume Spento, and by October 1908 he was being discussed around town. In December he published a second collection, A Quinzaine for This Yule, and after the death of a lecturer at the Regent Street Polytechnic he managed to acquire a position lecturing in the evenings from January to February 1909 on "The Development of Literature in Southern Europe". He would spend his mornings in the British Museum Reading Room, followed by lunch at the Vienna Café on Oxford Street. Ford Madox Ford described him, apparently tongue-in-cheek, as "approach[ing] with the step of a dancer, making passes with a cane at an imaginary opponent. He would wear trousers made of green billiard cloth, a pink coat, a blue shirt, a tie hand-painted by a Japanese friend, an immense sombrero, a flaming beard cut to a point, and a single, large blue earring.” Meeting Dorothy Shakespear, Personae n January 1909, Pound met the novelist Olivia Shakespear – Yeats's former lover and the subject of his The Lover Mourns for the Loss of Love – at a literary salon, and was invited to attend her Tuesday salons where he was introduced to Dorothy, Olivia's daughter, who became his wife in 1914. Through Olivia Shakespear he was introduced to Yeats, the artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Wyndham Lewis, and the rest of London's literary circle. Another patron was the American heiress Margaret Lanier Cravens (1881–1912), who after knowing him a short time offered him a large annual sum to allow him to focus on his work. Cravens killed herself in 1912, probably because the pianist Walter Rummel, long the object of her affection, married someone else, but possibly also because she learned of Pound's engagement to Dorothy. In June 1909 another collection, Personae, was published by Mathews, Pound's first publication to have any commercial success. It was reviewed by The Daily Telegraph and the Times Literary Supplement among others; they said it was full of passion and magic. Rupert Brooke gave a negative review in The Cambridge Review, complaining that Pound had fallen under the influence of Walt Whitman by writing in "unmetrical sprawling lengths". In September another 27 poems appeared as Exultations, dedicated to Carlos Tracey Chester who had published his essay in Book News Monthly in 1906. Around the same time he moved into new rooms at Church Walk, off Kensington High Street, where he lived most of the time until 1914. His first book of literary criticism, The Spirit of Romance, was published in 1910, based on his lectures at the polytechnic; others included Instigations (1920), Indiscretions (1923), "How to Read" (1931), The ABC of Reading (1934), Make It New (1934), Polite Essays (1937), and Guide to Kulchur (1938). In June 1910 Pound returned to the United States for eight months, in part to persuade the New York Public Library, then being built, to change its design. The New York Times wrote that he almost daily visited the architects' offices to shout at them. His essays on America were written during this period, and were compiled as Patria Mia, published in 1950. He loved New York but no longer felt at home there. He felt the city was threatened by commercialism and vulgarity. He suffered jaundice but nevertheless persuaded his parents to finance his passage back to Europe. It was nearly 30 years before he visited the United States again. On 22 February 1911 he sailed from New York on the R.M.S. Mauretania, arriving in Southampton six days later. After a few days in London, he visited Paris again, where he worked on a new collection of poetry, Canzoni (1911), panned by the Westminster Gazette as a "medley of pretension", and spent time with Margaret Cravens. When he returned to London in August 1911, A.R. Orage, editor of the socialist journal The New Age, hired him to write a weekly column, giving him a steadier income. Imagism Hilda Doolittle arrived in London from Philadelphia in May 1911 with the poet Frances Gregg and Gregg's mother, and when they returned in September she decided to stay on. Pound introduced her to his friends, including the poet Richard Aldington, whom she married in 1913. Before then, the three of them lived in Church Walk – Pound at no. 10, Doolittle at no. 6, and Aldington at no. 8 – and worked daily in the British Museum Reading Room. At the museum he also met regularly with the curator and poet Laurence Binyon, who introduced him to the East Asian artistic and literary concepts that would become so vital to the imagery and technique of his later poetry. The museum's visitors' books show that Pound was often to be found during 1912 and 1913 in the Print Room examining Japanese Nishiki-e inscribed with traditional Japanese waka verse, a 10th century genre of poetry whose economy and strict conventions undoubtedly contributed to Imagist techniques of composition. Pound was at that time working on the poems that became Ripostes (1912), trying to move away from his earlier work, which he wrote later had reduced Ford Madox Ford in 1911 to rolling on the floor laughing at Pound's stilted language. He realized with his translation work that the problem lay not in his knowledge of the other languages, but in his use of English: What obfuscated me was not the Italian but the crust of dead English, the sediment present in my own available vocabulary ... You can't go round this sort of thing. It takes six or eight years to get educated in one's art, and another ten to get rid of that education. Neither can anyone learn English, one can only learn a series of Englishes. Rossetti made his own language. I hadn't in 1910 made a language, I don't mean a language to use, but even a language to think in. He understood that to change the structure of your language is to change the way you think and see the world. While living at Church Walk in 1912, Pound, Aldington, and Doolittle started working on ideas about language that became the Imagism movement. The aim was clarity: a fight against abstraction, romanticism, rhetoric, inversion of word order, and over-use of adjectives. Pound later said they agreed in the spring or early summer of 1912 on three principles: 1. Direct treatment of the "thing" whether subjective or objective. 2. To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation. 3. As regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome. Superfluous words, particularly adjectives, were to be avoided, as were expressions like "dim lands of peace," which he said dulled the image by mixing the abstract with the concrete. He wrote that the natural object was always the "adequate symbol." Poets should "go in fear of abstractions," and should not re-tell in mediocre verse what has already been told in good prose. A classic example of the style is Pound's "In a Station of the Metro" (1913), inspired by an experience on the Paris Underground. "I got out of a train at, I think, La Concorde, and in the jostle I saw a beautiful face, and then, turning suddenly, another and another, and then a beautiful child's face, and then another beautiful face. All that day I tried to find words for what this made me feel." He worked on the poem for a year, reducing it to its essence in the style of a Japanese haiku. It reads in its entirety: The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. Ripostes, translation work It was in Ripostes, submitted to Swift & Co in February 1912 and published by them that October, that Pound moved toward more minimalist language, though Knapp writes that it is an uncertain volume, published when Pound had only begun his move toward Imagism; his first use of the word "Imagiste" was in Ripostes. Michael Alexander writes that the poems show a greater concentration of meaning and economy of rhythm than his earlier work. The collection includes five poems by the British poet T.E. Hulme, killed in Flanders in 1917 during the First World War to Pound's great distress. It also includes his translation of the 8th century Old English poem "The Seafarer", not a literal translation, but a personal interpretation and a poem in its own right. It upset scholars, as did his other translations from Latin, Italian, French, and Chinese, either because of errors or because he lacked familiarity with the cultural context. Alexander writes that in some circles his translations made him more unpopular than the treason charge, and the reaction to The Seafarer was a rehearsal for the response to Homage to Sextus Propertius in 1919. His translation from the Italian of Sonnets and ballate of Guido Cavalcanti was also published in 1912. Of great importance too was his work on the papers of Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908), an American professor who had taught in Japan, and who had started translations of Japanese poetry and Noh plays, with which Pound became fascinated. Pound used Fenollosa's work as a starting point for what he called the ideogrammic method. Fenollosa had studied Chinese poetry under a Japanese scholar, and in 1913 his widow, Mary McNeil Fenollosa, decided to give his unpublished notes to Pound after seeing his work; she said she was looking for someone who cared about the poetry, rather than the philology. Pound knew no Chinese himself, and was working from the posthumous notes of an American who had studied Chinese under a Japanese teacher. Nevertheless, Michael Alexander writes that there are competent judges of Chinese and English poetry who see Pound's work as the best translations of Chinese to English poetry ever made, though scholars have complained that it contains many mistakes, even more than The Seafarer. The result, the collection Cathay (1915), is in Alexander's view the most attractive volume of Pound's work. Wai-lim Yip of the Chinese University of Hong Kong writes: "One can easily excommunicate Pound from the Forbidden City of Chinese studies, but it seems clear that in his dealings with Cathay, even when he is given only the barest details, he is able to get into the central concerns of the original author by what we may perhaps call a kind of clairvoyance.” Marriage, BLAST In August 1912 Harriet Monroe hired Pound as a regular contributor to Poetry, and started submitting poems by himself, James Joyce, Robert Frost, D. H. Lawrence, Yeats, H.D., and Aldington, as well as collecting material for a 64-page anthology, Des Imagistes (1914), which included Joyce's "I Hear an Army Charging". The Imagist movement began to attract attention from critics. In November 1913 Yeats took Pound to stay with him in rooms he rented in Stone Cottage in Coleman's Hatch, Sussex, to act as his secretary – Yeats's eyesight was failing – and they stayed there for 10 weeks, reading and writing, walking in the woods, and fencing for exercise. It was the first of three winters they spent there together, including two with Dorothy after she and Pound were married on 20 April 1914. The marriage proceeded despite initial opposition from her parents, who were concerned about Pound's lack of income. He had only his earnings from literary magazines, particularly Poetry, The New Freewoman, and The Egoist, and was probably earning considerably less than £300 a year. Dorothy's income was £50 of her own and £150 from her family. Her parents eventually consented, perhaps out of fear that she was getting older and no other suitor was in sight. Pound's concession to marry in church helped. Afterwards he and Dorothy moved into a large—famously triangular—room with no bathroom at 5 Holland Place Chambers, near Church Walk, with the newly wed Hilda and Richard Aldington living next door. Pound began writing for Wyndham Lewis's literary magazine BLAST; only two issues ever appeared, the first in June 1914 and the second a year later. An advertisement in The Egoist said it would discuss "Cubism, Futurism, Imagisme and all Vital Forms of Modern Art." Pound took the opportunity to extend the definition of Imagisme to art, naming it Vorticism: "The image is a radiant node or cluster; it is ... a VORTEX, from which, and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing." When in reaction to the magazine, Lascelles Abercrombie called for the rejection of Imagism and a return to the traditionalism of William Wordsworth, Pound challenged him to a duel on the basis that, "Stupidity carried beyond a certain point becomes a public menace." Abercrombie suggested as their choice of weapon unsold copies of their own books. The publication of BLAST was celebrated at a dinner attended by New England poet Amy Lowell, who came to London to meet the Imagists, but Hilda and Richard were already moving away from Pound's understanding of the movement, as he moved closer to Wyndham Lewis's ideas. When Lowell agreed to finance an anthology of Imagist poets, Pound's work was not included. He began to call Imagisme "Amygism," and in July 1914 declared it dead, asking only that the term be preserved, although Lowell eventually Anglicized it. First World War, disillusionment Between 1914 and 1916 he helped to have James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man serialized in The Egoist then published in book form, and he persuaded Poetry to publish T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in June 1915. Conrad Aiken writes that he had shown "Prufrock" to every conceivable editor in England, but it was dismissed as crazy. He eventually sent it to Pound who, Aiken writes, instantly saw that it was a work of genius and sent it to Poetry. "[Eliot] has actually trained himself AND modernized himself ON HIS OWN," Pound wrote to Monroe in October 1914. "The rest of the promising young have done one or the other but never both. Most of the swine have done neither." After the publication in 1915 of Cathay, Pound began to speak of working on his long poem. He told a friend in August: "It is a huge, I was going to say, gamble, but shan't," and in September told another that it was a "cryselephantine poem of immeasurable length which will occupy me for the next four decades unless it becomes a bore." About a year later, he had the form of the first three attempts at Canto I, published in Poetry in January 1917. He was now a regular contributor to three literary magazines. From 1917 he wrote music reviews for The New Age under the pen name William Atheling, and weekly pieces for The Little Review and The Egoist. The volume of writing exhausted him, and he began to believe he was wasting his time with prose. In 1919 he collected and published his essays for The Little Review into a volume called Instigations, and published "Homage to Sextus Propertius" in Poetry. "Homage" is not a strict translation; Moody describes it as "the refraction of an ancient poet through a modern intelligence". Harriet Monroe, editor of Poetry, published a letter from a professor of Latin, W.G. Hale, saying that Pound was "incredibly ignorant" of the language, and alluded to "about three-score errors" in Homage. Harriet did not publish Pound's response, which began "Cat-piss and porcupines!!" and continued, "The thing is no more a translation than my 'Altaforte' is a translation, or than Fitzgerald's Omar is a translation ..." But she interpreted his silence after that as his resignation as foreign editor. Hugh Selwyn Mauberley Hugh Selwyn Mauberley – about a poet whose life, like Pound's, has become sterile and meaningless – was published in June 1920, marking his farewell to London. He was disgusted by the lives lost during the war and could not reconcile himself with it. Stephen Adams writes that, just as T. S. Eliot denied he was Prufrock, so Pound denied he was Mauberley, but the poem, made up of 18 short poems, is nevertheless read as autobiographical. It begins with a satirical analysis of the London literary scene, then turns to social criticism and economics, and an attack on the causes of the war, the word "usury" appearing in his work for the first time. The critic F. R. Leavis saw it as Pound's major achievement. The war had shattered Pound's belief in modern western civilization. He saw the Vorticist movement as finished and doubted his own future as a poet. He had only the New Age to write for, with other magazines ignoring his submissions or not reviewing his work. Toward the end of 1920 he and Dorothy decided their time in London was over, and resolved to move to Paris. A. R. Orage wrote in the January 1921 issue of The New Age: Mr. Pound has shaken the dust of London from his feet with not too emphatic a gesture of disgust, but, at least, without gratitude to this country .... Mr. Pound has been an exhilarating influence for culture in England ... however, Mr. Pound ... has made more enemies than friends. Much of the Press has been deliberately closed by cabal to him; his books have for some time been ignored or written down; and he himself has been compelled to live on much less than would support a navvy. Paris (1921–24) The Pounds settled in Paris in January 1921 in an inexpensive apartment at 70 bis, rue Notre Dame des Champs. He became friendly with Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, Fernand Léger and others of the Dada and Surrealist movements, as well as Basil Bunting, Ernest Hemingway, and his wife Hadley. He spent most of his time building furniture for his apartment and bookshelves for the bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and in 1921 his Poems 1918–1921 was published. In 1922 Eliot sent him the manuscript of "The Waste Land", he had arrived in Paris to edit it with Pound who blue-inked the manuscript with comments like "make up yr. mind ..." and "georgian." Eliot wrote: "I should like to think that the manuscript, with the suppressed passages, had disappeared irrecoverably; yet, on the other hand, I should wish the blue pencilling on it to be preserved as irrefutable evidence of Pound's critical genius.” In 1924 Pound secured funding for Ford Madox Ford's transatlantic review from American attorney John Quinn. The review published works by Pound, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, as well as extracts from Joyce's Finnegans Wake, before the money ran out in 1925. The review published a number of Pound music reviews, later collected into Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony. Hemingway asked Pound, who had gained a reputation as "an unofficial minister of culture who acted as mid-wife for new literary talent", to blue-ink his short stories. Although Hemingway was 14 years younger, the two forged a relationship of mutual respect and friendship, living on the same street for a time, and touring Italy together in 1923; as Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes, "They liked each other personally, shared the same aesthetic aims, and admired each other's work", with Hemingway assuming the status of pupil to Pound's teaching. Pound introduced Hemingway to Lewis, Ford, and Joyce, while Hemingway in turn tried to teach Pound to box, but as he told Sherwood Anderson, "[Ezra] habitually leads with his chin and has the general grace of a crayfish of crawfish". Pound was 36 when he met the American violinist Olga Rudge in Paris in the fall of 1922, beginning a love affair that lasted 50 years. John Tytell writes that Pound had always felt there was a link between his creativity and his ability to seduce women, something Dorothy had turned a blind eye to over the years. He complained shortly after arriving in Paris that he had been there for three months without having managed to find a mistress. He was introduced to Olga, then 26, at a musical salon hosted by American heiress Natalie Barney in her home at 20 rue Jacob, near the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The two moved in different social circles: she was the daughter of a wealthy Youngstown, Ohio steel family, living in her mother's Parisian apartment on the Right Bank, socializing with aristocrats, while his friends were mostly impoverished writers of the Left Bank. They spent the following summer in the south of France, where he worked with George Antheil to apply the concept of Vorticism to music, and managed to write two operas, including Le Testament de Villon. He also wrote pieces for solo violin, which Olga performed. Italy (1924–45) Birth of the children The Pounds were unhappy in Paris. Dorothy was complaining about the winters, and Pound's health was poor. At a dinner someone had randomly tried to stab him and it underlined that their time in France was over. Hemingway wrote that Pound "indulged in a small nervous breakdown necessitating spending two days in the Am. Hospital (American Hospital)." They decided to move to a quieter place, and chose Rapallo, Italy, a town with a population of 15,. "Italy is my place for starting things," he told a friend. Olga Rudge followed them there, carrying Pound's child. She apparently had no interest in raising a child, but Tytell writes that she felt having one would keep her connected to him. She gave birth to a daughter, Mary, on 9 July 1925 in Brixen, and the baby was handed over to a German-speaking peasant woman whose own child had died, and who agreed to raise Mary (later de Rachewiltz) for 200 lire a month. When Pound told Dorothy about the birth she separated from him for much of that year and the next, and in March 1926 – after returning from a three-month visit to Egypt – she announced that she too was pregnant. She and Pound left Rapallo for Paris for the premiere of Le Testament de Villon, without mentioning the pregnancy to Pound's friends or parents, and on 10 September 1926 Hemingway drove her to the American Hospital of Paris for the birth of a son, Omar. In a letter to his parents in October Pound wrote, "next generation (male) arrived. Both D & it appear to be doing well." Dorothy handed the baby over to her mother, Olivia, who raised him in London until he was old enough to go to boarding school. When Dorothy went to England each summer to see Omar, Pound would spend the time with Olga, whose father had bought her a house in Venice. The arrangement meant his children were raised very differently. Mary had one pair of shoes and books about Jesus and the saints, while Omar was raised as an English gentleman in Kensington by his sophisticated grandmother. In 1925 the literary magazine This Quarter dedicated its first issue to Pound, including tributes from Hemingway and Joyce. Pound published Cantos 17–19 in the winter editions. In March 1927 he launched his own literary magazine, The Exile, but only four issues were published. It did well in the first year, with contributions from Hemingway, E. E. Cummings, Basil Bunting, Yeats, William Carlos Williams and Robert McAlmon. J.J. Wilhelm argues that some of the worst work came from Pound himself in the form of rambling editorials about Confucianism and praise of Lenin. He continued to work on Fenollosa's manuscripts, and in 1928 won The Dial's poetry award for his translation of the Confucian classic Great Learning (Dà Xué, which pound transliterated as Ta Hio). That year Homer and Isabel visited him in Rapallo. They had not seen him since 1914, and by then Homer had retired so they decided to move to Rapallo themselves, taking a small house, Villa Raggio, on a hill above the town. The Cantos The bulk of Pound's work on The Cantos began after his move to Italy. Like all the other great epics, it is the story of good and evil, a descent into hell and progress to paradise. Its hundreds of characters fall into three groups: those who enjoy hell and stay there; those who experience a metamorphosis and want to leave; and a few who lead the rest to paradiso terrestre. He began work on it in 1915, but there were several false starts and he abandoned most of his earlier drafts, beginning again in 1922. The subject matter ranges from Odysseus, Troy, Dionysus, Malatesta, Confucius, and Napoleon, to Jefferson and Mussolini, Chinese history, Pisa, and usury, relying on memories, diaries, jokes, hymns, anecdotes, ideogrammic translation, and up to 15 different languages. Allen Tate, who supported Pound for the Bollingen Prize for the sections of The Cantos known as the Pisan Cantos, writes that the poem is not about anything, and has no beginning, middle, or end. He argues that Pound was incapable of sustained thought and was "at the mercy of random flights of 'angelic insight,' Icarian self-indulgences of prejudices." The first three cantos, now known as the ur-Cantos, appeared in Poetry in June–August 1917. The Malatesta Cantos (Cantos VIII, IX, X, and XI of a Long Poem) appeared in The Criterion in July 1923, and two further cantos were published in the transatlantic review in January 1924. Pound published 90 copies in Paris in 1925 A Draft of XVI. Cantos of Ezra Pound for the Beginning of a Poem of some Length now first made into a Book. It was followed by A Draft of XXX Cantos (1930), Eleven New Cantos XXI–XLI (1934), The Fifth Decade of Cantos (1937), Cantos LII–LXXI (1940), The Pisan Cantos (1948), written while in custody in Pisa, and Seventy Cantos (1950). The first complete edition was published in 1964 as The Cantos (1–109), followed by Drafts and Fragments: Cantos CX-CXVII (1968). Turn to fascism, Second World War Pound came to believe during the 1920s that the cause of the First World War was finance capitalism, which he called "usury," and that the solution was C.H. Douglas's idea of social credit, with fascism as the vehicle for reform; he had met Douglas in The New Age offices and had been impressed by his ideas. He presented a series of lectures on economics, and made contact with politicians in the United States about education, interstate commerce and international affairs. Although Hemingway advised against it, on 30 January 1933 Pound met Mussolini himself. Olga Rudge had played for Mussolini and had told him about Pound; Pound had already sent him a copy of Cantos XXX. During the meeting he tried to present Mussolini with a digest of his economic ideas, but Tytell writes that Mussolini brushed them aside, though he called the Cantos "divertente" (entertaining). The meeting was recorded in Canto 41: "'Ma questo' / said the boss, 'è divertente.'". Pound told Douglas that he had "never met anyone who seemed to GET my ideas so quickly as the boss." A number of Pound's books were published in the 1930s, including ABC of Economics (1933), ABC of Reading (1934), Social Credit: An Impact (1935), Jefferson and/or Mussolini (1936), and A Guide to Kulchur (1938). In 1936 James Laughlin – who had visited him in Rapallo in 1933 as a 20-year-old student – set up New Directions Publishing, and acted as Pound's agent, finding publications to accept his work and writing reviews. When Dorothy's mother died in October 1938 in London, Dorothy asked Pound to organize the funeral, where he met their 12-year-old son Omar for the first time in eight years. He visited T. S. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis, who produced a now-famous portrait of Pound reclining. In April 1939 he sailed for New York, believing he could stop America from involvement in the Second World War, happy to answer reporters' questions about Mussolini while he lounged on the deck of the ship in a tweed jacket. He traveled to Washington, D.C. where he met senators and congressmen. Mary said he did it out of a sense of responsibility, rather than megalomania; he was offered no encouragement, and left depressed and frustrated. While in America, Pound received an honorary doctorate from Hamilton College on 12 June 1939, and a week later he returned to Italy, where he began writing antisemitic material for Italian newspapers, including one entitled "The Jews, Disease Incarnate." He wrote to James Laughlin that Roosevelt represented Jewry, and signed the letter "Heil Hitler." He started writing for Action, a newspaper owned by the British fascist, Sir Oswald Mosley, arguing that the Third Reich was the "natural civilizer of Russia." After war broke out in September that year, he began a furious letter-writing campaign to the politicians he had petitioned six months earlier, arguing that the war was the result of an international banking conspiracy, and that the United States should keep out of it. Radio broadcasts Tytell writes that by the 1940s no American or English poet had been so active politically since William Blake. Pound had written over a thousand letters a year during the previous decade, and had presented his ideas in hundreds of articles, as well as in The Cantos. According to Tytell, Pound's fear was an economic structure that depended on the armaments industry, where the profit motive alone would govern war and peace. He started reading George Santayana, and The Law of Civilization and Decay by Brooks Adams, finding confirmation of the danger of the capitalist and usurer becoming dominant. He wrote in The Japan Times that "Democracy is now currently defined in Europe as a 'country run by Jews,'" and told Oswald Mosley's newspaper the English were a slave race governed by the Rothschilds since Waterloo. Pound broadcast over Rome Radio, though the Italian government was at first reluctant, concerned he might be a double agent. He told a friend: "It took me, I think it was, TWO years, insistence and wrangling etc., to GET HOLD of their microphone." He recorded just over a hundred broadcasts, and traveled to Rome one week a month to pre-record the 10-minute broadcasts, for which he was paid around $17. The broadcasts required the Italian government's approval in advance, though he often changed the text in the studio. The politics apart, he needed the money. Tytell writes that his voice had assumed a "rasping, buzzing quality like the sound of a hornet stuck in a jar." He continued to occasionally broadcast, and writing under pseudonyms until about April 1945, shortly before his arrest. Arrest for treason A few weeks later he returned south via Milan to Olga and Dorothy. They had been living in Isabel's apartment, but it was small so they decided to move in with Olga at Sant' Ambrogio. His daughter Mary, then 19, was sent to Gais in Switzerland, leaving Pound, as she wrote, "pent up with two women who loved him, whom he loved, and who coldly hated each other." He was in Rome when the Allies landed in Sicily in July 1943. Pound borrowed a pair of hiking boots and a knapsack and left the city, having finally decided to tell Mary about his wife and son. He traveled 450 miles north, spending a night in an air raid shelter in Bologna, and taking a train part of the way to Verona. She almost failed to recognize him when he arrived, he was so dirty and tired. He told her everything about his other family; she later said she felt more pity than anger. He returned to Rapallo, where on 2 May 1945, four days after Mussolini was shot, armed partisans arrived at the house while Pound was there alone. He stuffed a copy of Confucius and a Chinese dictionary in his pocket, and was taken to their HQ in Chiavari, although he was released shortly afterwards. He and Olga then gave themselves up to an American military post in the nearby town of Lavagna. It was decided that Pound should be transported to U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps headquarters in Genoa, where he was interrogated by Frank L. Amprin, the FBI agent assigned by J. Edgar Hoover to gather evidence following the 1943 indictment. Pound asked permission to send a cable to President Truman to offer to help negotiate peace with Japan. He also asked to deliver a final broadcast from a script called "Ashes of Europe Calling," in which he recommended peace with Japan, American management of Italy, the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, and leniency toward Germany. His requests were denied and the script forwarded to Hoover. On 8 May, the day Germany surrendered, he told a reporter from the Philadelphia Record who had managed to get into the compound for an interview that Hitler was "a Jeanne d'Arc, a saint," and that Mussolini was an "imperfect character who lost his head." On 24 May he was transferred to the United States Army Disciplinary Training Center north of Pisa, used to house military personnel awaiting court martial. The temporary commander placed him in one of the camp's "death cells," a series of six-by-six-foot outdoor steel cages lit up all night by floodlights. He was left for three weeks in isolation in the heat, denied exercise, eyes inflamed by dust, no bed, no belt, no shoelaces, and no communication with the guards, except for the chaplain. After two and a half weeks he began to break down under the strain. Richard Sieburth writes that he recorded it in Canto 80, where Odysseus is saved from drowning by Leucothea: "hast'ou swum in a sea of air strip / through an aeon of nothingness, / when the raft broke and the waters went over me." Medical staff moved him out of the cage the following week. On 14 and 15 June he was examined by psychiatrists, one of whom found symptoms of a mental breakdown, and he was transferred to his own officer's tent and allowed reading material. He began to write, and drafted what became known as The Pisan Cantos; the existence of a few sheets of toilet paper showing the beginning of Canto LXXXIV suggests he started it while in the cage. United States (1945–58) St Elizabeths On 15 November, 1945, Pound was transferred to the United States. An escorting officer's impression was that "he is an intellectual 'crackpot' who imagined that he could correct all the economic ills of the world and who resented the fact that ordinary mortals were not sufficiently intelligent to understand his aims and motives." On 25 November he was arraigned in Washington D.C. on charges of treason. The charges included broadcasting for the enemy, attempting to persuade American citizens to undermine government support of the war, and strengthening morale in Italy against the United States. He was admitted to St. Elizabeths Hospital – where in June 1946 Dorothy was declared his legal guardian – and held for a time in the hospital's prison ward, Howard's Hall, known as the "hell-hole," a building without windows in a room with a thick steel door and nine peepholes, which allowed the psychiatrists to observe him while they tried to agree on a diagnosis. Visitors were allowed only for 15 minutes at a time, while other patients wandered around outside the room screaming and frothing at the mouth, according to T. S. Eliot. Pound's lawyer, Julien Cornell, whose efforts to have him declared insane are credited with having saved him from life imprisonment, requested his release at a bail hearing in January 1947. The hospital's superintendent, Winfred Overholser, agreed instead to move him to the more pleasant surroundings of Chestnut Ward, close to Overholser's private quarters, which is where he spent the next 12 years. The historian Stanley Kutler was given access in the 1980s to military intelligence and other government documents about Pound, including his hospital records, and wrote that the psychiatrists believed Pound had a narcissistic personality, but they considered him sane. Kutler said that Overholser protected Pound from the criminal justice system because he was fascinated by him. Tytell argues that Pound was in his element in Chestnut Ward. He was at last provided for, and was allowed to read, write, and receive visitors, including Dorothy for several hours a day. He took over a small alcove with wicker chairs just outside his room, and turned it into his private living room, where he entertained his friends and important literary figures. He began work on his translation of Sophocles's Women of Trachis and Electra, and continued work on The Cantos. It reached the point where he refused to discuss any attempt to have him released. Olga Rudge visited him twice, once in 1952 and again in 1955, and was unable to convince him to be more assertive about his release. She wrote to a friend: "E.P. has ... bats in the belfry but it strikes me that he has fewer not more than before his incarceration.” The Pisan Cantos, Bollingen Prize James Laughlin had Cantos 74–84 ready for publication in 1946 under the title The Pisan Cantos, and even gave Pound an advance copy, but he had held it back, waiting for an appropriate time to publish. Tytell writes that in June 1948 a group of Pound's friends – Eliot, Cummings, W. H. Auden, Allen Tate, and Julien Cornell – met Laughlin to discuss how to get him released. According to the poet Archibald MacLeish, the men conceived a plan to have Pound awarded the first Bollingen Prize, a new national poetry award just announced by the Library of Congress, with $1, prize money donated by the Mellon family. The awards committee consisted of 15 fellows of the Library of Congress, including several of Pound's supporters, such as Eliot, Tate, Conrad Aiken, Amy Lowell, Katherine Anne Porter, and Theodore Spencer. The idea was that the Justice Department would be placed in an untenable position if Pound won a major award and was not released. Laughlin published The Pisan Cantos on 30 July 1948, and the following year the prize went to Pound. There were two dissenting voices, Katherine Garrison Chapin, the wife of Francis Biddle, the Attorney General who had indicted Pound for treason, and Karl Shapiro, who said that he could not vote for an antisemite because he was Jewish himself. Pound's response to the news of the award was, "No comment from the bughouse." There was uproar. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted critics who said "poetry [cannot] convert words into maggots that eat at human dignity and still be good poetry." Robert Hillyer, a Pulitzer Prize winner and president of the Poetry Society of America, attacked the committee in The Saturday Review of Literature, telling journalists that he "never saw anything to admire in Pound, not one line." Congressman Jacob K. Javits demanded an investigation into the awards committee, and as a result it was the last time the prize was administered by the Library of Congress. Controversial friendships, release Although Pound repudiated his antisemitism in public, Tytell writes that in private it continued. He often refused to talk to psychiatrists with Jewish-sounding names, would refer to people he disliked as Jews, and urged his visitors to read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903), a fabrication claiming to represent a Jewish plan for world domination. He struck up a friendship during the 1950s with the writer Eustace Mullins, believed to be associated with the Aryan League of America, who wrote a biography of Pound, This Difficult Individual, Ezra Pound (1961). Even more damaging was his friendship with a far-right activist and member of the Ku Klux Klan, John Kasper. Kasper had come to admire Pound during some literature classes at university, and after he wrote to Pound in 1950 the two became friends. Kasper opened a bookstore in Greenwich Village in 1953 called "Make it New," reflecting his commitment to Pound's ideas; it specialized in far-right material, including Nazi literature, and Pound's poetry and translations were displayed in the window. Kasper and another follower of Pound's, David Horton, set up a publishing imprint, Square Dollar Series, which Pound used as a vehicle for his tracts about economic reform. Kasper was eventually jailed for the 1957 bombing of the Hattie Cotton School in Nashville, targeted because a black girl had registered as a student. Wilhelm writes that there were a lot of perfectly respectable people visiting Pound too, such as the classicist J.P. Sullivan and the writer Guy Davenport, but it was the association with Mullins and Kasper that stood out. The relationships delayed his release from St Elizabeths. Eliot's friends continued to try to get him out. Shortly after Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954, he told Time magazine that "this would be a good year to release poets." MacLeish asked him in June 1957 to write a letter on Pound's behalf; Hemingway believed Pound was unable to abstain from awkward political statements or from friendships with people like Kasper, but he signed a letter of support anyway, and pledged $1, to be given to Pound when he was released. In 1957 several publications began campaigning for his release. Le Figaro published an appeal entitled "The Lunatic at St Elizabeths." The New Republic, Esquire and The Nation followed suit; The Nation argued that Pound was a sick and vicious old man, but that he had rights too. In 1958 MacLeish hired Thurman Arnold, a prestigious lawyer who ended up charging no fee, to file a motion to dismiss the 1945 indictment. Overholser, the hospital's superintendent, supported the application with an affidavit saying Pound was permanently and incurably insane, and that confinement served no therapeutic purpose. The motion was heard on 18 April that year by the same judge who had committed him to St Elizabeths. The Department of Justice did not oppose the motion, and Pound was free. Italy (1958–72) Pound arrived in Naples in July, where he was photographed giving a fascist salute by the waiting press. When asked by the press when he had been released from the mental hospital, he replied: "I never was. When I left the hospital I was still in America, and all America is an insane asylum." He and Dorothy went to live with Mary at Castle Brunnenburg near Merano in the Province of South Tyrol – where he met his grandson, Walter, and his granddaughter, Patrizia, for the first time – then returned to Rapallo, where Olga Rudge was waiting to join them. They were accompanied by a teacher Pound had met in hospital, Marcella Spann, 40 years younger than him, who was ostensibly acting as his secretary, collecting poems for an anthology. The four women soon fell out, vying for control over him; Canto 113 alluded to it: "Pride, jealousy and possessiveness / 3 pains of hell." Pound was in love with Marcella, seeing in her his last chance for love and youth. He wrote about her in Canto CXIII: "The long flank, the firm breast / and to know beauty and death and despair / And to think that what has been shall be, / flowing, ever unstill." Dorothy had usually ignored his affairs, but she used her legal power over his royalties to make sure Marcella was seen off, sent back to America. Pound wrote to Hemingway: "Old man him tired." By December 1959 he had fallen into a depression, insisting his work was worthless and The Cantos were botched. In a 1960 interview given in Rome to Donald Hall for Paris Review, he said: "You—find me—in fragments." Hall wrote that he seemed in an "abject despair, accidie, meaninglessness, abulia, waste." He paced up and down during the three days it took to complete the interview, never finishing a sentence, bursting with energy one minute, then suddenly sagging, and at one point seemed about to collapse. Hall said it was clear that he "doubted the value of everything he had done in his life." Those close to him thought he was suffering from dementia, and in the summer of 1960 Mary placed him in a clinic near Merano when his weight dropped. He picked up again, but by the spring of 1961 he had a urinary infection. Dorothy felt unable to look after him, so he went that summer to live with Olga in Rapallo, then Venice; Dorothy mostly stayed in London after that with Omar. He attended a neo-Fascist May Day parade in 1962, but his health continued to decline. The next year he told an interviewer, Grazia Levi, "I spoil everything I touch. I have always blundered .... All my life I believed I knew nothing, yes, knew nothing. And so words became devoid of meaning.” William Carlos Williams died in 1963, followed two years later by T. S. Eliot. Pound attended Eliot's funeral in London and traveled to Dublin to visit Yeats's widow. Allen Ginsberg visited him in Rapallo in October 1967. He described his work to Ginsberg as: "A mess ... my writing, stupidity and ignorance all the way through," and in the Pensione Alle Salute da Cici restaurant in Venice, he told Ginsberg, Peter Russell, and Michael Reck: "... but my worst mistake was the stupid suburban anti-Semitic prejudice, all along that spoiled everything ... I found after seventy years that I was not a lunatic but a moron ... I should have been able to do better ..." Two years later Pound went to New York for the opening of an exhibition that featured his blue-inked version of Eliot's The Waste Land, and received a standing ovation at Hamilton College when he accompanied Laughlin who was receiving an honorary doctorate. Shortly before his death in 1972 it was proposed he be awarded the Emerson-Thoreau Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, but after a storm of protest the academy's council opposed it by 13 to 9. The sociologist Daniel Bell, who was on the committee, argued that it was important to distinguish between those who explore hate and those who approve it. Two weeks before his 87th birthday he read for a gathering of friends at a café: "re USURY / I was out of focus, taking a symptom for a cause. / The cause is AVARICE." On his birthday he was too weak to leave his bedroom at his home on the Piazza San Marco, and the following night he was admitted to the Civil Hospital of Venice, where he died in his sleep of an intestinal blockage on 1 November, aged 87, with Olga at his side. Dorothy was unable to travel to the funeral. Four gondoliers dressed in black rowed the body to the island cemetery, Isola di San Michele, where he was buried near Diaghilev and Stravinsky. Dorothy died in England the following year. Olga died in 1996 and was buried next to Pound. Reception Opinion varies about the nature of Pound's writing style. Critics generally agree that he was a strong lyricist, particularly in his early work. Scholars such as Ira Nadel see evidence of modernism in his poetry before he began the Cantos, and Witmeyer argues that, as early as Ripostes, a modern style is evident. His style drew on literature from a variety of disciplines. Nadel writes that he wanted his poetry to represent an "objective presentation of material which he believed could stand on its own," without use of symbolism or romanticism. The Chinese writing system most closely met his ideals. He used Chinese ideograms to represent "the thing in pictures," and from Noh theater learned that plot could be replaced by a single image. Nadel argues that imagism was to change Pound's poetry. He explains, "Imagism evolved as a reaction against abstraction ... replacing Victorian generalities with the clarity in Japanese haiku and ancient Greek lyrics." Pound scholar Daniel Albright writes that Pound tried to condense and eliminate "all but the hardest kernel" from a poem such as the two-line poem "In a Station of the Metro". This, however, was a technique that did not lend itself well to the writing of an epic such as the Cantos, and so Pound turned to the more dynamic structure of what he considered Vorticism for the Cantos. Translations In Pound's Fenollosa translations, unlike previous American translators of Chinese poetry, who tended to work with strict metrical and stanzaic patterns, Pound created free verse translations. Whether the poems are valuable as translations continues to be a source of controversy. Pound scholar Ming Xie explains that the use of language in Pound's translation of the Old English poem "The Seafarer" is deliberate, avoiding merely "trying to assimilate the original into contemporary language". After his work with The Seafarer, it was in the Japanese Noh plays that he found an answer to his search for anti-naturalist minimalism which occurred just prior to his initial work with Fenellosa's papers, leading to the translation of 14 Chinese poems in Cathay, published in 1915. Neither Pound nor Fenollosa spoke or read Chinese proficiently, and Pound has been criticized for omitting or adding sections to his poems which have no basis in the original texts, though critics argue that the fidelity of Cathay to the original Chinese is beside the point. Hugh Kenner, in a chapter "The Invention of China" from The Pound Era, contends that Cathay should be read primarily as a work about World War I, not as an attempt at accurately translating ancient Eastern poems. The real achievement of the book, Kenner argues, is in how it combines meditations on violence and friendship with an effort to "rethink the nature of an English poem". These ostensible translations of ancient Eastern texts, Kenner argues, are actually experiments in English poetics and compelling elegies for a warring West. Michael Alexander writes that, as a translator, Pound was a pioneer with a great gift of language and an incisive intelligence. He helped popularize major poets such as Guido Cavalcanti and Du Fu and brought Provençal and Chinese poetry to English-speaking audiences. He revived interest in the Confucian classics and introduced the west to classical Japanese poetry and drama. He translated and championed Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon classics, and helped keep them alive at a time when classical education was in decline, and poets no longer considered translations central to their craft. Legacy His own work apart, Pound was responsible for advancing the careers of some of the best-known modernist writers of the early 20th century. In addition to Eliot, Joyce, Lewis, Frost, Williams, and Hemingway, he befriended and helped Marianne Moore, Louis Zukofsky, Jacob Epstein, Basil Bunting, E.E. Cummings, Margaret Anderson, George Oppen, and Charles Olson. Hugh Witemeyer argues that the Imagist movement was the most important in 20th-century English language poetry because hardly any prominent poet of Pound's generation and the two generations after him was untouched by it. As early as 1917 Carl Sandburg wrote in Poetry: "All talk on modern poetry, by people who know, ends with dragging in Ezra Pound somewhere. He may be named only to be cursed as wanton and mocker, poseur, trifler and vagrant. Or he may be classed as filling a niche today like that of Keats in a preceding epoch. The point is, he will be mentioned." Beyond this, Pound's legacy is mixed. Hugh Kenner wrote in 1951 that there was no great contemporary writer less read than Pound, though he added that there was also no one who could appeal through "sheer beauty of language" to people who would rather read poets than talk about them. The British poet Philip Larkin criticized him, "for being literary, which to me is the foundation of his feebleness, thinking that poetry is made out of poetry and not out of being alive." His antisemitism became central to an evaluation of his poetry, including whether it was read at all. Wendy Stallard Flory argues that the best approach to The Cantos – separating the poetry from the antisemitism – is perceived as apologetic. Her view is that the establishment of Pound as "National Monster" and "designated fascist intellectual" made him a stand-in for the silent majority in Germany, occupied France and Belgium, as well as Britain and the United States who, she argues, made the Holocaust possible by aiding or standing quietly by. The outrage after the treason charge was so deep that the imagined method of his execution dominated the discussion. Arthur Miller considered him worse than Hitler: "In his wildest moments of human vilification Hitler never approached our Ezra ... he knew all America's weaknesses and he played them as expertly as Goebbels ever did." The response went so far as to denounce all modernists as fascists, and it was only in the 1980s that critics began a re-evaluation. The critic Macha Rosenthal wrote that it was "as if all the beautiful vitality and all the brilliant rottenness of our heritage in its luxuriant variety were both at once made manifest" in Ezra Pound. Works Books published in his lifetime * 1908 A Lume Spento. Privately printed by A. Antonini, Venice, (poems). * 1908 A Quinzaine for This Yule. Pollock, London; and Elkin Mathews, London, (poems). * 1909 Personae. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems). * 1909 Exultations. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems). * 1910 The Spirit of Romance. Dent, London, (prose). * 1910 Provenca. Small, Maynard, Boston, (poems). * 1911 Canzoni. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems) * 1912 The Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti Small, Maynard, Boston, (cheaper edition destroyed by fire, Swift & Co, London; translations) * 1912 Ripostes. S. Swift, London, (poems; first announcement of Imagism) * 1915 Cathay. Elkin Mathews, (poems; translations) * 1916 Gaudier-Brzeska. A Memoir. John Lane, London, (prose). * 1916 Certain Noble Plays of Japan: From the Manuscripts of Ernest Fenollosa, chosen and finished by Ezra Pound, with an introduction by William Butler Yeats. * 1916 Ernest Fenollosa, Ezra Pound: "Noh", or, Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan. Macmillan, London, * 1916 Lustra. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems). * 1917 Twelve Dialogues of Fontenelle, (translations) * 1917 Lustra Knopf, New York. (poems). With a version of the first Three Cantos (Poetry, vol. 10, nos. 3, June 1917, 4, July 1917, 5, August 1917). * 1918: Pavannes and Divisions. Knopf, New York. prose * 1918 Quia Pauper Amavi. Egoist Press, London. poems * 1919 The Fourth Canto. Ovid Press, London * 1920 Hugh Selwyn Mauberley. Ovid Press, London. * 1920 Umbra. Elkin Mathews, London, (poems and translations) * 1920 Instigations of Ezra Pound: Together with an Essay on the Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, by Ernest Fenollosa. Boni & Liveright, (prose). * 1921 Poems, 1918–1921. Boni & Liveright, New York * 1922 Remy de Gourmount: The Natural Philosophy of Love. Boni & Liveright, New York, (translation) * 1923 Indiscretions, or, Und Revue des deux mondes. Three Mountains Press, Paris. * 1924 Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony. Paris, (essays). As: William Atheling. * 1925 A Draft of XVI Cantos. Three Mountains Press, Paris. The first collection of The Cantos. * 1926 Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound. Boni & Liveright, New York * 1928 A Draft of the Cantos 17–27. John Rodker, London. * 1928 Selected Poems, edited and with an introduction by T. S. Eliot. Faber & Gwyer, London * 1928 Confucius: Ta Hio: The Great Learning, newly rendered into the American language. University of Washington Bookstore (Glenn Hughes), (translation) * 1930 A Draft of XXX Cantos. Nancy Cunard's Hours Press, Paris. * 1930 Imaginary Letters. Black Sun Press, Paris. Eight essays from the Little Review, 1917–18. * 1931 How to Read. Harmsworth, (essays) * 1933 ABC of Economics. Faber, London, (essays) * 1934 Eleven New Cantos: XXXI-XLI. Farrer & Rinehart, New York, (poems) * 1934 Homage to Sextus Propertius. Faber, London (poems) * 1934 ABC of Reading. Yale University Press, (essays) * 1935 Alfred Venison's Poems: Social Credit Themes by the Poet of Titchfield Street. Stanley Nott, Pamphlets on the New Economics, No. 9, London, (essays) * 1935 Jefferson and/or Mussolini. Stanley Nott, London, Liveright, 1936 (essays) * 1935 Make It New. London, (essays) * 1935 Social Credit. An Impact. London, (essays). Repr.: Peter Russell, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 5, London 1951. * 1936 Ernest Fenollosa: The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry. Stanley Nott, London 1936. An Ars Poetica With Foreword and Notes by Ezra Pound. * 1937 The Fifth Decade of Cantos. Farrer & Rinehart, New York, poems * 1937 Polite Essays. Faber, London, (essays) * 1937 Confucius: Digest of the Analects, edited and published by Giovanni Scheiwiller, (translations) * 1938 Culture. New Directions. New edition: Guide to Kulchur, New Directions, 1952 * 1939 What Is Money For?. Greater Britain Publications, (essays). Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 3, Peter Russell, London * 1940 Cantos LXII-LXXI. New Directions, New York, (John Adams Cantos 62–71). * 1942 Carta da Visita di Ezra Pound. Edizioni di lettere d'oggi. Rome. English translation, by John Drummond: A Visiting Card, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 4, Peter Russell, London 1952, (essays). * 1944 L'America, Roosevelt e le cause della guerra presente. Casa editrice della edizioni popolari, Venice. English translation, by John Drummond: America, Roosevelt and the Causes of the Present War, Money Pamphlets by Pound, no. 6, Peter Russell, London 1951 References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Pound
Love is the essence of pure thought. There is nowhere that this thought is not. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, just beyond the outskirts of several gypsum plateaus, miles of desert sand and vast horizons. I would go out into fields of sunflowers with my pen and paper, watching the currents of wind moving through miles and miles of wheat to write about the lucid imagery I would see when I closed my eyes, the experiences of coming out in a conservative community and finding my way as an artist in a place that did not nurture the arts. Words have always been my primary way to sort out my experiences into streams of consciousness that act as a form of self-discovery. Called by the overwhelming pull to follow my dreams, I relocated to the Catskills to follow my passions and put every idea into motion. I am currently working on several video projects, performances in several venues, live music, Sparkle Poetic radio ads, and many new things that you can keep up with on my website below. Welcome to the realm of words. Love is real. www.sparklepoetics.com
Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson, CBE (17 February 1864– 5 February 1941) was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson’s more notable poems include “Waltzing Matilda”, “The Man from Snowy River” and “Clancy of the Overflow”. Biography Andrew Barton Paterson was born at the property “Narrambla”, near Orange, New South Wales, the eldest son of Andrew Bogle Paterson, a Scottish immigrant from Lanarkshire, and Australian-born Rose Isabella Barton, related to the future first Prime Minister of Australia Edmund Barton. Paterson’s family lived on the isolated Buckinbah Station near Yeoval NSW until he was five when his father lost his wool clip in a flood and was forced to sell up. When Paterson’s uncle John Paterson died, his family took over John Paterson’s farm in Illalong, near Yass, close to the main route between Melbourne and Sydney. Bullock teams, Cobb and Co coaches and drovers were familiar sights to him. He also saw horsemen from the Murrumbidgee River area and Snowy Mountains country take part in picnic races and polo matches, which led to his fondness of horses and inspired his writings. Paterson’s early education came from a governess, but when he was able to ride a pony, he was taught at the bush school at Binalong. In 1874 Paterson was sent to Sydney Grammar School, performing well both as a student and a sportsman. During this time, he lived in a cottage called Rockend, in the suburb of Gladesville. The cottage is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. He left the prestigious school at 16 after failing an examination for a scholarship to University of Sydney. He went on to become a law clerk with a Sydney-based firm headed by Herbert Salwey and was admitted as a solicitor in 1886. In the years he practised as a solicitor, Paterson also started a writing career. From 1885, he began submitting and having poetry published in the The Bulletin, a literary journal with a nationalist focus. His earliest work was a poem criticising the British war in the Sudan, which also had Australian participation. Over the next decade, the influential journal provided an important platform for Paterson’s work, which appeared under the pseudonym of “The Banjo”, the name of his favourite horse. As one of its most popular writers through the 1890s, he formed friendships with other significant writers in Australian Literature, such as E.J. Brady, Harry Breaker Morant and Henry Lawson. In particular, Paterson became engaged in a friendly rivalry of verse with Lawson about the allure of bush life. Paterson became a war correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age during the Second Boer War, sailing for South Africa in October 1899. His graphic accounts of the relief of Kimberley, surrender of Bloemfontein (the first correspondent to ride in) and the capture of Pretoria attracted the attention of the press in Britain. He also was a correspondent during the Boxer Rebellion, where he met George “Chinese” Morrison and later wrote about his meeting. He was editor of the Sydney Evening News (1904–06) and of the Town and Country Journal (1907–08). In 1908 after a trip to the United Kingdom he decided to abandon journalism and writing and moved with his family to a 40,000-acre (160 km2) property near Yass. In World War I, Paterson failed to become a correspondent covering the fighting in Flanders, but did become an ambulance driver with the Australian Voluntary Hospital, Wimereux, France. He returned to Australia early in 1915 and, as an honorary vet, travelled on three voyages with horses to Africa, China and Egypt. He was commissioned in the 2nd Remount Unit, Australian Imperial Force on 18 October 1915, serving initially in France where he was wounded and reported missing in July 1916 and latterly as commanding officer of the unit based in Cairo, Egypt. He was repatriated to Australia and discharged from the army having risen to the rank of major in April 1919. His wife had joined the Red Cross and worked in an ambulance unit near her husband. Just as he returned to Australia, the third collection of his poetry, Saltbush Bill JP, was published and he continued to publish verse, short stories and essays while continuing to write for the weekly Truth. Paterson also wrote on rugby league football in the 1920s for the Sydney Sportsman. Paterson died of a heart attack in Sydney on 5 February 1941 aged 76. Paterson’s grave, along with that of his wife, is in the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, Sydney. Personal life On 8 April 1903 he married Alice Emily Walker, of Tenterfield Station, in St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, in Tenterfield, New South Wales. Their first home was in Queen Street, Woollahra. The Patersons had two children, Grace (born in 1904) and Hugh (born in 1906). Works * The publication of The Man from Snowy River and five other ballads in The Bulletin made 'The Banjo’ a household name. In 1895, Angus & Robertson published these poems as a collection of Australian verse. The book sold 5000 copies in the first four months of publication. * In 1895, Paterson headed north to Dagworth station near Winton, Queensland. Travelling with fiancée, Sarah Riley, they met with her old school friend, Christina Macpherson, who had recently attended a race at Warrnambool in Victoria. She had heard a band playing a tune there, which became stuck in her head and replayed it for Paterson on the autoharp. The melody also resonated with him and propelled him to write “Waltzing Matilda” While there has been much debate about what inspired the words, the song became one of his most his widely-known and sung ballads. * In addition, he wrote the lyrics for songs with piano scores, such as The Daylight is Dying and Last Week. These were also published by Angus & Robertson between the years 1895 to 1899. In 1905, the same publishers released Old Bush Songs, a collection of bush ballads Paterson had been assembling since 1895. * Although for most of his adult life, Paterson lived and worked in Sydney, his poems mostly presented a highly romantic view of the bush and the iconic figure of the bushman. Influenced by the work of another Australian poet John Farrell, his representation of the bushman as a tough, independent and heroic underdog became the ideal qualities underpinning the national character. His work is often compared to the prose of Henry Lawson, particularly the seminal work, “The Drover’s Wife”, which presented a considerably less romantic view of the harshness of rural existence of the late 19th century. * Paterson authored two novels; An Outback Marriage (1906) and The Shearer’s Colt (1936), wrote many short stories; Three Elephant Power and Other Stories (1917), and wrote a book based on his experiences as a war reporter; Happy Dispatches (1934). He also wrote a book for children The Animals Noah Forgot (1933) * Contemporary recordings of many of Paterson’s well known poems have been released by Jack Thompson, who played Clancy in the 1982 film adaptation of “The Man from Snowy River”. While having no connection to the movie, an Australian television series of the same name was broadcast in the 1990s. * Media reports in August 2008 stated that a previously unknown poem had been found in a war diary written during the Boer War. Legacy * Banjo Paterson’s image appears on the $10 note, along with an illustration inspired by “The Man From Snowy River” and, as part of the copy-protection microprint, the text of the poem itself. * In 1981 he was honoured on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post. * A. B. Paterson College, at Arundel on the Gold Coast, Australia, is named after Paterson. * The A. B. “Banjo” Paterson Library at Sydney Grammar School was named after Paterson. * The Festival of Arts in Orange, New South Wales, presents a biennial Banjo Paterson Award for poetry and one-act plays and there is also an annual National Book Council Banjo Award. * A privately owned 47-year-old Wooden Diesel vessel from Carrum, Victoria, was christened with the name Banjo Paterson and coincidentally, runs regularly up and down the Patterson River. * In 1983 a rendition of 'Waltzing Matilida’ by country-and-western singer Slim Dusty was the first song broadcast by astronauts to Earth. Bibliography Collections * * The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses (1895) * Rio Grande’s Last Race and Other Verses (1902) * Three Elephant Power and Other Stories (1917) * Saltbush Bill, J.P., and Other Verses (1917) * The Animals Noah Forgot (1933) * Happy Dispatches (1934) * The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses (1961) * The World of 'Banjo’ Paterson: His Stories, Travels, War Reports and Advice to Racegoers edited by Clement Semmler (1967) * Banjo Paterson’s Horses: The Man from Snowy River, Father Riley’s Horse, Story of Mongrel Grey (1970) * Poems of Banjo Paterson (1974) * Poems of Banjo Paterson: Volume Two (1976) * The Best of Banjo Paterson compiled by Walter Stone (1977) * Happy Dispatches: Journalistic Pieces from Banjo Paterson’s days as a War Correspondent (1980) * Banjo Paterson: Short Stories (1980) * Banjo Paterson’s Old Bush Songs edited by Graham Seal (1983) * Banjo Paterson: A Children’s Treasury (1984) * The Banjo’s Best-Loved Poems: Chosen by his Grand-Daughters compiled Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie (1985) * A. B. Paterson’s Off Down the Track: racing and other yarns compiled Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie (1986) * Banjo Paterson’s Poems of the Bush (1987) * Banjo Paterson’s People: selected poems and prose (1987) * A Literary Heritage: 'Banjo’ Paterson (1988) * Banjo Paterson’s Australians: Selected Poems and Prose (1989) * A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A. B. 'Banjo’ Paterson (1990) * A. B. 'Banjo’ Paterson: A Book of Verse (1990) * Snowy River Riders: selected poems (1991) * Selected Poems: A. B. Paterson compiled by Les Murray (1992) * A. B. 'Banjo’ Paterson: Bush Ballads, Poems, Stories and Journalism edited by Clement Semmler (1992) * Banjo Paterson Favourites (1992) * Singer of the Bush: The Poems of A. B. Paterson (1992) * Selected Verse of 'Banjo’ Paterson (1992) * Banjo Paterson: His Poetry and Prose compiled by Richard Hall (1993) * Favourite Poems of Banjo Paterson (1994) * In the Droving Days compiled by Margaret Olds (1994) * Under Sunny Skies (1994) * Banjo’s Animal Tales (1994) * The Works of 'Banjo’ Paterson (1996) * The Best of Banjo Paterson compiled by Bruce Elder (1996) * Banjo’s Tall Tales (1998) * From the Front: Being the Observations of Mr. A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Special War Correspondent in South Africa: November 1899 to July 1900,for the Argus, the Sydney Mail, the Sydney Morning Herald edited by R. W. F. Droogleever (2000) * Mulga Bill’s Bicycle and Other Classics (2005) * The Bush Poems of A. B. (Banjo) Paterson compiled by Jack Thompson (2008) * The Battlefield Poems of A.B. (Banjo) Paterson compiled by Jack Thompson (2010) * Banjo Paterson Treasury illustrated by Olso Davis (2013) * Looking for Clancy: Ballads by A. B. 'Banjo’ Paterson illustrated by Robert Ingpen (2013) * Banjo Paterson Treasury (2013) Selected individual works * * “Clancy of the Overflow” (1889) * “The Man from Snowy River” (1890) * “In Defence of the Bush” (1892) * “The Man from Ironbark” (1892) * “Saltbush Bill” (1894) * “Waltzing Matilda” (1895) * “Hay and Hell and Booligal” (1896) * “Mulga Bill’s Bicycle” (1896) * “T.Y.S.O.N.” (1898) * “We’re All Australians Now” (1915) * “A Bush Lawyer” (1933) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banjo_Paterson
Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a “wisecracker”. Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured. Early Life Also known as Dot or Dottie, Parker was born Dorothy Rothschild to Jacob Henry and Eliza Annie Rothschild (née Marston) at 732 Ocean Avenue in the West End village of Long Branch, New Jersey, where her parents had a summer beach cottage. Dorothy's mother was of Scottish descent, and her father was of German Jewish descent. Parker wrote in her essay "My Hometown" that her parents got her back to their Manhattan apartment shortly after Labor Day so she could be called a true New Yorker. Her mother died in West End in July 1898, when Parker was a month shy of turning five. Her father remarried in 1900 to a woman named Eleanor Francis Lewis. Parker hated her father and stepmother, accusing her father of being physically abusive and refusing to call Eleanor either "mother" or "stepmother", instead referring to her as "the housekeeper". She grew up on the Upper West Side and attended a Roman Catholic elementary school at the Convent of the Blessed Sacrament on West 79th Street with sister Helen, despite having a Jewish father and Protestant stepmother. (Mercedes de Acosta was a classmate.) Parker once joked that she was asked to leave following her characterization of the Immaculate Conception as "spontaneous combustion". Her stepmother died in 1903, when Parker was nine. Parker later went to Miss Dana's School, a finishing school in Morristown, New Jersey. She graduated from Miss Dana's School in 1911, at the age of 18. Following her father's death in 1913, she played piano at a dancing school to earn a living while she worked on her verse. She sold her first poem to Vanity Fair magazine in 1914 and some months later was hired as an editorial assistant for another Condé Nast magazine, Vogue. She moved to Vanity Fair as a staff writer after two years at Vogue. In 1917, she met and married a Wall Street stockbroker, Edwin Pond Parker II (1893–1933), but they were separated by his army service in World War I. She had ambivalent feelings about her Jewish heritage given the strong antisemitism of that era and joked that she married to escape her name. References Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Parker
John Prophet is considered by many in the literary community to be the Salvador Dalí of poetry. His rough-hewn unfettered style mimics the artist’s unconventional view of perceived reality. Prophet encourages (through the skeletal approach of his writings) the reader to focus on the individual meaning of each word, thus allowing its message to be front and center. Meaning that can be muted within sentences and paragraphs. This creates vividness otherwise hidden. The skeletal nature of his efforts also allows the reader to flesh out meaning based on the readers personal worldview. Thus, no two observers are reading the exact same creation.
Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe, January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; he was orphaned young when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, "The Raven", to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents. Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. Early life He was born Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809, the second child of English-born actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. He had an elder brother, William Henry Leonard Poe, and a younger sister, Rosalie Poe. Edgar may have been named after a character in William Shakespeare's King Lear, a play the couple was performing in 1809. His father abandoned their family in 1810, and his mother died a year later from consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis). Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia, who dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves. The Allans served as a foster family and gave him the name "Edgar Allan Poe", though they never formally adopted him. The Allan family had Poe baptized in the Episcopal Church in 1812. John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son. The family, including Poe and Allan's wife, Frances Valentine Allan, sailed to Britain in 1815. Poe attended the grammar school in Irvine, Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short period in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. There he studied at a boarding school in Chelsea until summer 1817. He was subsequently entered at the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School at Stoke Newington, then a suburb four miles (6 km) north of London. Poe moved back with the Allans to Richmond, Virginia in 1820. In 1824 Poe served as the lieutenant of the Richmond youth honor guard as Richmond celebrated the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette. In March 1825, John Allan's uncle and business benefactor William Galt, said to be one of the wealthiest men in Richmond, died and left Allan several acres of real estate. The inheritance was estimated at $750,000. By summer 1825, Allan celebrated his expansive wealth by purchasing a two-story brick home named Moldavia. Poe may have become engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster before he registered at the one-year-old University of Virginia in February 1826 to study languages. The university, in its infancy, was established on the ideals of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. It had strict rules against gambling, horses, guns, tobacco and alcohol, but these rules were generally ignored. Jefferson had enacted a system of student self-government, allowing students to choose their own studies, make their own arrangements for boarding, and report all wrongdoing to the faculty. The unique system was still in chaos, and there was a high dropout rate. During his time there, Poe lost touch with Royster and also became estranged from his foster father over gambling debts. Poe claimed that Allan had not given him sufficient money to register for classes, purchase texts, and procure and furnish a dormitory. Allan did send additional money and clothes, but Poe's debts increased. Poe gave up on the university after a year, and, not feeling welcome in Richmond, especially when he learned that his sweetheart Royster had married Alexander Shelton, he traveled to Boston in April 1827, sustaining himself with odd jobs as a clerk and newspaper writer. At some point he started using the pseudonym Henri Le Rennet. Military career Unable to support himself, on May 27, 1827, Poe enlisted in the United States Army as a private. Using the name "Edgar A. Perry", he claimed he was 22 years old even though he was 18. He first served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor for five dollars a month. That same year, he released his first book, a 40-page collection of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems, attributed with the byline "by a Bostonian". Only 50 copies were printed, and the book received virtually no attention. Poe's regiment was posted to Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina and traveled by ship on the brig Waltham on November 8, 1827. Poe was promoted to "artificer", an enlisted tradesman who prepared shells for artillery, and had his monthly pay doubled. After serving for two years and attaining the rank of Sergeant Major for Artillery (the highest rank a noncommissioned officer can achieve), Poe sought to end his five-year enlistment early. He revealed his real name and his circumstances to his commanding officer, Lieutenant Howard. Howard would only allow Poe to be discharged if he reconciled with John Allan and wrote a letter to Allan, who was unsympathetic. Several months passed and pleas to Allan were ignored; Allan may not have written to Poe even to make him aware of his foster mother's illness. Frances Allan died on February 28, 1829, and Poe visited the day after her burial. Perhaps softened by his wife's death, John Allan agreed to support Poe's attempt to be discharged in order to receive an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Poe finally was discharged on April 15, 1829, after securing a replacement to finish his enlisted term for him. Before entering West Point, Poe moved back to Baltimore for a time, to stay with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm, her daughter, Virginia Eliza Clemm (Poe's first cousin), his brother Henry, and his invalid grandmother Elizabeth Cairnes Poe. Meanwhile, Poe published his second book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, in Baltimore in 1829. Poe traveled to West Point and matriculated as a cadet on July 1, 1830. In October 1830, John Allan married his second wife, Louisa Patterson. The marriage, and bitter quarrels with Poe over the children born to Allan out of affairs, led to the foster father finally disowning Poe. Poe decided to leave West Point by purposely getting court-martialed. On February 8, 1831, he was tried for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for refusing to attend formations, classes, or church. Poe tactically pled not guilty to induce dismissal, knowing he would be found guilty. He left for New York in February 1831, and released a third volume of poems, simply titled Poems. The book was financed with help from his fellow cadets at West Point, many of whom donated 75 cents to the cause, raising a total of $170. They may have been expecting verses similar to the satirical ones Poe had been writing about commanding officers. Printed by Elam Bliss of New York, it was labeled as "Second Edition" and included a page saying, "To the U.S. Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated." The book once again reprinted the long poems "Tamerlane" and "Al Aaraaf" but also six previously unpublished poems including early versions of "To Helen", "Israfel", and "The City in the Sea". He returned to Baltimore, to his aunt, brother and cousin, in March 1831. His elder brother Henry, who had been in ill health in part due to problems with alcoholism, died on August 1, 1831. Publishing career After his brother's death, Poe began more earnest attempts to start his career as a writer. He chose a difficult time in American publishing to do so. He was the first well-known American to try to live by writing alone and was hampered by the lack of an international copyright law. Publishers often pirated copies of British works rather than paying for new work by Americans. The industry was also particularly hurt by the Panic of 1837. Despite a booming growth in American periodicals around this time period, fueled in part by new technology, many did not last beyond a few issues and publishers often refused to pay their writers or paid them much later than they promised. Poe, throughout his attempts to live as a writer, had to repeatedly resort to humiliating pleas for money and other assistance. After his early attempts at poetry, Poe had turned his attention to prose. He placed a few stories with a Philadelphia publication and began work on his only drama, Politian. The Baltimore Saturday Visiter awarded Poe a prize in October 1833 for his short story "MS. Found in a Bottle". The story brought him to the attention of John P. Kennedy, a Baltimorean of considerable means. He helped Poe place some of his stories, and introduced him to Thomas W. White, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Poe became assistant editor of the periodical in August 1835, but was discharged within a few weeks for being caught drunk by his boss. Returning to Baltimore, Poe secretly married Virginia, his cousin, on September 22, 1835. He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21. Reinstated by White after promising good behavior, Poe went back to Richmond with Virginia and her mother. He remained at the Messenger until January 1837. During this period, Poe claimed that its circulation increased from 700 to 3,500. He published several poems, book reviews, critiques, and stories in the paper. On May 16, 1836, he had a second wedding ceremony in Richmond with Virginia Clemm, this time in public. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published and widely reviewed in 1838. In the summer of 1839, Poe became assistant editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. He published numerous articles, stories, and reviews, enhancing his reputation as a trenchant critic that he had established at the Southern Literary Messenger. Also in 1839, the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published in two volumes, though he made little money off of it and it received mixed reviews. Poe left Burton's after about a year and found a position as assistant at Graham's Magazine. In June 1840, Poe published a prospectus announcing his intentions to start his own journal, The Stylus. Originally, Poe intended to call the journal The Penn, as it would have been based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the June 6, 1840 issue of Philadelphia's Saturday Evening Post, Poe bought advertising space for his prospectus: "Prospectus of the Penn Magazine, a Monthly Literary journal to be edited and published in the city of Philadelphia by Edgar A. Poe." The journal was never produced before Poe's death. Around this time, he attempted to secure a position with the Tyler administration, claiming he was a member of the Whig Party. He hoped to be appointed to the Custom House in Philadelphia with help from President Tyler's son Robert, an acquaintance of Poe's friend Frederick Thomas. Poe failed to show up for a meeting with Thomas to discuss the appointment in mid-September 1842, claiming to be sick, though Thomas believed he was drunk. Though he was promised an appointment, all positions were filled by others. One evening in January 1842, Virginia showed the first signs of consumption, now known as tuberculosis, while singing and playing the piano. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat. She only partially recovered. Poe began to drink more heavily under the stress of Virginia's illness. He left Graham's and attempted to find a new position, for a time angling for a government post. He returned to New York, where he worked briefly at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal and, later, sole owner. There he alienated himself from other writers by publicly accusing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism, though Longfellow never responded. On January 29, 1845, his poem "The Raven" appeared in the Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation. Though it made Poe a household name almost instantly, he was paid only $9 for its publication. It was concurrently published in The American Review: A Whig Journal under the pseudonym "Quarles". The Broadway Journal failed in 1846. Poe moved to a cottage in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York. That home, known today as the "Poe Cottage", is on the southeast corner of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. Virginia died there on January 30, 1847. Biographers and critics often suggest Poe's frequent theme of the "death of a beautiful woman" stems from the repeated loss of women throughout his life, including his wife. Increasingly unstable after his wife's death, Poe attempted to court the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. Their engagement failed, purportedly because of Poe's drinking and erratic behavior. However, there is also strong evidence that Whitman's mother intervened and did much to derail their relationship. Poe then returned to Richmond and resumed a relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Elmira Royster. Death On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul." All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost. Newspapers at the time reported Poe's death as "congestion of the brain" or "cerebral inflammation", common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. The actual cause of death remains a mystery; from as early as 1872, cooping was commonly believed to have been the cause, and speculation has included delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, meningeal inflammation, cholera and rabies. Griswold's “Memoir” The day Edgar Allan Poe was buried, a long obituary appeared in the New York Tribune signed "Ludwig". It was soon published throughout the country. The piece began, "Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it." "Ludwig" was soon identified as Rufus Wilmot Griswold, an editor, critic and anthologist who had borne a grudge against Poe since 1842. Griswold somehow became Poe's literary executor and attempted to destroy his enemy's reputation after his death. Rufus Griswold wrote a biographical article of Poe called "Memoir of the Author", which he included in an 1850 volume of the collected works. Griswold depicted Poe as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman and included Poe's letters as evidence. Many of his claims were either lies or distorted half-truths. For example, it is now known that Poe was not a drug addict. Griswold's book was denounced by those who knew Poe well, but it became a popularly accepted one. This occurred in part because it was the only full biography available and was widely reprinted and in part because readers thrilled at the thought of reading works by an "evil" man. Letters that Griswold presented as proof of this depiction of Poe were later revealed as forgeries. Literary style and themes Genres Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic, a genre he followed to appease the public taste. His most recurring themes deal with questions of death, including its physical signs, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. Many of his works are generally considered part of the dark romanticism genre, a literary reaction to transcendentalism, which Poe strongly disliked. He referred to followers of the movement as "Frogpondians" after the pond on Boston Common. and ridiculed their writings as "metaphor-run mad," lapsing into "obscurity for obscurity's sake" or "mysticism for mysticism's sake." Poe once wrote in a letter to Thomas Holley Chivers that he did not dislike Transcendentalists, "only the pretenders and sophists among them." Beyond horror, Poe also wrote satires, humor tales, and hoaxes. For comic effect, he used irony and ludicrous extravagance, often in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity. In fact, "Metzengerstein", the first story that Poe is known to have published, and his first foray into horror, was originally intended as a burlesque satirizing the popular genre. Poe also reinvented science fiction, responding in his writing to emerging technologies such as hot air balloons in "The Balloon-Hoax". Poe wrote much of his work using themes specifically catered for mass market tastes. To that end, his fiction often included elements of popular pseudosciences such as phrenology and physiognomy. Literary theory Poe's writing reflects his literary theories, which he presented in his criticism and also in essays such as "The Poetic Principle". He disliked didacticism and allegory, though he believed that meaning in literature should be an undercurrent just beneath the surface. Works with obvious meanings, he wrote, cease to be art. He believed that quality work should be brief and focus on a specific single effect. To that end, he believed that the writer should carefully calculate every sentiment and idea. In "The Philosophy of Composition", an essay in which Poe describes his method in writing "The Raven", he claims to have strictly followed this method. It has been questioned, however, if he really followed this system. T. S. Eliot said: "It is difficult for us to read that essay without reflecting that if Poe plotted out his poem with such calculation, he might have taken a little more pains over it: the result hardly does credit to the method." Biographer Joseph Wood Krutch described the essay as "a rather highly ingenious exercise in the art of rationalization". Legacy Literary influence During his lifetime, Poe was mostly recognized as a literary critic. Fellow critic James Russell Lowell called him "the most discriminating, philosophical, and fearless critic upon imaginative works who has written in America", suggesting – rhetorically – that he occasionally used prussic acid instead of ink. Poe was also known as a writer of fiction and became one of the first American authors of the 19th century to become more popular in Europe than in the United States. Poe is particularly respected in France, in part due to early translations by Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire's translations became definitive renditions of Poe's work throughout Europe. Poe's early detective fiction tales featuring C. Auguste Dupin laid the groundwork for future detectives in literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed.... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?" The Mystery Writers of America have named their awards for excellence in the genre the "Edgars". Poe's work also influenced science fiction, notably Jules Verne, who wrote a sequel to Poe's novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket called An Antarctic Mystery, also known as The Sphinx of the Ice Fields. Science fiction author H. G. Wells noted, "Pym tells what a very intelligent mind could imagine about the south polar region a century ago." Like many famous artists, Poe's works have spawned innumerable imitators. One interesting trend among imitators of Poe, however, has been claims by clairvoyants or psychics to be "channeling" poems from Poe's spirit. One of the most notable of these was Lizzie Doten, who in 1863 published Poems from the Inner Life, in which she claimed to have "received" new compositions by Poe's spirit. The compositions were re-workings of famous Poe poems such as "The Bells", but which reflected a new, positive outlook. Even so, Poe has received not only praise, but criticism as well. This is partly because of the negative perception of his personal character and its influence upon his reputation. William Butler Yeats was occasionally critical of Poe and once called him "vulgar". Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson reacted to "The Raven" by saying, "I see nothing in it" and derisively referred to Poe as "the jingle man". Aldous Huxley wrote that Poe's writing "falls into vulgarity" by being "too poetical"—the equivalent of wearing a diamond ring on every finger. It is believed that only 12 copies of Poe's first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, have survived. In December 2009, one copy sold at Christie's, New York for $662,500, a record price paid for a work of American literature. Physics and cosmology Eureka: A Prose Poem, an essay written in 1848, included a cosmological theory that presaged the Big Bang theory by 80 years, as well as the first plausible solution to Olbers' paradox. Poe eschewed the scientific method in Eureka and instead wrote from pure intuition. For this reason, he considered it a work of art, not science, but insisted that it was still true and considered it to be his career masterpiece. Even so, Eureka is full of scientific errors. In particular, Poe's suggestions opposed Newtonian principles regarding the density and rotation of planets. Cryptography Poe had a keen interest in cryptography. He had placed a notice of his abilities in the Philadelphia paper Alexander's Weekly (Express) Messenger, inviting submissions of ciphers, which he proceeded to solve. In July 1841, Poe had published an essay called "A Few Words on Secret Writing" in Graham's Magazine. Realizing the public interest in the topic, he wrote "The Gold-Bug" incorporating ciphers as part of the story. Poe's success in cryptography relied not so much on his knowledge of that field (his method was limited to the simple substitution cryptogram), as on his knowledge of the magazine and newspaper culture. His keen analytical abilities, which were so evident in his detective stories, allowed him to see that the general public was largely ignorant of the methods by which a simple substitution cryptogram can be solved, and he used this to his advantage. The sensation Poe created with his cryptography stunt played a major role in popularizing cryptograms in newspapers and magazines. Poe had an influence on cryptography beyond increasing public interest in his lifetime. William Friedman, America's foremost cryptologist, was heavily influenced by Poe. Friedman's initial interest in cryptography came from reading "The Gold-Bug" as a child—interest he later put to use in deciphering Japan's PURPLE code during World War II. In popular culture As a character The historical Edgar Allan Poe has appeared as a fictionalized character, often representing the "mad genius" or "tormented artist" and exploiting his personal struggles. Many such depictions also blend in with characters from his stories, suggesting Poe and his characters share identities. Often, fictional depictions of Poe use his mystery-solving skills in such novels as The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl. Preserved homes, landmarks, and museums No childhood home of Poe is still standing, including the Allan family's Moldavia estate. The oldest standing home in Richmond, the Old Stone House, is in use as the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, though Poe never lived there. The collection includes many items Poe used during his time with the Allan family and also features several rare first printings of Poe works. The dorm room Poe is believed to have used while studying at the University of Virginia in 1826 is preserved and available for visits. Its upkeep is now overseen by a group of students and staff known as the Raven Society. The earliest surviving home in which Poe lived is in Baltimore, preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. Poe is believed to have lived in the home at the age of 23 when he first lived with Maria Clemm and Virginia (as well as his grandmother and possibly his brother William Henry Leonard Poe). It is open to the public and is also the home of the Edgar Allan Poe Society. Of the several homes that Poe, his wife Virginia, and his mother-in-law Maria rented in Philadelphia, only the last house has survived. The Spring Garden home, where the author lived in 1843–1844, is today preserved by the National Park Service as the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. Poe's final home is preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in the Bronx, New York. Other Poe landmarks include a building in the Upper West Side, where Poe temporarily lived when he first moved to New York. A plaque suggests that Poe wrote "The Raven" here. In Boston, a plaque hangs near the building where Poe was born once stood. Believed to have been located at 62 Carver Street (now Charles Street), the plaque is possibly in an incorrect location. The bar in which legend says Poe was last seen drinking before his death still stands in Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland. Now known as The Horse You Came In On, local lore insists that a ghost they call "Edgar" haunts the rooms above. Poe Toaster Adding to the mystery surrounding Poe's death, an unknown visitor affectionately referred to as the "Poe Toaster" paid homage to Poe's grave annually beginning in 1949. As the tradition carried on for more than 60 years, it is likely that the "Poe Toaster" was actually several individuals, though the tribute was always the same. Every January 19, in the early hours of the morning, the person made a toast of cognac to Poe's original grave marker and left three roses. Members of the Edgar Allan Poe Society in Baltimore helped protect this tradition for decades. On August 15, 2007, Sam Porpora, a former historian at the Westminster Church in Baltimore where Poe is buried, claimed that he had started the tradition in the 1960s. Porpora said the claim that the tradition began in 1949 was a hoax in order to raise money and enhance the profile of the church. His story has not been confirmed, and some details he gave to the press have been pointed out as factually inaccurate. The Poe Toaster's last appearance was on January 19, 2009, the day of Poe's bicentennial. Selected list of works Tales "The Black Cat" "The Cask of Amontillado" "A Descent into the Maelström" "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" "The Fall of the House of Usher" "The Gold-Bug" "Hop-Frog" "The Imp of the Perverse" "Ligeia" "The Masque of the Red Death" "Morella" "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" "The Oval Portrait" "The Pit and the Pendulum" "The Premature Burial" "The Purloined Letter" "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" "The Tell-Tale Heart" Poetry "Al Aaraaf" "Annabel Lee" "The Bells" "The City in the Sea" "The Conqueror Worm" "A Dream Within a Dream" "Eldorado" "Eulalie" "The Haunted Palace" "To Helen" "Lenore" "Tamerlane" "The Raven" "Ulalume" Other works Politian (1835) – Poe's only play The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) – Poe's only complete novel "The Balloon-Hoax" (1844) – A journalistic hoax printed as a true story "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846) – Essay Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848) – Essay "The Poetic Principle" (1848) – Essay "The Light-House" (1849) – Poe's last incomplete work References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Allan_Poe
I am a student at the University of Washington in my early twenties that is currently majoring in Japanese literature and political science. My interest in poetry started near the end of middle school. I typically like to write English poems inspired by Japanese poetic structures like the haiku or tanka. Otherwise I would describe my poetry as very freestyle. I am a Christian, my all-time favorite band is the Avett Brothers, and I'm deeply invested in Japanese pop culture.
Matthew Prior (21 July 1664– 18 September 1721) was an English poet and diplomat. He is also known as a contributor to The Examiner. Early life Prior was probably born in Middlesex. He was the son of a Nonconformist joiner at Wimborne Minster, East Dorset. His father moved to London, and sent him to Westminster School, under Dr. Busby. On his father’s death, he left school, and was cared for by his uncle, a vintner in Channel Row. Here Lord Dorset found him reading Horace, and set him to translate an ode. He did so well that the Earl offered to contribute to the continuation of his education at Westminster. One of his schoolfellows and friends was Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax. It was to avoid being separated from Montagu and his brother James that Prior accepted, against his patron’s wish, a scholarship recently founded at St John’s College, Cambridge. He took his B.A. degree in 1686, and two years later became a fellow. In collaboration with Montagu he wrote in 1687 the City Mouse and Country Mouse, in ridicule of John Dryden’s The Hind and the Panther. Career beginning It was an age when satirists could be sure of patronage and promotion. Montagu was promoted at once, and Prior, three years later, became secretary to the embassy at the Hague. After four years of this, he was appointed a gentleman of the King’s bedchamber. Apparently he acted as one of the King’s secretaries, and in 1697 he was secretary to the plenipotentiaries who concluded the Peace of Ryswick. Prior’s talent for affairs was doubted by Pope, who had no special means of judging, but it is not likely that King William would have employed in this important business a man who had not given proof of diplomatic skill and grasp of details. The poet’s knowledge of French is specially mentioned among his qualifications, and this was recognized by his being sent in the following year to Paris in attendance on the English ambassador. At this period Prior could say with good reason that “he had commonly business enough upon his hands, and was only a poet by accident.” To verse, however, which had laid the foundation of his fortunes, he still occasionally trusted as a means of maintaining his position. His occasional poems during this period include an elegy on Queen Mary in 1695; a satirical version of Boileau’s Ode sur le prise de Namur (1695); some lines on William’s escape from assassination in 1696; and a brief piece called The Secretary. After his return from France Prior became under-secretary of state and succeeded John Locke as a commissioner of trade. In 1701 he sat in Parliament for East Grinstead. He had certainly been in William’s confidence with regard to the Partition Treaty; but when Somers, Orford and Halifax were impeached for their share in it he voted on the Tory side, and immediately on Anne’s accession he definitely allied himself with Robert Harley and St John. Perhaps in consequence of this for nine years there is no mention of his name in connection with any public transaction. But when the Tories came into power in 1710 Prior’s diplomatic abilities were again called into action, and until the death of Anne he held a prominent place in all negotiations with the French court, sometimes as secret agent, sometimes in an equivocal position as ambassador’s companion, sometimes as fully accredited but very unpunctually paid ambassador. His share in negotiating the Treaty of Utrecht, of which he is said to have disapproved personally, led to its popular nickname of “Matt’s Peace.” Prior is also known as a contributor to The Examiner newspaper. Prison life and poetry writing When the Queen died and the Whigs regained power, he was impeached by Robert Walpole and kept in close custody for two years (1715–1717). In 1709, he had already published a collection of verse. During this imprisonment, maintaining his cheerful philosophy, he wrote his longest humorous poem, Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind. This, along with his most ambitious work, Solomon, and other Poems on several Occasions, was published by subscription in 1718. The sum received for this volume (4000 guineas), with a present of £4000 from Lord Harley, enabled him to live in comfort; but he did not long survive his enforced retirement from public life, although he bore his ups and downs with rare equanimity. He died at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, a seat of the Earl of Oxford, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where his monument may be seen in Poets’ Corner. A History of his Own Time was issued by J Bancks in 1740. The book pretended to be derived from Prior’s papers, but it is doubtful how far it should be regarded as authentic. Prior’s poems show considerable variety, a pleasant scholarship and great executive skill. The most ambitious, i.e. Solomon, and the paraphrase of The Nut-Brown Maid, are the least successful. But Alma, an admitted imitation of Samuel Butler, is a delightful piece of wayward easy humour, full of witty turns and well-remembered allusions, and Prior’s mastery of the octo-syllabic couplet is greater than that of Jonathan Swift or Pope. His tales in rhyme, though often objectionable in their themes, are excellent specimens of narrative skill; and as an epigrammatist he is unrivalled in English. The majority of his love songs are frigid and academic, mere wax-flowers of Parnassus; but in familiar or playful efforts, of which the type are the admirable lines To a Child of Quality, he has still no rival. “Prior’s”—says Thackeray, himself no mean proficient in this kind—"seem to me amongst the easiest, the richest, the most charmingly humorous of English lyrical poems. Horace is always in his mind, and his song and his philosophy, his good sense, his happy easy turns and melody, his loves and his Epicureanism, bear a great resemblance to that most delightful and accomplished master.” Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire is said to be where Prior wrote Henry and Emma, and this is now commemorated by a plaque. Prior has been commemorated by other poets as well; Everett James Ellis named Prior as a significant influence and source of inspiration. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Prior
My name is Derrick D Pringle Sr at www.derrickpringle.com,. I am a Author & writer of Elevation Above Status, Poet, mentor, creator, motivational speaker, philanthropist, educator, President/CEO of Pringle Property Services, LLC and Founder of Variable Enhancement Services nonprofit community development organization.
In the Spring of 1688, Alexander Pope was born an only child to Alexander and Edith Pope. The elder Pope, a linen-draper and recent convert to Catholicism, soon moved his family from London to Binfield, Berkshire in the face of repressive, anti-Catholic legislation from Parliament. Described by his biographer, John Spence, as "a child of a particularly sweet temper," and with a voice so melodious as to be nicknamed the "Little Nightingale," the child Pope bears little resemblance to the irascible and outspoken moralist of the later poems. Barred from attending public school or university because of his religion, Pope was largely self-educated. He taught himself French, Italian, Latin, and Greek, and read widely, discovering Homer at the age of six. At twelve, Pope composed his earliest extant work, Ode to Solitude; the same year saw the onset of the debilitating bone deformity that would plague Pope until the end of his life. Originally attributed to the severity of his studies, the illness is now commonly accepted as Pott's disease, a form of tuberculosis affecting the spine that stunted his growth—Pope's height never exceeded four and a half feet—and rendered him hunchbacked, asthmatic, frail, and prone to violent headaches. His physical appearance would make him an easy target for his many literary enemies in later years, who would refer to the poet as a "hump-backed toad." Pope's Pastorals, which he claimed to have written at sixteen, were published in Jacob Tonson's Poetical Miscellanies of 1710 and brought him swift recognition. Essay on Criticism, published anonymously the year after, established the heroic couplet as Pope's principal measure and attracted the attention of Jonathan Swift and John Gay, who would become Pope's lifelong friends and collaborators. Together they formed the Scriblerus Club, a congregation of writers endeavoring to satirize ignorance and poor taste through the invented figure of Martinus Scriblerus, who would serve as a precursor to the dunces in Pope's late masterpiece, the Dunciad. 1712 saw the first appearance of the The Rape of the Lock, Pope's best-known work and the one that secured his fame. Its mundane subject—the true account of a squabble between two prominent Catholic families over the theft of a lock of hair—is transformed by Pope into a mock-heroic send-up of classical epic poetry. Turning from satire to scholarship, Pope in 1713 began work on his six-volume translation of Homer's Iliad. He arranged for the work to be available by subscription, with a single volume being released each year for six years, a model that garnered Pope enough money to be able to live off his work alone, one of the few English poets in history to have been able to do so. In 1719, following the death of his father, Pope moved to an estate at Twickenham, where he would live for the remainder of his life. Here he constructed his famous grotto, and went on to translate the Odyssey—which he brought out under the same subscription model as the Iliad—and to compile a heavily-criticized edition of Shakespeare, in which Pope "corrected" the Bard's meter and made several alterations to the text, while leaving corruptions in earlier editions intact. Critic and scholar Lewis Theobald's repudiation of Pope's Shakespeare provided the catalyst for his Dunciad, a vicious, four-book satire in which Pope lampoons the witless critics and scholars of his day, presenting their "abuses of learning" as a mock-Aeneid, with the dunces in service to the goddess Dulness; Theobald served as its hero. Though published anonymously, there was little question as to its authorship. Reaction to the Dunciad from its victims and sympathizers was more hostile than that of any of his previous works; Pope reportedly would not leave his house without two loaded pistols in his pocket. "I wonder he is not thrashed," wrote William Broome, Pope's former collaborator on the Odyssey who found himself lambasted in the Dunciad, "but his littleness is his protection; no man shoots a wren." Pope published Essay on Man in 1734, and the following year a scandal broke out when an apparently unauthorized and heavily sanitized edition of Pope's letters was released by the notoriously reprobate publisher Edmund Curll (collections of correspondence were rare during the period). Unbeknownst to the public, Pope had edited his letters and delivered them to Curll in secret. Pope's output slowed after 1738 as his health, never good, began to fail. He revised and completed the Dunciad, this time substituting the famously inept Colley Cibber—at that time, the country's poet laureate—for Theobald in the role of chief dunce. He began work on an epic in blank verse entitled Brutus, which he quickly abandoned; only a handful of lines survive. Alexander Pope died at Twickenham, surrounded by friends, on May 25th, 1744. Since his death, Pope has been in a constant state of reevaluation. His high artifice, strict prosody, and, at times, the sheer cruelty of his satire were an object of derision for the Romantic poets of the nineteenth century, and it was not until the 1930s that his reputation was revived. Pope is now considered the dominant poetic voice of his century, a model of prosodic elegance, biting wit, and an enduring, demanding moral force. References Poets.org - http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1566
Thomas Parnell (11 September 1679– 24 October 1718) was an Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman who was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He was the son of Thomas Parnell of Maryborough, Queen’s County (now Port Laoise, County Laoise), a prosperous landowner who had been a loyal supporter of Cromwell during the English Civil War and moved to Ireland after the restoration of the monarchy. Thomas was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and collated archdeacon of Clogher in 1705. He however spent much of his time in London, where he participated with Pope, Swift and others in the Scriblerus Club, contributing to The Spectator and aiding Pope in his translation of The Iliad. He was also one of the so-called “Graveyard poets”: his ‘A Night-Piece on Death,’ widely considered the first “Graveyard School” poem, was published posthumously in Poems on Several Occasions, collected and edited by Alexander Pope and is thought by some scholars to have been published in December of 1721 (although dated in 1722 on its title page, the year accepted by The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature; see 1721 in poetry, 1722 in poetry). It is said of his poetry 'it was in keeping with his character, easy and pleasing, enunciating the common places with felicity and grace. He died in Chester in 1718 on his way home to Ireland. His wife and children having died, his Laoise estate passed to his brother John, a judge and MP in the Irish House of Commons and the ancestor of Charles Stewart Parnell. Oliver Goldsmith wrote a biography of Parnell which often accompanied later editions of Parnell’s works. Works * Essay on the Different Stiles of Poetry (1713) * Battle of the Frogs and Mice (1717 translation in heroic couplets of a comic epic then attributed to Homer) * An example of his poetry is the opening stanza of his poem The Hermit References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Parnell
Lots of college, lots of work, a few spells in a mental ward. I have Apserger Syndrome and it was never diagnosed until a doctor asked me to research and find for myself what was wrong with me. Hard to believe my own diagnosis, years later it sunk in. Now devoid of drugs, still love alcohol, I read philosophy, try to give as little advice as I can (the burden is too great), Love music, play a little guitar and a full size one :) I like to watch movies and TV series to relax as I have given up fiction unless its a classic. I love my motorbike, I love women. I keep to myself having read that as good advice for reasons that shall remain blurred (I have a few reasons and a few good friends). I have been writing poetry for years now and mostly in deep depression so many of the poems I may add are from years gone by and maybe rewritten a little. Recently I have began to write not out of depression but out of love of myself and lack of it for society, and that is not meant against any individual, just the way life works....and works.....and works. As time goes by lots more modern poetry has been added by me. I wish for something greater than what is. Greater than I am. As Great as it can be. I believe in God. I believe in myself.
Brian Patten (born 7 February 1946) is an English poet Background Born near the Liverpool docks, Patten attended Sefton Park School in the Smithdown Road area of Liverpool, where he was noted for his essays and greatly encouraged in his work by Harry Sutcliffe, his form teacher. He left school at fifteen and began work for The Bootle Times writing a column on popular music. One of his first articles was on Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, two pop-oriented Liverpool poets who later joined Patten in a best-selling poetry anthology called The Mersey Sound, drawing popular attention to his own contemporary collections Little Johnny’s Confession (1967) and Notes to the Hurrying Man (1969). Patten received early encouragement from Philip Larkin. The collections Storm Damage (1988) and Armada (1996) are more varied, the latter featuring a sequence of poems concerning the death of his mother and memories of his childhood. Armada is perhaps Patten’s most mature and formal book, dispensing with much of the playfulness of former work. He has also written comic verse for children, notably Gargling With Jelly and Thawing Frozen Frogs. Patten’s style is generally lyrical and his subjects are primarily love and relationships. His 1981 collection Love Poems draws together his best work in this area from the previous sixteen years. Tribune has described Patten as “the master poet of his genre, taking on the intricacies of love and beauty with a totally new approach, new for him and for contemporary poetry.” Charles Causley once commented that he “reveals a sensibility profoundly aware of the ever-present possibility of the magical and the miraculous, as well as of the granite-hard realities. These are undiluted poems, beautifully calculated, informed– even in their darkest moments– with courage and hope.” Patten writes extensively for children as well as adults. He has been described as a highly engaging performer, and gives readings frequently. Over the years he has read alongside such poets as Pablo Neruda, Allen Ginsberg, Stevie Smith, Laurie Lee and Robert Lowell. His books have in recent years been translated into Italian, Spanish, German and Polish. His children’s novel Mr Moon’s Last Case won a special award from the Mystery Writers of America Guild. In 2002 Patten accepted the Cholmondeley Award for services to poetry. Together with Roger McGough and the late Adrian Henri, he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool. Selected bibliography Poetry collections for adults * The Mersey Sound * Little Johnny’s Confession * Notes to the Hurrying Man * The Irrelevant Song * Vanishing Trick * Grave Gossip * Love Poems * Storm Damage * Grinning Jack * Armada * Selected Poems Penguin Books * The new Collected Love Poems * The projectionist’s nightmare * Geography lesson Books for children * The Elephant and the Flower * Jumping Mouse * Emma’s Doll * Gargling With Jelly * Mr Moon’s Last Case * Jimmy Tag-Along * Thawing Frozen Frogs * Juggling With Gerbils * The Story Giant * Impossible Parents, illustrated by Arthur Robins (Walker Books, 1994), OCLC 31708253 * The Impossible Parents Go Green, illus. Robins (Walker, 2000) * The Most Impossible Parents, illus. Robins (Walker, 2010) As editor * The Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry * The Puffin Book of Modern Children’s Verse References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Patten
Musa Gift Masombuka is a poet, author, and a distributor for Samnko Books. Born 1998, April 1st. His works are available on sites such as Fundza; Botsotso Magazine; Poeticous, and PoemHunter. He was nominated Best Poet in the 2014 SATMA Awards. His recently published book MY WORDS IN VOLUMES: Emotions Of A Poet is a prescribed library resource for the Gauteng Education department. He has been featured to do forewords; introductions and typeset on books such as Broken Dreams: The Awakening Past by Edwin Mabodimo Mphaga and Love&Lies: My Past Tense by SamNkogatse. He also had the honour to work with the greatest writers such as Sifiso Mtshali; Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho, Moses Seletisha and Jayne Bauling. Musa has been a competitive writer, participating in literary competitions organised by Maskew Miller Longman, Jacana Media, Write Associates, Commonwealth Writers and the South Afrian Writers College. His short story titled The Initiation was shortlisted in the South African Writers College Annual Short Story Competition 2017.
Jessie Pope (18 March 1868– 14 December 1941) was an English poet, writer and journalist, who remains best known for her patriotic motivational poems published during World War I. Wilfred Owen directed his 1917 poem Dulce et Decorum Est at Pope, whose literary reputation has faded into relative obscurity as those of war poets such as Owen and Siegfried Sassoon have grown. Early career Born in Leicester, she was educated at North London Collegiate School. She was a regular contributor to Punch, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express, also writing for Vanity Fair, Pall Mall Magazine and the Windsor. Prose editor A lesser-known literary contribution was Pope’s discovery of Robert Tressell’s novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, when his daughter mentioned the manuscript to her after his death. Pope recommended it to her publisher, who commissioned her to abridge it before publication. This, a partial bowdlerisation, moulded it to a standard working-class tragedy while greatly downgrading its socialist political content. Verse Other works include Paper Pellets (1907), an anthology of humorous verse. She also wrote verses for children’s books, such as The Cat Scouts (Blackie, 1912) and the following eulogy to her friend, Bertram Fletcher Robinson (published in the Daily Express on Saturday 26 January 1907): Good Bye, kind heart; our benisons preceding, Shall shield your passing to the other side. The praise of your friends shall do your pleading In love and gratitude and tender pride. To you gay humorist and polished writer, We will not speak of tears or startled pain. You made our London merrier and brighter, God bless you, then, until we meet again! War poetry Pope’s war poetry was originally published in The Daily Mail; it encouraged enlistment and handed a white feather to youths who would not join the colours. Nowadays, this poetry is considered to be jingoistic, consisting of simple rhythms and rhyme schemes, with extensive use of rhetorical questions to persuade (and sometimes pressure) young men to join the war. This extract from Who’s for the Game? is typical in style: Who’s for the game, the biggest that’s played, The red crashing game of a fight? Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid? And who thinks he’d rather sit tight? Other poems, such as The Call (1915)– “Who’s for the trench– Are you, my laddie?”– expressed similar sentiments. Pope was widely published during the war, apart from newspaper publication producing three volumes: Jessie Pope’s War Poems (1915), More War Poems (1915) and Simple Rhymes for Stirring Times (1916). Criticism Her treatment of the subject is markedly in stark contrast to the anti-war stance of soldier poets such as Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Many of these men found her work distasteful, Owen in particular. His poem Dulce et Decorum Est was a direct response to her writing, originally dedicated “To Jessie Pope etc.”. A later draft amended this as “To a certain Poetess”, later being removed completely to turn the poem into a general reproach on anyone sympathetic to the war. Pope is prominently remembered first for her pro-war poetry, but also as a representative of homefront female propagandists such as Mrs Humphry Ward, May Wedderburn Cannan, Emma Orczy, and entertainers such as Vesta Tilley. In particular, the poem “War Girls”, similar in structure to her pro-war poetry, states how "No longer caged and penned up/They’re going to keep their end up/Until the khaki soldier boys come marching back". Though largely unknown at the time, the War poets like Nichols, Sassoon and Owen, as well as later writers such as Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves, and Richard Aldington, have come to define the experience of the First World War. Reappraisal Pope’s work is today often presented in schools and anthologies as a counterpoint to the work of the War Poets, a comparison by which her pro-war work suffers both technically and politically. Some writers have attempted a partial re-appraisal of her work as an early pioneer of English women in the workforce, while still critical of both the content and artistic merit of her war poetry. Reminded that Pope was primarily a humourist and writer of light verse, her success in publishing and journalism during the pre-war era, when she was described as the “foremost woman humourist” of her day has been overshadowed by her propagandistic war poems. Her verse has been mined for sympathetic portrayals of the poor and powerless, of women urged to be strong and self-reliant. Her portrayal of the Suffragettes in a pair of counterpointed 1909 poems makes a case both for and against their actions. Later life After the war, Pope continued to rewrite, penning a short novel, poems—many of which continued to reflect upon the war and its aftermath—and books for children. She married a widower bank manager in 1929, when she was 61, and moved from London to Fritton, near Great Yarmouth. She died on 14 December 1941 in Devon. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessie_Pope
Michael Palmer (born May 11, 1943) is an American poet and translator. He attended Harvard University where he earned a BA in French and an MA in Comparative Literature. He has worked extensively with Contemporary dance for over thirty years and has collaborated with many composers and visual artists. Palmer has lived in San Francisco since 1969. Palmer is the 2006 recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. This $100,000 (US) prize recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Beginnings Michael Palmer began actively publishing poetry in the 1960s. Two events in the early sixties would prove particularly decisive for his development as a poet. First, he attended the now famous Vancouver Poetry Conference in 1963. This July–August 1963 Poetry Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia spanned three weeks and involved about sixty people who had registered for a program of discussions, workshops, lectures, and readings designed by Warren Tallman and Robert Creeley as a summer course at the University of B.C. There Palmer met writers and artists who would leave an indelible mark on his own developing sense of a poetics, especially Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and Clark Coolidge, with whom he formed lifelong friendships. It was a landmark moment as Robert Creeley observed: Vancouver Poetry Conference brought together for the first time, a decisive company of then disregarded poets such as Denise Levertov, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, Margaret Avison, Philip Whalen... together with as yet unrecognised younger poets of that time, Michael Palmer, Clark Coolidge and many more.” Palmer’s second initiation into the rites of a public poet began with the editing of the journal Joglars with fellow poet Clark Coolidge. Joglars (Providence, Rhode Island) numbered just three issues in all, published between 1964–66, but extended the correspondence with fellow poets begun in Vancouver. The first issue appeared in Spring 1964 and included poems by Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Fielding Dawson, Jonathan Williams, Lorine Niedecker, Robert Kelly, and Louis Zukofsky. Palmer published five of his own poems in the second number of Joglars, an issue that included work by Larry Eigner, Stan Brakhage, Russell Edson, and Jackson Mac Low. For those who attended the Vancouver Conference or learned about it later on, it was apparent that the poetics of Charles Olson, proprioceptive or Projectivist in its reach, was exerting a significant and lasting influence on the emerging generation of artists and poets who came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s. Subsequent to this emerging generation of artists who felt Olson’s impact, poets such as Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan would in turn exert their own huge impact on our national poetries (see also: Black Mountain poets and San Francisco Renaissance). Of this particular company of poets encountered in Vancouver, Palmer says: ...before meeting that group of poets in 1963 at the Vancouver Poetry Conference, I had begun to read them intensely, and they proposed alternatives to the poets I was encountering at that time at Harvard, the confessional poets, whose work was grounded to a greater or lesser degree in New Criticism, at least those were their mentors. The confessional poets struck me as people absolutely lusting for fame, all of them, and they were all trying to write great lines. Early development of poetry and poetics Following the Vancouver Conference, Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley remained primary resources. Both poets had a lasting, active influence on Palmer’s work which has extended until the present. In an essay, “Robert Duncan and Romantic Synthesis” (see 'External links’ below), Palmer recognizes that Duncan’s appropriation and synthesis of previous poetic influences was transformed into a poetics noted for “exploratory audacity... the manipulation of complex, resistant harmonies, and by the kinetic idea of ”composition by field", whereby all elements of the poem are potentially equally active in the composition as 'events’ of the poem". And if this statement marks a certain tendency readers have noted in Palmer’s work all along, or remains a touchstone of sorts, we sense that from the beginning Palmer has consistently confronted not only the problem of subjectivity and public address in poetry, but the specific agency of Poetry and the relationship between poetry and the political: "The implicit... question has always concerned the human and social justification for this strange thing, poetry, when it is not directly driven by the political or by some other, equally other evident purpose [...] Whereas the significant artistic thrust has always been toward artistic independence within the world, not from it.” So for Michael Palmer, this tendency seems there from the beginning. Today these concerns continue through multiple collaborations across the fields of poetry, dance, translation, and the visual arts. Perhaps similar to Olson’s impact on his generation, Palmer’s influence remains singular and palpable, if difficult to measure. Since Olson’s death in 1970, we continue to be, following upon George Oppen’s phrase, carried into the incalculable, As Palmer recently noted in a blurb for Claudia Rankine’s poetic testament Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004), ours is “a time when even death and the self have been re-configured as commodities”. Work Palmer is the author of twelve full-length books of poetry, including Thread (2011), Company of Moths (2005) (shortlisted for the 2006 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize), Codes Appearing: Poems 1979-1988 (2001), The Promises of Glass (2000), The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995 (1998), At Passages (1996), Sun (1988), First Figure (1984), Notes for Echo Lake (1981), Without Music (1977), The Circular Gates (1974), and Blake’s Newton (1972). A prose work, The Danish Notebook, was published in 1999. In the spring of 2007, a chapbook, The Counter-Sky (with translations by Koichiro Yamauchi), was published by Meltemia Press of Japan, to coincide with the Tokyo Poetry and Dance Festival. His work has appeared in literary magazines such as Boundary 2, Berkeley Poetry Review, Sulfur, Conjunctions, Grand Street and O-blek. Besides the 2006 Wallace Stevens Award, Michael Palmer’s honors include two grants from the Literature Program of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1989-90 he was a Guggenheim Fellow. During the years 1992–1994 he held a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Writer’s Award. From 1999 to 2004, he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In the spring of 2001 he received the Shelly Memorial Prize Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Introducing Palmer for a reading at the DIA Arts Center in 1996, Brighde Mullins noted that Palmer’s poetics is both “situated yet active”. Palmer alludes to this himself, perhaps, when he speaks of poetry signaling a “site of passages”. He says, “The space of the page is taken as a site in itself, a syntactical and visual space to be expressively exploited, as was the case with the Black Mountain poets, as well as writers such as Frank O’Hara, perhaps partly in response to gestural abstract painting.” Elsewhere he observes that “in our reading we have to rediscover the radical nature of the poem.” In turn, this becomes a search for “the essential place of lyric poetry” as it delves “beneath it to its relationship with language”. Since he seems to explore the nature of language and its relation to human consciousness and perception, Palmer is often associated with the Language poets (sometimes referred to as the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, after the magazine that bears that name). Of this particular association, Palmer comments in a recent (2000) interview: It goes back to an organic period when I had a closer association with some of those writers than I do now, when we were a generation in San Francisco with lots of poetic and theoretical energy and desperately trying to escape from the assumptions of poetic production that were largely dominant in our culture. My own hesitancy comes when you try to create, let’s say, a fixed theoretical matrix and begin to work from an ideology of prohibitions about expressivity and the self—there I depart quite dramatically from a few of the Language Poets. Critical reception Michael Palmer’s poetry has received both praise and criticism over the years. Some reviewers call it abstract. Some call it intimate. Some call it allusive. Some call it personal. Some call it political. And some call it inaccessible. While some reviewers or readers may value Palmer’s work as an “extension of modernism”, they criticize and even reject Palmer’s work as discordant: an interruption of our composure (to invoke Robert Duncan’s phrase). Palmer’s own stated poetics will not allow or settle for “vanguard gesturalism”. In a singular confrontion with the modernist project, the poet must suffer 'loss’, embrace disturbance and paradox, and agonize over what cannot be accounted for. It is a poetry that can, at once, gesture toward post-modern, post-avant-garde, semiotic concerns even as it acknowledges that ...the artist after Dante’s poetics, works with all parts of the poem as polysemous, taking each thing of the composition as generative of meaning, a response to and a contribution to the building form.[...]But this putting together and rendering anew operates in our own apprehension of emerging articulations of time. Every particular is an immediate happening of meaning at large; every present activity in the poem redistributes future as well as past events. This is a presence extended in a time we create as we keep words in mind.” We can recognize that the “weary beauty” of Palmer’s work bespeaks the tension and accord he offers toward the Modernists and the vanguardists, even as he is seeking to maintain or at least continue to search for an ethics of the I/Thou. It is an awkward truce we make with modernism when there is no cessation of hostilities. But sometimes in reading Palmer’s work we recognize (almost against ourselves) a poetry that is described as surreal in context and contour, livid in aural accomplishment, but all the while confronts the reader with a poetics both active and situated. And if Palmer is sometimes praised for this, more often than not he is criticized, rebuked, vilified and dismissed (just as Paul Celan was) for hermeticism, deliberate obscurity, and bogus erudition. Palmer admits to a stated “essential errancy of discovery in the poem” that would not necessarily be a “unified narrative explanation of the self”, but would allow for itself “cloaked meaning and necessary semantic indirection” Confrontation with Modernism He remains candid about the giants of modernism: i.e., Yeats, Eliot and Pound. Whether it is the fascism of Ezra Pound or the less overt but no less insidious anti-semitism found in the work of T. S. Eliot, Palmer’s position is a fierce rejection of their politics, but qualified with the acknowledgment that, as Marjorie Perloff has observed of Pound, “he remains the great inventor of the period, the poet who really MADE THINGS NEW”. Thus, Palmer decries that what remains for us is something quite harrowing “inscribed at the heart of modernism”. Perhaps we can invoke one of Palmer’s real 'heroes’, Antonio Gramsci, and say here, now, what precisely has been inscribed over against what today (in the vicious circles of media and cultural production) is merely forecast as cultural hegemony. So if Palmer, on the one hand, variously describes or defines an Ideology as that which “invades the field of meaning”, we recognize not only in Pound or Eliot, but now as if against ourselves, that ideology implicitly deploys values and premises that must remain unspoken in order for them to function as ideology or to remain hidden in plain sight, as such. At some point we can invoke the 'post-ideological’ stance of Slavoj Žižek who, after Althusser, jettisons the Marxist equation: ideology=false consciousness and say that, perhaps Ideology, to all intents and purposes, IS consciousness. As a way out of this seeming double-bind, or to his admissions that poetry is, as Pound observed, “news that stays news”, that it remains an active and viable (or “actively situated”) principle within the social dynamic, critics and readers alike point to Palmer’s own avowals of an emerging countertradition to the prevailing literary establishment: an 'alternative tradition’ that just slipped under the radar as far as the Academy and its various 'schools’ of poetry are concerned. Though not always so visible, this counter-tradition continues to exert an underground influence. Poetry, as critique or praise, can perhaps in its reach exceed the grasp of modernism and procure for us as visible again, that which is all or nothing except for the 'ghostlier demarcations’ of the social wager within sight of the shipwreck of the singular (as George Oppen characterized it) which denotes or delimits the very idea of the social, if not the very idea that there is a definition of the social other than this: the community of those who have no community. Indeed, the unavowable community (to borrow a title and phrasing from Maurice Blanchot). Faced with shipwreck, “in the dark” amidst the ravished heresies of the unspoken as even against silence itself, we can think with the poem. With fierce determination or graceful adherence we can perhaps even “see” with the poem, account for its usefulness. Even as we use the language, attend to its fissures and abhorrences, language in turn uses us, or has its own uses for us, as Palmer attests: Palmer has repeatedly stated, in interviews and in various talks given across the years, that the situation for the poet is paradoxical: a seeing which is blind, a “nothing you can see”, an “active waiting”, “purposive, sometimes a music”, or a “nowhere” that is "now / here". For Palmer, it is a situation which is never over, and yet it mysteriously starts up again each day, as if describing a circle. Poetry can “interrogate the radical and violent instability of our moment, asking where is the location of culture, where the site of self, selves, among others” (as Palmer has characterized the poetry of Myung Mi Kim). Collaborations Palmer has published translations from French, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese, and has engaged in multiple collaborations with painters. These include the German painter Gerhard Richter, French painter Micaëla Henich, and Italian painter Sandro Chia. He edited and helped translate Nothing The Sun Could Not Explain: Twenty Contemporary Brazilian Poets (Sun & Moon Press, 1997). With Michael Molnar and John High, Palmer helped edit and translate a volume of poetry by the Russian poet Alexei Parshchikov, Blue Vitriol (Avec Books, 1994). He also translated “Theory of Tables” (1994), a book written by Emmanuel Hocquard, a project that grew out of Hocquard’s translations of Palmer’s “Baudelaire Series” into French. Palmer has written many radio plays and works of criticism. But his lasting significance occurs as the singular concerns of the artist extend into the aleatory, the multiple, and the collaborative. Dance For more than thirty years he has collaborated on over a dozen dance works with Margaret Jenkins and her Dance Company. Early dance scenarios in which Palmer participated include Interferences, 1975; Equal Time, 1976; No One but Whitington, 1978; Red, Yellow, Blue, 1980, Straight Words, 1980; Versions by Turns, 1980; Cortland Set, 1982; and First Figure, 1984. A particularly noteworthy example of a recent Jenkins/Palmer collaboration would be The Gates (Far Away Near), an evening-length dance work in which Palmer worked with not only Ms. Jenkins, but also Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. This was performed in September 1993 in the San Francisco Bay Area and in July 1994 at New York’s Lincoln Center. Another recent collaboration with Jenkins resulted in “Danger Orange”, a 45-minute outdoor site-specific performance, presented in October 2004 before the Presidential elections. The color orange metaphorically references the national alert systems that are in place that evoke the sense of danger.[see also:Homeland Security Advisory System] Painters and visual artists Similar to his friendship with Robert Duncan and the painter Jess Collins, Palmer’s work with painter Irving Petlin remains generative. Irving’s singular influence from the beginning demonstrated for Palmer a “working” of the poet as “maker” (in the radical sense, even ancient sense of that word). Along with Duncan, Zukofsky, and others, Petlin’s work modeled, demonstrated, circumscribed and, perhaps most importantly for Palmer, verified that “the way” (this way for the artist who is a maker, a creator) would also be, as Gilles Deleuze termed it, “a life”. This in turn delineates Palmer’s own sense of both a poetics and an ongoing counter-poetic tradition, offering him fixture and a place of repair. Recently he worked with painter and visual artist Augusta Talbot, and curated her exhibition at the CUE Art Foundation (March 17 –April 23, 2005). When asked in an interview how collaboration has pushed the boundaries of his work, Palmer responded: There were a variety of influences. One was that, when I was using language—but even when I wasn’t, when I was simply envisioning a structure, for example—I was working with the idea of actual space. Over time, my own language took on a certain physicality or gestural character that it hadn’t had as strongly in the earliest work. Margy (Margaret Jenkins) and I would often work with language as gesture and gesture as language—we would cross these two media, have them join at some nexus. And inevitably then, as I brought certain characteristics of my work to dance, and to dance structure and gesture, it started crossing over into my work. It added space to the poems. It may be that for Palmer, friendship (acknowledging both the multiple and collaborative), becomes in part what Jack Spicer terms a “composition of the real”. Across the fields of painting and dance, Palmer’s work figures as an “unrelenting tentacle of the proprioceptive”. Furthermore, it may signal a Coming Community underscored in the work of Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Luc Nancy and Maurice Blanchot among others. It is a poetry that would, along with theirs, articulate a place for, even spaces where, both the “poetic imaginary” is constituted and a possible social space is envisioned. As Jean-Luc Nancy has written in The Inoperative Community (1991): “These places, spread out everywhere, yield up and orient new spaces... other tracks, other ways, other places for all who are there.” Bibliography Poetry * Plan of the City of O, Barn Dreams Press (Boston, Massachusetts), 1971. * Blake’s Newton, Black Sparrow Press (Santa Barbara, California), 1972. * C’s Songs, Sand Dollar Books (Berkeley, California), 1973. * Six Poems, Black Sparrow Press (Santa Barbara, California), 1973. * The Circular Gates, Black Sparrow Press (Santa Barbara, California), 1974. * (Translator, with Geoffrey Young) Vicente Huidobro, Relativity of Spring: 13 Poems, Sand Dollar Books (Berkeley, California), 1976. * Without Music, Black Sparrow Press (Santa Barbara, California), 1977. * Alogon, Tuumba Press (Berkeley, California), 1980. * Notes for Echo Lake, North Point Press (Berkeley, California), 1981. * (Translator) Alain Tanner and John Berger, Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000, North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, California), 1983. * First Figure, North Point Press (Berkeley, California), 1984. * Sun, North Point Press (Berkeley, California), 1988. * At Passages, New Directions (New York, New York), 1995. * The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems, 1972-1995, New Directions (New York, New York), 1998. * The Promises of Glass, New Directions (New York, New York), 2000. * Codes Appearing: Poems, 1979-1988, New Directions (New York, New York), 2001. Notes for Echo Lake, First Figure, and Sun together in one volume. ISBN 978-0-8112-1470-4 * (With Régis Bonvicino) Cadenciando-um-ning, um samba, para o outro: poemas, traduções, diálogos, Atelieì Editorial (Cotia, Brazil), 2001. * Company of Moths, New Directions (New York, New York), 2005. ISBN 978-0-8112-1623-4 * Aygi Cycle, Druksel (Ghent, Belgium), 2009 (chapbook with 10 new poems, inspired by the Russian poet Gennadiy Aygi. * (With Jan Lauwereyns) Truths of Stone, Druksel (Ghent, Belgium), 2010. * Thread, New Directions (New York, New York), 2011. ISBN 978-0-8112-1921-1 * The Laughter of the Sphinx, New Directions (New York, New York), 2016. ISBN 978-0-8112-2554-0 Other * Idem 1-4 (radio plays), 1979. * (Editor) Code of Signals: Recent Writings in Poetics, North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, California), 1983. * The Danish Notebook, Avec Books (Penngrove, California), 1999—prose/memoir * Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks, New Directions (New York, New York), 2008. ISBN 0-8112-1754-X External links Palmer sites and exhibits * Exhibit at The Academy of American Poets includes links to on-line poems by Palmer not listed below * Modern American Poetry site * Author Page at Internationales Literatufestival Berlin site (in English) Palmer was a guest of the ILB (Internationales Literatufestival Berlin/ Germany) in 2001 and 2005. * An internet bibliography for Michael Palmer from LiteraryHistory.com Poems * “Dream of a Language That Speaks” a poem from Company of Moths (2005) @ Jacket Magazine site * “Scale” first published in Richter 858 (ed. David Breskin, The Shifting Foundation, SF MOMA: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art); included in Company of Moths * "Autobiography 3" & Autobiography 5" two poems from Conjunctions magazine’s on-line archive; included in The Promises of Glass (2000) * To the Title (Are there titles?) included in Jacket Magazine 33 * four poems from Thread from Boston Review’s March/April 2010 issue * Late Night Poetry @ Tony Bilson’s Number One: Palmer reads “The Dream of Narcissus” on YouTube Video of Palmer at the 2010 Sydney (Australia) Writers Festival. * Michael Palmer reads Mahmoud Darwish’s “The Strangers’ Picnic” on YouTube Video of Palmer reading a poem from Mahmoud Darwish’s collection Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems * Michael Palmer, Paul Hoover with the poetry of Maria Baranda - September 27, 2015– Palmer reads from his book Thread and from his forthcoming collection The Laughter of the Sphinx. He also reads a single poem from his collection The Company of Moths. Selected essays and talks * Period (senses of duration) this is a version of a talk Palmer gave in San Francisco in February 1982. Scroll down to “Table of Contents” to find the Palmer selection. Here it appears in an e-book representation of Code of Signals (which Palmer edited in 1983, with the subtitle “Recent Writings in Poetics”). * On Robert Duncan reprint of Palmer’s essay “Robert Duncan and Romantic Synthesis” * Michael Palmer audio-files at PENNsound * “On the Sustaining of Culture in Dark Times” text of Palmer’s keynote address given at the 3rd Annual Sustainable Living Conference at Evergreen State College in February 2004 * “Ground Work: On Robert Duncan” Michael Palmer’s “Introduction” to a combined edition of Ground Work: Before the War, and Ground Work II: In the Dark, published by New Directions in April 2006. * Lunch Poems reading by Michael Palmer: Webcast Held on October 5, 2006, in the Morrison Library, University of California at Berkeley: webcast online * “In Company: On Artistic Collaboration and Solitude” This is the title of the lecture/talk that Palmer gave, along with a poetry reading, at the University of Chicago in October 2006. (In audio & video format) * Bad to the bone: What I learned outside Lecture & Talk given in June 2002, when Palmer taught for a brief stint at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa in Boulder, Colorado * Poetic Obligations (Talking about Nothing at Temple) This is a talk Palmer gave at Temple University in February 1999, and was originally published in Fulcrum: An annual of poetry and aesthetics (Issue 2, 2003). * Poetry and Contingency: Within a Timeless Moment of Barbaric Thought essay/talk originally published in the Chicago Review (June, 2003) Interviews with Palmer * The River City Interview conducted by Paul Naylor, Lindsay Hill, and J. P. Craig; appeared in 1994. * An Interview with Michael Palmer by Robert Hicks in 2006 * Interview at Berkeley Daily Planet: April 7, 2006 discusses a reading Palmer & Douglas Blazek gave together at Moe’s, a bookstore in Berkeley, California; includes interviews * Interview with Michael Palmer an interview conducted at Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 by the student editors of “Arch Literary Journal” in conjunction with a talk and reading Palmer gave at the school. Includes an introductory essay by one of the editors, Lawrence Revard, “'What Reading?': Play in Michael Palmer’s Poetics” * “An interview with Michael Palmer”. Litshow.com. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-04-23. Others on Palmer * Margaret Jenkins Dance Company info on both Palmer & his collaborators in their on-going work with Dance * Lauri Ramey:"Michael Palmer: The Lion Bridge" Ramey wrote a doctoral dissertation on Palmer, and here reviews his “Selected Poems” * A Collision of “Possible Worlds” A 2002 review of The Promises of Glass by Michael Dowdy @Free Verse website * A review of Company of Moths a book review of Palmer’s 2005 collection * Griffin Poetry Prize biography, including audio and video clips Palmer was shortlisted for this prize in 2006 * Margaret Jenkins Dance Company’s “A Slipping Glimpse” 2006 dance piece in collaboration with Tanushree Shankar Dance School & the text by Palmer * Cultural camaraderie article from Hindustantimes.com on the dance performance A Slipping Glimpse. Article discusses Palmer’s collaboration (includes quotes) * Palmer is Spring 2007 Writer in Residence press release from California College of the Arts * Michael Palmer (Six Introductions) a brief essay by Clayton Eshleman who edited Sulfur magazine, for which Palmer served as a contributing editor. * Hands Across Many Seas: From San Francisco and India, a dance collaboration article by Deborah Jowitt on “A Slipping Glimpse”, performed by the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company at the “Danspace Project” at Saint Mark’s Church, October 4 through 6, 2007 * Lyric Persuasions at Poets House Rae Armantrout and Zoketsu Norman Fischer discuss Michael Palmer’s work as recorded by Vasiliki Katsarou at the Poet’s House in the Spring of 2010 References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Palmer_(poet)
Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore (23 July 1823– 26 November 1896) was an English poet and critic best known for The Angel in the House, his narrative poem about an ideal happy marriage. Life Youth The eldest son of author Peter George Patmore, Coventry Patmore was born at Woodford in Essex and was privately educated. He was his father’s intimate and constant companion and inherited from him his early literary enthusiasm. It was Coventry’s ambition to become an artist. He showed much promise, earning the silver palette of the Society of Arts in 1838. In 1839 he was sent to school in France for six months, where he began to write poetry. On his return, his father planned to publish some of these youthful poems; Coventry however had become interested in science, and poetry was set aside. At this time Patmore’s father was financially embarrassed; and in 1846 Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton obtained for Coventry the post of printed book supernumary assistant at the British Museum, a post he occupied for nineteen years, devoting his spare time to poetry. In 1847 he married Emily Augusta Andrews, daughter of Dr. Andrews of Camberwell, and by 1851 they had had two sons, Coventry (born 1848) and Tennyson (born 1850). Three daughters followed– Emily (born 1853), Bertha (born 1855) and Gertrude (born 1857), before their last child, a son (Henry John), was born in 1860. He later returned to writing however, enthused by the success of Alfred Lord Tennyson; and in 1844 he published a small volume of Poems, which was original but uneven. Patmore, distressed at its reception, bought up the remainder of the edition and destroyed it. What upset him most was a cruel review in Blackwood’s Magazine; but the enthusiasm of his friends, together with their more constructive criticism, helped foster his talent. The publication of this volume bore immediate fruit by causing its author to be introduced to various men of letters, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, through whom Patmore became known to William Holman Hunt, and was thus drawn into the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, contributing his poem “The Seasons” to The Germ. In his time at the British Museum Patmore was instrumental in starting the Volunteer Movement in 1852. He wrote an important letter to The Times on the subject, and stirred up much martial enthusiasm among his colleagues. Major publications In 1853 he republished Tamerton Church Tower, the more successful of his pieces from Poems of 1844, adding several new poems which showed distinct advance, both in conception and treatment; and in the following year (1854) the first part of his best-known poem, The Angel in the House appeared. The Angel in the House is a long narrative and lyric poem, with four sections composed over a period of years: The Betrothed and The Espousals (1856) which eulogize his first wife; followed by Faithful For Ever (1860); and The Victories of Love (1862). The four works were published together in 1863 and have come to symbolise the Victorian feminine ideal– which was not necessarily the ideal amongst feminists of the period. By 1861 the family was living in Elm Cottage, North End, Hampstead. On 5 July 1862 Emily died after a lengthy and lingering illness, and shortly afterwards Coventry joined the Roman Catholic church. In 1865 he remarried, his second wife being Marianne Byles, daughter of James Byles of Bowden Hall, Gloucester; a year later he purchased Buxted Hall in Surrey, the history of which he wrote in How I managed my Estate (1886). In 1877 he published The Unknown Eros, which contains his finest poetic work, and in the following year Amelia, his own favourite among his poems, together with an interesting essay on English Metrical Law, appeared. This departure into criticism continued in 1879 with a volume of papers entitled Principle in Art, and again in 1893 with Religio Poetae. His second wife Marianne died in 1880, and in 1881 he married Harriet Robson from Bletchingley in Surrey (born 1840). Their son Francis was born in 1882. In later years he lived at Lymington, where he died in 1896. He was buried in Lymington churchyard. Evaluation A collected edition of Patmore’s poems appeared in two volumes in 1886, with a characteristic preface which might serve as the author’s epitaph. “I have written little,” it runs; “but it is all my best; I have never spoken when I had nothing to say, nor spared time or labour to make my words true. I have respected posterity; and should there be a posterity which cares for letters, I dare to hope that it will respect me.” The sincerity which underlies this statement, combined with a certain lack of humour which peers through its naïveté, points to two of the principal characteristics of Patmore’s earlier poetry; characteristics which came to be almost unconsciously merged and harmonized as his style and his intention drew together into unity. His best work is found in the volume of odes called The Unknown Eros, which is full not only of passages but entire poems in which exalted thought is expressed in poetry of the richest and most dignified melody. Spirituality informs his inspiration; the poetry is glowing and alive. The magnificent piece in praise of winter, the solemn and beautiful cadences of “Departure,” and the homely but elevated pathos of “The Toys,” are in their manner unsurpassed in English poetry. His somewhat reactionary political opinions, which also find expression in his odes, find less praise today although they can certainly be said to reflect, as do his essays, a serious and very active mind. Patmore is today one of the least-known but best-regarded Victorian poets. His son Henry John Patmore (1860–83) also became a poet. Trivia Coventry Patmore was caricatured as the unpleasant poet Carleon Anthony in Joseph Conrad’s novel Chance (1913). In X-Men: Season 1 Episode 1, Patmore’s poem “Farewell”, from the collection “The Unknown Eros”, is paraphrased by the character Beast, “With faint heart averted feet and many a tear, in our opposed path to persevere”, when coming across a trap. The character also follows the quote with, “A minor poet for a minor obstacle” as he begins to cross it. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Patmore
Henry James Pye (/paɪ/; 10 February 1744– 11 August 1813) was an English poet. Pye was Poet Laureate from 1790 until his death. He was the first poet laureate to receive a fixed salary of £27 instead of the historic tierce of Canary wine (though it was still a fairly nominal payment; then as now the Poet Laureate had to look to extra sales generated by the prestige of the office to make significant money from the Laureateship). Life Pye was born in London, the son of Henry Pye of Faringdon House in Berkshire, and his wife, Mary James. He was the nephew of Admiral Thomas Pye. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. His father died in 1766, leaving him a legacy of debt amounting to £50,000, and the burning of the family home further increased his difficulties. In 1784 he was elected Member of Parliament for Berkshire. He was obliged to sell the paternal estate, and, retiring from Parliament in 1790, became a police magistrate for Westminster. Although he had no command of language and was destitute of poetic feeling, his ambition was to obtain recognition as a poet, and he published many volumes of verse. Of all he wrote his prose Summary of the Duties of a Justice of the Peace out of Sessions (1808) is most worthy of record. He was made poet laureate in 1790, perhaps as a reward for his faithful support of William Pitt the Younger in the House of Commons. The appointment was looked on as ridiculous, and his birthday odes were a continual source of contempt. The 20th century British historian Lord Blake called Pye “the worst Poet Laureate in English history with the possible exception of Alfred Austin.” Indeed, Pye’s successor, Robert Southey, wrote in 1814: “I have been rhyming as doggedly and dully as if my name had been Henry James Pye.” After his death, Pye remained one of the unfortunate few who have been classified as a “poetaster.” As a prose writer, Pye was far from contemptible. He had a fancy for commentaries and summaries. His “Commentary on Shakespeare’s commentators”, and that appended to his translation of the Poetics, contain some noteworthy matter. A man, who, born in 1745, could write “Sir Charles Grandison is a much more unnatural character than Caliban,” may have been a poetaster but was certainly not a fool. He died in Pinner, Middlesex on 11 August 1813. Pye married twice. He had two daughters by his first wife. He married secondly in 1801 Martha Corbett, by whom he had a son Henry John Pye, who in 1833 inherited the Clifton Hall, Staffordshire estate of a distant cousin and who was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1840. Works Prose * Summary of the Duties of a Justice of the Peace out of Sessions (1808) * The Democrat (1795) * The Aristocrat (1799) Poetry * Poems on Various Subjects (1787), first substantial collection of Pye’s verse * Adelaide: a Tragedy in Five Acts (1800) * Alfred (1801) Translations * Aristotle’s Poetics (1792) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_James_Pye
Thomas Love Peacock (18 October 1785– 23 January 1866) was an English novelist, poet, and official of the East India Company. He was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley and they influenced each other’s work. Peacock wrote satirical novels, each with the same basic setting: characters at a table discussing and criticising the philosophical opinions of the day. Background and education Peacock was born in Weymouth, Dorset, the son of Samuel Peacock and his wife Sarah Love, daughter of Thomas Love a retired master of a man-of-war in the Royal Navy. His father was a glass merchant in London, partner of a Mr Pellatt, presumed to be Apsley Pellatt (1763–1826). Peacock went with his mother to live with her family at Chertsey in 1791 and in 1792 went to a school run by Joseph Harris Wicks at Englefield Green where he stayed for six and a half years. Peacock’s father died in 1794 in “poor circumstances” leaving a small annuity. Peacock’s first known poem was an epitaph for a school fellow written at the age of ten and another on his Midsummer Holidays was written when he was thirteen. Around that time in 1798 he was abruptly taken from school and from then on was entirely self-educated. Early occupation and travelling In February 1800, Peacock became a clerk with Ludlow Fraser Company, who were merchants in the City of London. He lived with his mother on the firm’s premises at 4 Angel Court Throgmorton Street. He won the eleventh prize from the Monthly Preceptor for a verse answer to the question “Is History or Biography the More Improving Study?”. He also contributed to “The Juvenile Library”, a magazine for youth whose competitions excited the emulation of several other boys including Leigh Hunt, de Quincey, and W. J. Fox. He began visiting the Reading Room of the British Museum and continued doing so for many years, diligently studying the best literature in Greek, Latin, French, and Italian. In 1804 and 1806 he published two volumes of poetry, The Monks of St. Mark and Palmyra. Some of Peacock’s juvenile compositions were privately printed by Sir Henry Cole. In around 1806 Peacock left his job in the city and during the year made a solitary walking tour of Scotland. The annuity left by his father expired in October 1806. In 1807 he returned to live at his mother’s house at Chertsey. He was briefly engaged to Fanny Faulkner, but it was broken off through the interference of her relations. His friends, as he hints, thought it wrong that so clever a man should be earning so little money. In the autumn of 1808 he became private secretary to Sir Home Popham, commanding the fleet before Flushing. By the end of the year he was serving Captain Andrew King aboard HMS Venerable in the Downs. His preconceived affection for the sea did not reconcile him to nautical realities. “Writing poetry”, he says, “or doing anything else that is rational, in this floating inferno, is next to a moral impossibility. I would give the world to be at home and devote the winter to the composition of a comedy”. He did write prologues and addresses for dramatic performances on board HMS Venerable. His dramatic taste then and for the next nine years resulted in attempts at comedies and lighter pieces, all of which lacked ease of dialogue and over-elaborated incident and humour. He left HMS Venerable in March 1809 at Deal and walked around Ramsgate in Kent before returning home to Chertsey. He had sent his publisher Edward Hookham a little poem of the River Thames which he expanded during the year into “The Genius of the Thames”. On 29 May he set out on a two-week expedition to trace the course of the Thames from its source to Chertsey and spent two or three days staying in Oxford. Peacock travelled to North Wales in January 1810 where he visited Tremadog and settled at Maentwrog in Merionethshire. At Maentwrog he was attracted to the parson’s daughter Jane Gryffydh, whom he referred to as the “Caernavonshire nymph”. Early in June 1810, the Genius of the Thames was published by Thomas and Edward Hookham. Early in 1811 he left Maentwrog to walk home via South Wales. He climbed Cadair Idris and visited Edward Scott at Bodtalog near Tywyn. His journey included Aberystwyth and Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion. Later in 1811, his mother’s annuity expired and she had to leave Chertsey and moved to Morven Cottage Wraysbury near Staines with the help of some friends. In 1812 they had to leave Morven Cottage over problems paying tradesmen’s bills. Friendship with Shelley In 1812 Peacock published another elaborate poem, The Philosophy of Melancholy, and in the same year made the acquaintance of Shelley. He wrote in his memoir of Shelley, that he “saw Shelley for the first time just before he went to Tanyrallt”, whither Shelley proceeded from London in November 1812 (Hogg’s Life of Shelley, vol. 2, pp. 174, 175.) Thomas Hookham, the publisher of all Peacock’s early writings, was possibly responsible for the introduction. It was Hookham’s circulating library which Shelley used for many years, and Hookham had sent The Genius of the Thames to Shelley, and in the Shelley Memorials, pp. 38–40, is a letter from the poet dated 18 August 1812, extolling the poetical merits of the performance and with equal exaggeration censuring what he thought the author’s misguided patriotism. Peacock and Shelley became friends and Peacock influenced Shelley’s fortunes both before and after his death. In the winter of 1813 Peacock accompanied Shelley and his first wife Harriet to Edinburgh. Peacock was fond of Harriet, and in his old age defended her reputation from slanders spread by Jane, Lady Shelley, the daughter-in-law of Shelley’s second wife Mary. In 1814 Peacock published a satirical ballad, Sir Proteus, which appeared under the pseudonym “P. M. O’Donovan, Esq.” Shelley resorted to him during the agitation of mind which preceded his separation from Harriet. After Shelley deserted Harriet, Peacock became an almost daily visitor throughout the winter of 1814–15 of Shelley and Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley), at their London lodgings. In 1815 Peacock shared their voyage to the source of the Thames. “He seems”, writes Charles Clairmont, Mary Godwin’s stepbrother and a member of the party, “an idly-inclined man; indeed, he is professedly so in the summer; he owns he cannot apply himself to study, and thinks it more beneficial to him as a human being entirely to devote himself to the beauties of the season while they last; he was only happy while out from morning till night”. By September 1815 when Shelley had taken up residence at Bishopsgate, near Windsor, Peacock had settled at Great Marlow. Peacock wrote Headlong Hall in 1815, and it was published the following year. With this work Peacock found the true field for his literary gift in the satiric novel, interspersed with delightful lyrics, amorous, narrative, or convivial. During the winter of 1815–16 Peacock was regularly walking over to visit Shelley at Bishopgate. There he met Thomas Jefferson Hogg, and “the winter was a mere Atticism. Our studies were exclusively Greek”. In 1816 Shelley went abroad, and Peacock appears to have been entrusted with the task of finding the Shelleys a new residence. He fixed them near his own home at Great Marlow. Peacock received a pension from Shelley for a time, and was put into requisition to keep off wholly unauthorised intruders upon Shelley’s hospitable household. Peacock was consulted about alterations in Shelley’s Laon and Cythna, and Peacock’s enthusiasm for Greek poetry probably had some influence on Shelley’s work. Shelley’s influence upon Peacock may be traced in the latter’s poem of Rhododaphne, or the Thessalian Spell, published in 1818 and Shelley wrote a eulogistic review of it. Peacock also wrote at this time the satirical novels Melincourt published in 1817 and Nightmare Abbey published in 1818. Shelley made his final departure for Italy and the friends’ agreement for mutual correspondence produced Shelley’s magnificent descriptive letters from Italy, which otherwise might never have been written. Peacock told Shelley that “he did not find this brilliant summer,” of 1818, “very favourable to intellectual exertion;” but before it was quite over “rivers, castles, forests, abbeys, monks, maids, kings, and banditti were all dancing before me like a masked ball.” He was at this time writing his romance of Maid Marian which he had completed except for the last three chapters. East India Company At the beginning of 1819, Peacock was unexpectedly summoned to London for a period of probation with the East India Company who needed to reinforce their staff with talented people. They summoned to their service in the Examiner’s office James Mill and three others. Peacock was included at the recommendation of Peter Auber, the company historian, whom he had known at school, though probably not as a school-fellow. Peacock’s test papers earned the high commendation, “Nothing superfluous and nothing wanting.” On 13 January 1819, he wrote from 5 York Street, Covent Garden: "I now pass every morning at the India House, from half-past 10 to half-past 4, studying Indian affairs. My object is not yet attained, though I have little doubt but that it will be. It was not in the first instance of my own seeking, but was proposed to me. It will lead to a very sufficing provision for me in two or three years. It is not in the common routine of office, but is an employment of a very interesting and intellectual kind, connected with finance and legislation, in which it is possible to be of great service, not only to the Company, but to the millions under their dominion.” On 1 July 1819 Peacock slept for the first time in a house at 18 Stamford Street, Blackfriars which, “as you might expect from a Republican, he has furnished very handsomely.” His mother continued to live with him in Stamford Street. In 1820 Peacock contributed to Ollier’s Literary Pocket Book and wrote The Four Ages of Poetry, the latter of which argued that poetry’s relevance was being eclipsed by science, a claim which provoked Shelley’s Defence of Poetry. The official duties of the India House delayed the completion and publication of Maid Marian, begun in 1818, until 1822, and as a result of the delay it was taken for an imitation of Ivanhoe although its composition had, in fact, preceded Scott’s novel. It was soon dramatised with great success by Planché, and was translated into French and German. Peacock’s salary was now £1000 a year, and in 1823 he acquired a country residence at Lower Halliford, near Shepperton, Middlesex, constructed out of two old cottages, where he could gratify the love of the Thames, which was as strong as his enthusiasm for classical literature. In the winter of 1825–26 he wrote Paper Money Lyrics and other Poems “during the prevalence of an influenza to which the beautiful fabric of paper-credit is periodically subject.” In his early time at the India Office he wrote little except for the operatic criticisms which he regularly contributed to The Examiner, and an occasional article in the Westminster Review or Bentley’s Miscellany. Peacock showed great ability in business and in the drafting of official papers. In 1829 he began to devote attention to steam navigation, and drew up a memorandum for General Chesney’s Euphrates expedition, which was praised both by Chesney and Lord Ellenborough. He opposed the employment of steamers on the Red Sea, probably in deference to the supposed interests of the company. In 1829 he published The Misfortunes of Elphin founded upon Welsh traditions, and in 1831 Crotchet Castle, the most mature and thoroughly characteristic of all his works. He was greatly affected by the death of his mother in 1833 and said himself that he never wrote anything with interest afterwards. Peacock often appeared before parliamentary committees as the company’s champion. In this role in 1834, he resisted James Silk Buckingham’s claim to compensation for his expulsion from the East Indies, and in 1836, he defeated the attack of the Liverpool merchants and Cheshire manufacturers upon the Indian salt monopoly. In 1836 his official career was crowned by his appointment as Chief Examiner of Indian Correspondence, in succession to James Mill. The post was one which could only be filled by someone of sound business capacity and exceptional ability in drafting official documents: and Peacock’s discharge of its duties, it is believed, suffered nothing by comparison either with his distinguished predecessor or his still more celebrated successor, Stuart Mill. In 1837 appeared his Paper Money Lyrics and other Poems of which only one hundred copies were printed. Also in 1837, Headlong Hall, Nightmare Abbey, Maid Marian, and Crotchet Castle appeared together as vol. 57 of Bentley’s Standard Novels. In 1839 and 1840 Peacock superintended the construction of iron steamers which rounded the Cape, and took part in the Chinese war. Peacock’s occupation seems to have principally lain with finance, commerce, and public works. He wrote a light poem on “A Day at the India Office”:— From ten to eleven, have breakfast for seven; From eleven to noon, think you’ve come too soon; From twelve to one, think what’s to be done; From one to two, find nothing to do; From two to three, think it will be A very great bore to stay till four. In about 1852 towards the end of Peacock’s service in the India office, his taste or leisure for authorship returned, and he began to contribute to Fraser’s Magazine in which appeared his entertaining and scholarly Horæ Dramaticæ, a restoration of the Querolus, a Roman comedy probably of the time of Diocletian, and his reminiscences of Shelley. Later life Peacock retired from the India House on 29 March 1856 with an ample pension. In his retirement he seldom left Halliford and spent his life among his books, and in the garden, in which he took great pleasure, and on the River Thames. In 1860 he still showed vigour by the publication in Fraser’s Magazine of Gryll Grange, his last novel. In the same year he added the appendix of Shelley’s letters and there could be no question of the extreme value of this. His last writings were two translations, Gl’ Ingannati (The Deceived) a comedy, performed at Siena in 1861 and Ælia Lælia Crispis of which a limited edition was circulated in 1862. Peacock died at Lower Halliford, 23 January 1866, from injuries sustained in a fire in which he had attempted to save his library, and is buried in the new cemetery at Shepperton. His granddaughter remembered him in these words: In society my grandfather was ever a welcome guest, his genial manner, hearty appreciation of wit and humour in others, and the amusing way in which he told stories made him a very delightful acquaintance; he was always so agreeable and so very witty that he was called by his most intimate friends the “Laughing Philosopher”, and it seems to me that the term “Epicurean Philosopher”, which I have often heard applied to him, describes him accurately and briefly. In public business my grandfather was upright and honourable; but as he advanced in years his detestation of anything disagreeable made him simply avoid whatever fretted him, laughing off all sorts of ordinary calls upon his leisure time. Sir Edward Strachey wrote of him A kind-hearted, genial, friendly man, who loved to share his enjoyment of life with all around him, and self-indulgent without being selfish. Richard Garnett in the Dictionary of National Biography described Peacock as a rare instance of a man improved by prosperity; an element of pedantry and illiberality in his earlier writings gradually disappears in genial sunshine, although, with the advance of age, obstinate prejudice takes its place, good humoured, but unamenable to argument. The vigour of his mind is abundantly proved by his successful transaction of the uncongenial commercial and financial business of the East India Company; and his novels, their quaint prejudices apart, are almost as remarkable for their good sense as for their wit. But for this penetrating sagacity, constantly brought to bear upon the affairs of life, they would seem mere humorous extravaganzas, being farcical rather than comic, and almost entirely devoid of plot and character. They overflow with merriment from end to end, though the humour is frequently too recondite to be generally appreciated, and their style is perfect. They owe much of their charm to the simple and melodious lyrics with which they are interspersed, a striking contrast to the frigid artificiality of Peacock’s more ambitious attempts in poetry. As a critic, he was sensible and sound, but neither possessed nor appreciated the power of his contemporaries, Shelley and Keats, to reanimate classical myths by infusion of the modern spirit. Family Peacock married Jane Griffith or Gryffydh in 1820. In his “Letter to Maria Gisborne”, Shelley referred to Jane as “the milk-white Snowdonian Antelope.” Peacock had four children, a son Edward who was a champion rower, and three daughters. One of them, Mary Ellen, married the novelist George Meredith as her second husband in August 1849. Only his son survived him, and he for less than a year, but he left several grandchildren. Jane Peacock died in 1865. Works * Peacock’s own place in literature is pre-eminently that of a satirist. That he has nevertheless been the favourite only of the few is owing partly to the highly intellectual quality of his work, but mainly to his lack of ordinary qualifications of the novelist, all pretension to which he entirely disclaims. He has no plot, little human interest, and no consistent delineation of character. His personages are mere puppets, or, at best, incarnations of abstract qualities such as grace or beauty, but beautifully depicted. * His comedy combines the mock-Gothic with the Aristophanic. He suffers from that dramatist’s faults and, though not as daring in invention or as free in the use of sexual humour, shares many of his strengths. His greatest intellectual love is for Ancient Greece, including late and minor works such as the Dionysiaca of Nonnus; many of his characters are given punning names taken from Greek to indicate their personality or philosophy. * He tended to dramatize where traditional novelists narrated; he is more concerned with the interplay of ideas and opinions than of feelings and emotions; his dramatis personae is more likely to consist of a cast of more or less equal characters than of one outstanding hero or heroine and a host of minor auxiliaries; his novels have a tendency to approximate the Classical unities, with few changes of scene and few if any subplots; his novels are novels of conversation rather than novels of action; in fact, Peacock is so much more interested in what his characters say to one another than in what they do to one another that he often sets out entire chapters of his novels in dialogue form. Plato’s Symposium is the literary ancestor of these works, by way of the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus, in which (as in much of Peacock) the conversation relates less to exalted philosophical themes than to the points of a good fish dinner. Novels * Headlong Hall (published 1815 but dated 1816) [lightly revised, 1837] * Melincourt (1817) * Nightmare Abbey (1818) [lightly revised, 1837] * Maid Marian (1822) * The Misfortunes of Elphin (1829) * Crotchet Castle (1831) [lightly revised, 1837] * Gryll Grange (1861) [serialised first in 1860] Verse * The Monks of St. Mark (1804?) * Palmyra and other Poems (1805) * The Genius of the Thames: a Lyrical Poem (1810) * The Genius of the Thames Palmyra and other Poems (1812) * The Philosophy of Melancholy (1812) * Sir Hornbook, or Childe Launcelot’s Expedition (1813) * Sir Proteus: a Satirical Ballad (1814) * The Round Table, or King Arthur’s Feast (1817) * Rhododaphne: or the Thessalian Spirit (1818) * Paper Money Lyrics (1837) * The War-Song of Dinas Vawr Essays * The Four Ages of Poetry (1820) * Recollections of Childhood: The Abbey House (1837) * Memoirs of Shelley (1858–62) * The Last Day of Windsor Forest (1887) [composed 1862] * Prospectus: Classical Education Plays * The Three Doctors * The Dilettanti * Gl’Ingannati, or The Deceived (translated from the Italian, 1862) Unfinished tales and novels * Satyrane (c. 1816) * Calidore (c. 1816) * The Pilgrim of Provence (c. 1826) * The Lord of the Hills (c. 1835) * Julia Procula (c. 1850) * A Story Opening at Chertsey (c. 1850) * A Story of a Mansion among the Chiltern Hills (c. 1859) * Boozabowt Abbey (c. 1859) * Cotswald Chace (c. 1860) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Love_Peacock
“My art and poetry has been a well kept secret most of my life. It has been my best friend, my confidant, my security blanket, my therapy. Writing saved my life at a time when I was drowning in my own tears. I haven’t had any formal training. I just enjoy the arts. If I’m not painting I’m writing so, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve found my voice.”
Joseph Mary Plunkett (Irish: Seosamh Máire Pluincéid, 21 November 1887– 12 May 1916) was an Irish nationalist, poet, journalist, and a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising. Background Plunkett was born at 26 Upper Fitzwilliam Street in one of Dublin’s most affluent neighbourhoods. Both his parents came from wealthy backgrounds, and his father, George Noble Plunkett, had been made a papal count. Despite being born into a life of privilege, young Joe Plunkett did not have an easy childhood. Plunkett contracted tuberculosis at a young age. This was to be a lifelong burden. His mother was unwilling to believe his health was as bad as it was. He spent part of his youth in the warmer climates of the Mediterranean and north Africa. He was educated at the Catholic University School (CUS) and by the Jesuits at Belvedere College in Dublin and later at Stonyhurst College, in Lancashire, where he acquired some military knowledge from the Officers’ Training Corps. Throughout his life, Joseph Plunkett took an active interest in Irish heritage and the Irish language, and also studied Esperanto. Plunkett was one of the founders of the Irish Esperanto League. He joined the Gaelic League and began studying with Thomas MacDonagh, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. The two were both poets with an interest in theatre, and both were early members of the Irish Volunteers, joining their provisional committee. Plunkett’s interest in Irish nationalism spread throughout his family, notably to his younger brothers George and John, as well as his father, who allowed his property in Kimmage, south Dublin, to be used as a training camp for young men who wished to escape conscription in England during World War I. Men there were instead trained to fight for Ireland. IRB involvement Sometime in 1915 Joseph Plunkett joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and soon after was sent to Germany to meet with Roger Casement, who was negotiating with the German government on behalf of Ireland. Casement’s role as emissary was self-appointed, and, as he was not a member of the IRB, that organisation’s leadership wished to have one of their own contact Germany to negotiate German aid for an uprising the following year. He was seeking (but not limiting himself to) a shipment of arms. Casement, on the other hand, spent most of his energies recruiting Irish prisoners of war in Germany to form a brigade to fight instead for Ireland. Some nationalists in Ireland saw this as a fruitless endeavour, and preferred to seek weapons. Plunkett successfully got a promise of a German arms shipment to coincide with the rising. Easter Rising Plunkett was one of the original members of the IRB Military Committee that was responsible for planning the Easter Rising, and it was largely his plan that was followed. Shortly before the rising was to begin, Plunkett was hospitalised following a turn for the worse in his health. He had an operation on his neck glands days before Easter and had to struggle out of bed to take part in what was to follow. Still bandaged, he took his place in the General Post Office with several other of the rising’s leaders such as Patrick Pearse and Tom Clarke, though his health prevented him from being terribly active. His energetic aide de camp was Michael Collins. Marriage and execution Following the surrender Plunkett was held in Kilmainham Gaol, and faced a court martial. Seven hours before his execution by firing squad at the age of 28, he was married in the prison chapel to his sweetheart Grace Gifford, a Protestant convert to Catholicism, whose sister, Muriel, had years before also converted and married his best friend Thomas MacDonagh, who was also executed for his role in the Easter Rising. Aftermath His brothers George Oliver Plunkett and Jack Plunkett joined him in the Easter Rising and later became important IRA men. His father’s cousin, Horace Plunkett, was a Protestant and unionist who sought to reconcile unionists and nationalists. Horace Plunkett’s home was burned down by the Anti-Treaty IRA during the Civil War. The main railway station in Waterford City is named after him as is Joseph Plunkett Tower in Ballymun. Plunkett barracks in the Curragh Camp, County Kildare is also named after him. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Plunkett