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EZRA POUND IN VENICE

‘But the worst mistake I made was that stupid suburban prejudice of anti-semitism.’ Ezra Pound

 

Sitting in a traghetto, Olga Rudge

from Ohio and Ezra Pound from

Idaho – together fifty years,

from concert violinist to poet’s helpmate,

poet maker to fascist propagandist,

he, typically, with stick, wide brimmed hat,

floppy collar, she, wearing woollen gloves,

left hand clutching a large, canvas bag, right hand

a carefully folded scarf, dressed, like any

elderly woman, for a chilly day –

look away separately into the distance.

 

Five years before Pound’s death, Allen Ginsberg,

from New Jersey, on a sort of Grand Tour,

kissed him on the cheek and forgave him,

on behalf of the Jews, for his ‘mistake’.

‘Do you accept my blessing?’ asked Allen.

‘I do’, said Ezra. What closure! What chutzpah!

Held in a cage in Pisa, lit day and night,

jeered at as a traitor and a coward

by GIs who had battled from the south,

he wrote: ‘What thou lovest well remains,

the rest is dross’.

 

 

Note: first published on the site in June 2009.

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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1 Response
  • Catherine Reynolds
    April 29, 2019

    Dear David
    Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! I’m enjoying your retrospective. I’m only part way through, having read the first two postings. What strikes me is that you have the gift of being able to paint with words. The images you create in my mind are palpable and take me on a visual and emotional journey through your poetry.
    With love
    Catherine

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