Customer Review

8 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A dimly-lit candle..., May 30, 2003
This review is from: The Cantos of Ezra Pound (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
One thing is clear about Ezra Pound: his labors amounted to no more than a thousand dimly-lit candles burning in all the windows of an enormous mansion, whose ediface would then be that of twentieth-century poetry. Unlike his close friend Wallace Stevens, in whose deeply verisimilar narratives of New England life one finds profound and gorgeous truths on the natures of salt & love (literally), Pound's writing amounts, in the end, to just so much fluff. Unlike his progeny Billy Collins, Pound never writes anything from a persona of invitingness -- he comes across frankly as rather unlikeable, anti-sexual in a weird way, and perhaps in a sense almost even angry, if it is possible for poetry to be angry. The Cantos is a nightmare. It reads half the time like some kind of senseless communist propaganda, other times more like a Chinese take-out menu, and the rest of the time just plain meaningless. It's strange too since Pound certainly seems to have understood how to tie the delicate threads of language into something beautiful, like a ribbon, or bow-tie. But then he writes things like: "And these are the labors of Tovarisch"?! I'll take my Egg-foo-Young with a side of Stevens and Collins, please!
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3.7 out of 5 stars (36 customer reviews)
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