Ezra Pound to His Parents. Letters 1895-1929. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
The poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was the only child of Homer Loomis Pound (1858-1942) and Isabel Weston Pound (1860-1948). He grew up in Philadelphia, where his father was an assayer in the U.S. Mint; was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, and at Hamilton College in upstate New York; taught briefly at Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana; then left America for London, where he lived from 1908 to the end of 1920, after which he lived in Paris until 1924, and then in Rapallo, Italy.
His letters home reveal not only the warm affection, openness, and playfulness of the young man to his devoted parents, from schooldays through college and on into his life as teacher, poet, and critic, but also the ways in which he shared with them the ideas, influences, and experiences that went into the development of his exceptional poetic genius. He kept them in touch with his progress in realising his ambition to become a good and powerful poet, with what he was writing and doing, who he was meeting, his dealings with publishers, editors, and magazines, and his bold plans for reforms and revolutions.
The letters are a rich mine of information about Pound himself and about the literary and social worlds in which he moved and had his being. They also display his epistolary idiosyncrasies and his inventive and witty way with words. Altogether they are of great human as well as literary and historical interest, and give an intimate insight into this revolutionary and influential poet's life and work.
"These letters back to 166 Fernbrook Avenue, Wyncote, Philadelphia, frequently make us acknowledge the great distance Pound travelled from his suburban origins in quest of a poetry capable of wrenching the American impulse into art." - Mark Ford, London Review of Books
"excellently edited" - Clive Wilmer, Times Literary Supplement
"the content is extraordinary" - Clive Wilmer, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year
"These letters are full of sincerity, charm and vivid pugnacious living." - Telegraph
"The collection will be an invaluable resource for Pound scholars" - Helen Carr, Wall Street Journal
"admirably edited" - Literary Review
Mary de Rachewiltz, the daughter of Ezra Pound, was Curator of the ezra Pound Archive in the beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, and has edited and translated into Italian his Cantos and much else of his poetry and prose. She is a published poet in her own right, as well as the translator into Italian of several American poets including Marianne Moore, E. E. Cummings, and Denise levertov.
A. David Moody is Professor emeritus of the University of York. The first volume of his biography of Pound, Ezra Pound: Poet: the Young Genius 1885-1920 was published by Oxford University Press in 2007. Volume 2 appeared in 2014; Volume 3 in 2015.
Prof. Moody's biography, Ezra Pound: Poet received the Ezra Pound society book prize for 2015.
Joanna Moody taught in the department of English and Related Literature at the University of York. She edited The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, 1599-1605, and The Private Correspondence of Jane Lady Cornwallis Bacon.