[lit-ideas] Poundiana

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2015 07:16:42 -0500

I have heard a wee wind searching
Through still forests for  me;
I have seen a wee wind  searching
O'er still sea.
 Through woodlands dim have I taken my way;
And o'er silent  waters night and day
Have I sought the wee wind.
--- The reference, as E. W. F. notes is to the Wee Wind 16, which is made  
by Airstream -- and air stream is air in motion, i.e. 'wee wind'. As E. E.  
F. also suggests, there may be a self-referential autobiographical quote  
here. A pound (and this is a poem by Pound) is, after all, a unit of  weight. 
"Even in the Scottish usage wee is simply a circular reference to Ezra  
Interesting post, too, by R. Paul, "Pound's Treason" on the Wikipedia entry 
 for Mullins.
Uninterestingly, the Wikipedia entry for Pound yet again quotes 'treason'  
but in a more qualified, and correct way: being charged with reason is quite 
 different from being convicted for treason.
"[Pound] was arraigned in Washington D.C. on CHARGES of treason on the  
25th of that month."
"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."

But as R. Paul's note shows, one can be _arraigned for a charge_ but not be 
 condemned or convicted for it.
So I double-checked R. Paul's link which reads, inter alia:

"The  framers of our Constitution, aware that they might all have been 
hanged out of  hand for TREASON against the King of Great Britain if they had 
lost the  Revolutionary War, had taken great pains to make sure that those 
ACCUSED OF  TREASON against the United States would get a fair trial."
"Specifically they demanded two witnesses to every overt TREASONABLE  act."
"The overt acts in the Pound case were radio broadcasts."
"Though tens of thousands of people in America had heard the broadcasts and 
 hundreds could testify that they recognized the voice of Ezra Pound, the 
only  witnesses who could truthfully swear that the man speaking into the 
microphone  on any particular day three to five years previously was an 
American citizen  named Ezra Pound were the Radio Roma studio technicians, and 
had other  things to do in the studio than commit to memory the features 
and intonations of  a bearded weirdo sputtering in what was to them a totally 
unknown tongue."
-- as W. W. Bartley, III would say, 'controversial' and 'criticisable'. 
"There were other legal technicalities. There were some seven thousand  
documents, detailing all the transactions between Pound and the Italian  
authorities, which had been seized in his house in Rapallo by an FBI agent in  
1945, and since there was a war on and this might be considered enemy  
territory, it had never occurred to the agent to ask for a search  warrant."
"A punctilious court might decide that this whole mountain of damning  
evidence was inadmissable."
As per that play, that Popper perhaps saw, 'Inadmissible evidence'. 
The jury "reach[ed] a verdict that the respondent was "of unsound mind",  
rather than a traitor.
"Pound told Julien Cornell on one occasion that if he had to stay in  
America - and the U. S. Government seemed in no mood. to let a man ACCUSED OF  
TREASON [even if NOT PROVEN A TRAITOR] quit its shores - St. Elizabeth was as  
good a place as any. Indeed, it had certain advantages."
"Years passed, ... and there was increasing discomfort and embarrassment in 
 America and the world about the whole situation. People who had been 
actually  CONVICTED OF TREASON [as Pound never was] were being led out of 
one after  the other."
"The trouble was that as long as Dr. Overholser kept sending in annual  
reports that Pound was still insane, he could not legally leave the walls of 
St.  Elizabeths. He could have asked at any tie for a new hearing to prove 
that he  was quite capable of understanding the charges against him."
And thus indeed get convicted for treason. 
"But then he would have to go on trial for treason."
And the jury would have to decide whether to convict him ("or not", as one  
might otiosely put it). 
Meanwhile, Pound kept writing, "now a deep genuine grief for the  fall of 
Benito Mussolini, "the twice-born, the twice-crucified," whose head hung  
down like a bullock's from a butcher's stall in a Milan square."
Twice-born is Pound's reference to Dionysius, according to some  
mythographers. Twice-crucified is Pound's own invention.
"It was Dr. Overholser who .. found the practical solution. He prepared an  
affidavit saying that Pound was permanently and incurably insane."
Again, to quote from W. W. Bartley, III -- controversial -- critisable. 
Overholser went on to say that Pound "was not dangerous and it would be a  
needless expense for the taxpayers to keep him indefinitely in a government  
"The government having no objection, on April18, 1958 the District Court  
DISMISSED THE INDICTMENT [never conviction] FOR TREASON, and ... Ezra Pound 
was  a free man, charged with no crime."
His case, No. 58102, was officially closed with the notation, "Condition  
upon discharge: unimproved."
Soon enough, he "sailed for Italy", and settles in Venice, but would visit  
Rapallo often -- "pointing out the beautiful spots he had loved so well". 
and  also Rome. 
As for the Pound ancestry, indeed the pound is, to quote E. W. F., "great  
currency among Scots" -- and England I will add.
Ezra Pound was the son of Homer Loomis Pound and Isabel Weston. He was  
called Ezra because his parents liked the name. 
Both parents' ancestors had emigrated from somewhere in England in the 17th 
On the Weston side, Pound was descended from William Wadsworth, a  Puritan 
who emigrated from somewhere England on "The Lion" (a ship -- not  an actual 
mammal) in 1632 (The Wadsworths had married into the Westons of  
If you must know: Isabel Weston's parents were Harding Weston and Mary  
On the Pound side, the immigrant ancestor was John Pound, a Quaker who  
arrived from somewhere in England slightly after Wadsworth, in 1650. 
Ezra's grandfather was Thaddeus Coleman Pound, a fortunate man who made a  
fortune -- I owe the alliteration to Geary. (The biographer goes on:  
"Unfortunately, Thaddeus later lost his fortune", but I'm on a positive note  
As the events disclosed, Pound's mother took the poet with her  to 
Manhattan in 1887 when the poet was 18 months old -- that  is, one year and six 
months. Pound's father, Hoomer Loomis to friends, soon  followed. By 1889 the 
Pounds were happily living in Jenkintown, to move,  "happierly", in 1893 to 
picturesque Wyncote.
Wyncote has a good number of nice Victorian-era homes. 
The All Hallows Church (constructed 1896–1897) was designed by a firm  
founded by Frank Furness.
Wyncote also has a number of classical stone revival homes.
Notable among them is Beechwood, designed in the style of Brognard Okie,  
the architect responsible for the reconstruction of Pennsbury Manor on the 
upper  Delaware River, and Appleford in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
The Pounds' house had six-bedrooms. 
Since Ezra was the only child of Homer Loomis and Isabel, the arrangement  
was easily enough arrived at. 
Isabel used one bedroom. 
Homer Loomis used the bedroom next to it (connected to Isabel's bedroom by  
a door).
Ezra was naturally given the remaining four bedrooms. They were  
collectively referred to as "Ezra's bedrooms" -- and confessedly, it triggered  
wrong implicature every time Isabel asked, and Homer replied, "He is in his  
bedroom". Ezra's bedrooms were called "Ezra's bedroom I", "Ezra's bedroom 
II",  "Ezra's bedroom III" and "Ezra's bedroom IV". He would sleep in Bedroom I 
on  Mondays and Tuesdays. Then move to Bedroom II on Wednesdays and 
Thursdays.  Bedroom III was used only on Fridays, while Bedroom IV was 
(i.e.  Saturday and Sunday) bedroom. They were all decorated the same way -- 
in the  same style, but with different toys. 
The house still stands -- and _may_ be visited. 
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