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Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

by Ezra Pound

Principles Theme

So what is it that keeps Pound from just being your everyday whiner? The fact that dude has principles. Seriously, the whole reason he wrote this monster poem, "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," is because he totally believes that the world would be a better place if everybody just listened to him. At the end of the day, Pound says that modern culture isn't going to get anywhere unless it reconnects with true beauty, and the best way to do this is to study the examples of classic art and to follow their lead. So yeah, if everyone could go ahead and do that, that'd be greaaaat.

Questions About Principles

  1. In your opinion, is the speaker consistent when it comes to his principles, or is he sort of all over the place? What parts of the poem support your answer? 
  2. Do you think the speaker would be happier if he were willing to compromise a little more on his principles? Or would compromise be a bad thing? What would he be compromising to? What parts of the poem give you your ideas?
  3. Do you agree with Pound's principles when it comes to art and culture? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," Pound gives us a shining example of the bad thing that'll happen to us if we're not willing to compromise on our principles and get with the times.

Pound's mission in "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" is completely ridiculous. There's no way you can make poetry relevant to the modern world, and Pound knows it.

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