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Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

by Ezra Pound

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. At the end of the day, "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" is a poem about whether beauty can exist in the modern world. Does Pound think it can? What does he mean when he talks about beauty?
  2. For Pound, how have money and modern consumerism ruined modern art? How does Mr. Nixon in lines 146-165 relate to this question?
  3. Why does Pound open the first section of this poem with the French title, "Ode on the Selection of his Tomb"? What is the significance of this title?
  4. When the speaker keeps repeating the phrase "the age demanded," what age is he talking about and what does it demand?
  5. What is the greatest temptation that Mauberley must resist if he's going to succeed in bringing beauty into the modern world?
  6. Why do you think there are so many references to classic art in this poem? Do you think Pound needs them to make his point, or is it overkill?
  7. If this is a poem about the quest to bring beauty into the modern world, why does the speaker spend lines 61-93 talking about World War I? How is the war related to the rest of his ideas?
  8. What is the speaker's attitude toward the "stylist" in lines 170-181? Is it anger, joy, pity, etc.? What idea does he express through the figure of the "stylist"?

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