© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Portrait d'une Femme

Portrait d'une Femme


by Ezra Pound

Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Pound had a penchant for dressing flamboyantly. In college, at the University of Pennsylvania, he wore a green Moroccan robe. In London he wore a Stetson cowboy hat. Literary scholars have claimed that T.S. Eliot's mention of "Stetson" in The Waste Land is a reference to Pound (source).

Pound knew almost all (and was friends with many) of the major modernist English and American poets. He was even briefly engaged to H. D., whom he dubbed, "H.D. Imagiste," a nickname that eventually gave rise to the Imagist movement (source).

When World War II finally ended, Pound, who had given a series of radio speeches in support of Italy and its ruler, Benito Mussolini, was arrested for treason against the United States. After spending time in an outdoor jail cell in Pisa, he was sent back to America, where he faced possible execution. He pleaded insanity and served twelve years in a mental institution, St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. The Pisan Cantos, which was written during his imprisonment, is considered to be among his best writing, and it won the Bollingen Prize in 1948 (source).

Despite Pound's controversial politics, many writers have described him as a generous and even gentle friend. T.S. Eliot dedicated The Waste Land to Pound, calling him "il miglior fabbro" ("the better craftsman"). Ernest Hemingway devotes a chapter to Pound in A Moveable Feast. And W.B. Yeats, in his A Packet for Ezra Pound, describes Pound feeding stray cats in the middle of the night.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...