Front cover image for Ezra and Dorothy Pound : letters in captivity, 1945-1946

Ezra and Dorothy Pound : letters in captivity, 1945-1946

These fascinating letters capture the most traumatic experience of Ezra Pound's life, when he was incarcerated at the end of World War II and indicted for treason. Omar Pound and Robert Spoo have collected and edited the unpublished correspondence between the poet and his wife, combining it with restricted military orders and extensive references to FBI documents, previously unknown photographs, and an insightful introduction, to create the definitive work on this period of Pound's life. During his incarceration in a U.S. Army detention camp outside Pisa, Pound was allowed to write only to his wife, so these letters afford a unique look at a painful yet highly productive period, when Pound wrote his acclaimed Pisan Cantos and worked on his translations of Confucius. Here, too, are many moving passages testifying to Pound's partnership with Dorothy and her courageous efforts to help him; her experiences, no less than his, come to life in this volume. But perhaps the most moving are the harsh conditions Pound found himself in: at one point, in the Pisan camp, he was confined for three weeks in an open air cage, until the sixty-year-old poet suffered a breakdown and was moved to a tent in the medical compound. The editors connect the anxious lyricism of the Pisan Cantos to these dramatic experiences, as the poet alternated "between savage indignation and suave serenity." The book also covers Pound's return to the United States and his confinement in a federal mental institution there
Print Book, English, 1999
Oxford University Press, New York, 1999