Iconic Photos

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Ezra Pound

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Henri Cartier-Bresson took many portrait pictures during his life, but his wife, Martine Franck accompanied him to just one — probably atypical — portrait session. It was that of the poet Ezra Pound in Venice in 1971, a year before his death at 87.

“There was a tremendous, heavy silence,” recalled Ms. Franck, herself a photographer. “Pound didn’t say a word. He just seemed to condemn the world with his eyes. We were there for about 20 minutes. I stayed to one side. I huddled in a corner. Henri took seven pictures.”

What Pound felt is impossible to know. Years earlier, he had been interned for mental illness, and in 1960, he lapsed into long periods of depressive silence and stopped writing. And yet, in the image selected by Cartier-Bresson, Pound’s wild hair, burning eyes and tense hands seem to speak volumes about an old man raging against the dying of the light.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

April 28, 2009 at 2:54 am

Posted in Culture

Tagged with ,

6 Responses

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  1. During American involvement in World War II the OSS used facilities and staff at St. Elizabeths hospital to test “truth serums”. The OSS unsuccessfully tested a mescaline and scopolamine cocktail as a truth drug on two volunteers at St. Elizabeths Hospital. Separate tests of THC as a truth serum were equally unsuccessful. Wikipedia

    The Soviet Union wasn’t the only country engaged in drugging political dissenters. I suspect Pound was given drugs to *help* him. We should all be as crazy as Pound. The light that was dying in America was THOUGHT, of course he raged.

    helvena

    September 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm

  2. Pound should have been hanged as the filthy traitor he was. Instead the Feds, not wanting to hang a poet, let him plead nonsensically to insanity and sent him to St. Elizabeths’ AFTER the war (contrary to helvena’s implications). Here he hadliasons with airhead groupies then released a few years after.

    And, rememebr, he was there because he broadcast propaganda for Hitler and Mussolini.

    JAWs

    April 8, 2010 at 4:00 am

  3. Ezra Pound was a great American patriot but probably not to people like you Jaws, the ignorant and the perfidious.

    helvena

    April 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    • how is what he said ignorant and perfidious? would you please elaborate on the subject.

      anevleh

      July 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

  4. Pound had been vilified because he spoke the truth to power. Jaws is ignorant because he/she has accepted without question what has been said about Pound. If Jaws had taken the time to read Pound he would have discovered that what has been said about Pound is totally untrue. Pound was an American patriot of the first order he did not want to see American soldiers and American treasury wasted so that a few rich men could get richer. If Jaws took the time to read Pound and still has came to the conclusion he has then he is intellectually challenged or dishonest. I suggest you go to the source and read Pound’s radio speeches and judge for yourself instead of swallowing government propaganda.

    helvena

    January 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  5. some little known facts: From the late 1930s he began to look increasingly toward the economic policies of Hitler and regarded the Rome-Berlin Axis as “the first serious attack on the usurocracy since the time of Lincoln.” – I add that Roosevelt sent Galbraith to Germany to study Hitler’s land and agriculture reform policies because they were so successful. Hitler had Germany out of depression years before Roosevelt had America out. This our government doesn’t tell us.

    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he attempted to return to the USA, but the American Embassy refused him entry.
    After 13 years confinement, Pound’s treason indictment was dismissed on 18 April 1958. So according to the U.S. government Pound WASN’T a traitor, but Jaws didn’t say that.

    helvena

    January 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm


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