Ezra Pound: Songs To Celebrate Leaving The Loony Bin

Categories: Miles-tones

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Ezra Pound remains one of America's most genius and most controversial writers. His poetry has gone on to inspire countless artists, and as a literary editor and critic he was responsible for shaping the styles of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost, and Ernest Hemingway.

He was by most accounts a fierce friend who was dedicated to the cultivation of talent, willing to bail fellow writers out of jail and get them published, in addition to his own considerable talent. That being said, he went just a little... off.

The atrocities of Word War I deeply affected Pound, who blamed capitalism for the whole mess. This ended up with him feeling to Italy and helping the fascist regime by broadcasting hate-filled diatribes against America, FDR and Jews.

He was arrested for treason in Italy in 1945, and apparently went insane while in military custody and was declared unfit to stand trial, at which point he was committed to St. Elizabeth's for 12 years until he was finally released on this date in 1958.

Well, we're always in the mood for a good, post-asylum party, and therefore dedicate this week's playlist to songs Pound inspired.


The Cat Empire, "The Crowd": As you'll see, Australians apparently love to drop Pound's name into song. Cat Empire quotes the entirety of Pound's poem "In a Station of the Metro" in "the Crowd."

The apparition of these faces in the crowd ; Petals on a wet, black bough.


TISM, "Ezra Pound -- Axe King": If Freddie Mercury and Jello Biafra had somehow produced a family, it would've been Australia's TISM. The band was beautiful, brilliant, and insane in a way that should cause nothing but envy.

This short little ditty comes from our favorite TISM release, 1988's Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance, which we highly recommend you buy on iTunes because having these short, bizarre bits of music pop up on shuffle is a great way to improve your day.



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john problem
john problem

You don't read a lot of stuff about Ezra these days, so it's good to see he's appreciated by the above. He didn't go insane - it was, for the authorities, a convenient way of putting him aside - he was, after all, a big cheese of a poet and you can't execute those.  Many poets got together to get him released in due course.  There is no doubt that he would have liked your dedication!

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