Ezra Pound’s Italian afterlives

WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE 18.00–19.30

Sean Mark (BSR)

In November 1945, American poet Ezra Pound was repatriated from Italy – where he had been living since 1924, and written most of his Cantos – to face charges of treason for his pro-Axis wartime broadcasts from Radio Rome. Pleading insanity, he was interned for 13 years in a psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C. Less than a month after his release in 1958, he returned to Italy, where he would spend the final 14 years of his life. My multimedial lecture will focus on the poetry and politics of Pound’s ‘second’ Italian period; examining his biography and literary relations, his interviews and public silence, I will explore how these late years – in which the poet may be seen as inhabiting a kind of poetic and political ‘afterlife’ – have shaped his reception and legacy.