"Part of the Therapy"

Louis Menand on Pound

“He was in his own way a hero of his culture, a genuine representative of both its more enlightened impulses and its self-destructive contradictions,” Moody says about Pound. This seems fair. Pound was, in the end, a poet’s poet—he looked like a poet—and, despite the shambles of his political beliefs and the limitations of his poetics, he does stand for something. His claims for literature were free of supernatural mystification, and he believed that the proper organization of language was supremely important. If you are a poet, or any serious kind of writer, you have to believe that, whether you think Pound’s formula is workable or not. Getting the words right is, at a minimum, part of the therapy.

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