Ezra Pound Quotes


15 Ezra Pound Quotes That Are Full of Uncensored Wisdom

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What makes a poet influential and controversial at the same time? One possible answer is Ezra Pound, a poet, critic, and translator who shaped modern literature with his experimental and innovative style. Transitioning into an exploration of his impact, Ezra Pound quotes reveal his poetic vision, cultural criticism, and controversial views.

To know him better, we will look at some of the most famous and inspiring Ezra Pound quotes in this article. We will also analyze their meaning and context. Whether you are a fan of poetry, literature, or history, you will find something to appreciate in these Ezra Pound quotes.

  1. “A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”

This quote means that a person who depends on others for his freedom is not truly free. He is a slave to his own passivity and lack of initiative. One should take action to liberate oneself from any kind of oppression or injustice. A person should not wait for someone else to come and rescue him but rather be the master of his own destiny.

  1. “The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once and get people arguing heatedly over which is the truth.”

This quote by Ezra Pound means that a dishonest person can manipulate others by spreading false information and creating confusion. One should be careful about what one believes and not fall for lies or propaganda. A person should also be aware of the motives and intentions of those who spread lies and try to expose them.

  1. “And the days are not full enough And the nights are not full enough And life slips by like a field mouse Not shaking the grass.”
Ezra Pound Quotes

This quote expresses a sense of regret and dissatisfaction with life. It suggests that Pound feels that he has not lived fully or meaningfully and that his life has passed by unnoticed and unremarkable. Hence, one should make the most of every day and night and not let life slip by like a field mouse that does not shake the grass. This is one of the most insightful Ezra Pound quotes.

  1. “USURY is the cancer of the world, which only the surgeon’s knife of Fascism can cut out of the life of the nations.”

This quote by Ezra Pound shows his support for fascism and his hatred of usury, which he considered a form of exploitation and corruption. A person should be wary of extreme ideologies and their violent solutions to complex problems. One should also question the sources and motives of those who promote such ideologies and their propaganda.

  1. “I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them.”

This quote suggests that a sane person can be seen as a lunatic by those who are insane. One should not judge others by their own standards but rather try to understand their perspectives and reasons. One should also be confident in one’s own sanity and not let others influence or intimidate one. This is one of the Ezra Pound quotes that encourages us not to judge people in a jiffy.

  1. “The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.”
Ezra Pound Quotes

This quote compares the ant to a centaur, a mythical creature that is half-human and half-horse. It suggests that the ant has a different perspective and scale of the world than humans do. A person should not be arrogant or vain about one’s place in the world but rather learn from nature and its diversity. One should also respect the creativity and artistry of other living beings, even if they seem insignificant or strange.

  1. “The flavors of the peach and the apricot are not lost from generation to generation. Neither are they transmitted by book learning.”

This quote suggests that some things, such as the taste of fruits, are not learned from books but from direct experience. One should value and appreciate the things that are passed down from generation to generation and not rely solely on book learning. One should also seek to have a direct perception of the world and not just second-hand knowledge.

  1. “I did not enter into silence. Silence captured me.”

This quote by Ezra Pound is from his book “The Cantos,” which is a long and complex epic poem. The quote expresses his feeling of being isolated and silenced by the world. It suggests that sometimes, silence is a choice, and it has the power to captivate and transform us. It encourages reflection on the intentional embrace of silence for personal growth and understanding.

  1. “The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet black bough.”
Ezra Pound Quotes

Ezra Pound’s quote eloquently discusses faces in a crowd, drawing a poignant analogy to flower petals on a wet branch. This comparison highlights the transient nature of beauty in challenging circumstances. Essentially, Pound’s words prompt us to recognize and cherish those fleeting moments that arise amidst life’s trials. In essence, the quote serves as an inspirational reminder to seek and appreciate beauty even in the midst of adversity. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most exquisitely and inventively articulated expressions among Ezra Pound quotes.

  1. “I have always thought the suicide should bump off at least one swine before taking off for parts unknown.”

This quote by Ezra Pound is from his book “The Cantos,” which is a long and complex epic poem. The quote reveals his cynical and violent attitude towards the world and the people he despised. The quote suggests that a person should not resort to suicide or murder but rather find a constructive way to deal with one’s frustrations and anger.

  1. “Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.”

This quote tells us about the value of curiosity and knowledge. It implies that real education is only for those who seek to learn and understand the world, while the rest are just following the herd. A person should be independent and inquisitive, rather than conforming to the superficial and common. This is one of the Ezra Pound quotes that are very valid in today’s modern world.

  1. “When words cease to cling close to things, kingdoms fall, empires wane and diminish.”
Ezra Pound Quotes

In Ezra Pound’s insight, when words lose connection to things, empires decline and fall. Transitioning from clarity to ambiguity triggers the downfall of kingdoms. This quote imparts a crucial lesson: maintaining a strong link between words and reality is essential for the stability and endurance of societies. It underscores the impact of language on the rise and fall of civilizations, highlighting the importance of clear and meaningful communication.

  1. “The man who fears war and squats opposing My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson But is fit only to rot in womanish peace.”

This quote expresses Pound’s contempt for those who are afraid of war and opposes his views on poetry and culture. He implies that they are cowards and weaklings who have no passion or courage. The lesson that one can learn from this quote is that one should not be afraid of conflict or challenge, but rather embrace them as opportunities to grow and express oneself. One should also not be swayed by the opinions of others, but stand by one’s convictions and principles.

  1. “The intellect is a very nice whirligig toy, but how people take it seriously is more than I can understand.”

Ezra Pound views the intellect as a mere toy, questioning why it’s taken seriously. Transitioning from seriousness to whimsy, the lesson is clear: don’t overly prioritize intellect; it’s just a playful tool. This quote suggests a lesson in not letting intellect dominate one’s perspective and highlights the importance of maintaining a balanced and grounded approach to life. This is one of the most amusing Ezra Pound quotes.

15. “It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse.”

Ezra Pound Quotes

This quote reflects Pound’s frustration with the modern world, which he saw as chaotic, violent, and decadent. He felt that it was hard to create a positive and beautiful vision of life when everything around him seemed to be heading towards destruction. The lesson that one can learn from this quote is that one should not give up on one’s ideals and aspirations, even when faced with harsh realities and challenges.

Ezra Pound was a remarkable poet and thinker, who left behind a legacy of brilliant and provocative quotes. Consequently, his quotes reveal his insights and opinions on various topics. Furthermore, Ezra Pound quotes also show his personality and style, which were often controversial and unconventional. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with him, you can always learn something from his quotes. In essence, they will challenge you, inspire you, and make you think.

Sushmita Nibandhe


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