Ezra Pound was born on this day in 1889

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EZRA (EHZ-ruh)

  1. Poet, musician, critic, and major figure of the modernist movement

  2. Priestly scribe and author of two books of the Bible

Common clues: Pound of poetry; Book before Nehemiah; Metrical Pound; Poet Pound; Old Testament book

Crossword puzzle frequency: 6 times a year

Frequency in English language: 24115/86800

Video: Who knows Ezra Pound

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (October 30 1885 – November 1 1972) was a poet, musician and critic who, along with T. S. Eliot, was one of the major figures of the modernist movement in early 20th century poetry. He was the driving force behind several modernist movements, notably Imagism and Vorticism. The critic Hugh Kenner said on meeting Pound: "I suddenly knew that I was in the presence of the center of modernism."

Ezra Pound in 1913.


Because of his political views, especially his support of Mussolini and his anti-Semitism, Pound continues to attract much criticism. Nevertheless, it is impossible to ignore the vital role he played in the modernist revolution in 20th century literature in English. This importance may be considered under four headings: poet, critic, promoter, and translator.

As a poet, Pound was one of the first to successfully employ free verse in extended compositions. His Imagist poems influenced, among others, the Objectivists and The Cantos were a touchstone for Ginsberg and other Beat poets. Almost every 'experimental' poet in English since the early 20th century is in his debt.

As critic, editor and promoter, Pound helped the careers of Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, H.D., Marianne Moore, Ernest Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence, Louis Zukofsky, Basil Bunting, George Oppen, Charles Olson and other modernist writers too numerous to mention as well as neglected earlier writers like Walter Savage Landor and Gavin Douglas.

Immediately before the First World War Pound became interested in art when he was associated with the Vorticists (Pound coined the word). Pound did much to publicise the movement and was instrumental in bringing the movement to the wider public (he was particularly important in the artistic careers of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Wyndham Lewis).

As translator, although his mastery of languages is open to question, Pound did much to introduce Provencal and Chinese poetry, the Noh, Anglo-Saxon poetry and the Confucian classics to a modern Western audience. He also translated and championed Greek and Latin classics and helped keep these alive for poets at a time when classical education was in decline.

In the early '20s in Paris, Pound became interested in music, and was probably the first serious writer in the 20th century to praise the work of Vivaldi (who had been neglected for centuries) and early music generally. He also helped the early career of George Antheil, and collaborated with him on various projects.

The secret to Pound's seemingly bizarre theories and political commitments perhaps lie in his occult and mystical interests, which biographers have only recently begun to document. 'The Birth of Modernism' by Leon Surette is perhaps the best introduction to this aspect of Pound's thought.

The historical Ezra was a priestly scribe who is thought to have led about 5,000 Israelite exiles living in Babylon to their home city of Jerusalem in 459 BCE. Many scholars credit him as the author of the Book of Ezra and the Book of 1 Chronicles in the Bible.

Site traditionally described as the tomb of Ezra at Al Uzrayr near Basra

He is commemorated with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.

According to the genealogy in Ezra 7:1-5, Ezra was the son of Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal descendant of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron. A similar genealogy is given in 1 Esdras 8, as well as at the beginning of the Latin version of 2 Esdras, with the addition of a few names. All versions of 2 Esdras mention that he was also known as "Salathiel", "Shaltiel" or "Sutu`el" (depending on the version language).

In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes I Longimanus, Ezra obtained leave to go to Jerusalem and to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes showed great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him "all his requests," and giving him gifts for the house of God. Ezra assembled a band of approximately 5,000 exiles to go to Jerusalem. They rested on the banks of the Ahava for three days and organized their four-month march across the desert.

No record exists for the 14 years between 459 BCE, when Ezra is thought to have organized the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the Israelite nation, and 445 BCE, when Nehemiah first appears in the Bible's chronology. Nehemiah's first recorded act was to rebuild the ruined wall of the city. After this reconstruction, a great group of people gathered in Jerusalem to dedicate the wall. On the appointed day, Ezra and his assistants read the Torah aloud to the whole population. According to the text, a great religious awakening occurred. For successive days, beginning on Rosh Hashanah, the people rejoiced in the holy days of the month of Tishri. Ezra read the entire scroll of the Torah to the people, and he and other scholars and Levites explained and interpreted the deeper meanings and applications of the Torah to the assembled crowd. These festivities culminated in an enthusiastic and joyous seven-day celebration of the Festival of Sukkot, concluding on the eighth day with the holiday of Shemini Atzeret. On the 24th day, immediately following the holidays, they held a solemn assembly, fasting and confessing their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. Then, they renewed their national covenant to follow the Torah and to observe and fulfill all of the Lord's commandments, laws and decrees (Neh. 10:30). Abuses were rectified, and arrangements for the temple service were completed.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ezra Pound" and “Ezra”.

EZRA (332) 59 Tu >1 08 Poet Pound

42 Tu >1 09 Pound of poetry XXXX

28 Tu+ >1 08 Book before Nehemiah

17 We- >1 09 Old Testament book AMOS ESTR RUTH

15 Th- >1 06 University founder Cornell

13 >1 09 Better Than ___

13 We- >1 08 Book after II Chronicles

9 We >1 09 Pound of verse

6 We- >1 08 Cornell who founded Cornell

5 We- >1 04 Cornell of Cornell University

5 Mo >1 08 Cornell or Pound

5 Tu >1 04 Philanthropist Cornell

5 Th WSJ 05 Pound of poems

4 Th- >1 08 Biblical scribe

04 Stone of Aldrich fame

04 Actor/director Stone

3 We- >1 08 Book after Chronicles

3 We+ >1 01 Western Union founder Cornell

02 "Henry Aldrich" star Stone

2 Th Rea 07 Bible book ACTS AMOS RUTH

2 We- NYS 08 1963 Caldecott Medal winner ___ Jack Keats

2 Fr- >1 09 Bible book before Nehemiah

2 We- LAT 01 Book after Daniel

2 Th CSy 99 Book following 2 Chronicles

2 Tu >1 07 Book preceding Nehemiah