New Selected Poems and Translations (Second Edition) (New Directions Paperbook)

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9780811217330: New Selected Poems and Translations (Second Edition) (New Directions Paperbook)
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The essential collection of Ezra Pound’s poetry―newly expanded and annotated with essays by Richard Sieburth, T. S. Eliot, and John Berryman.

This newly revised and greatly expanded edition of Ezra Pound’s Selected Poems is intended to articulate Pound for the twenty-first century. Gone are many of the “stale creampuffs” (as Pound called them) of the 1949 edition. Instead, new emphasis has been laid on the interpenetration of original composition and translation within Pound’s career. New features of this edition include the complete “Homage to Sextus Propertius” in its original lineation, early translations from Cavalcanti, Heine, and the troubadours, as well as late translations of Sophocles, and the Confucian Odes.

As a lifelong expatriate, Pound parceled out his work to a variety of journals in England, America, France, and Italy. This new edition takes account of this complex publishing history by giving the poems in the chronological order of their original magazine publication. We can observe Pound as he first emerges onto the literary scene in the pages of Ford Madox Ford’s English Review and Harriet Monroe’s Chicago-based Poetry, and then as an agent provocateur for the avant-garde Little Review, Blast, and The Dial.

Unlike all previous selections, this volume provides annotation to all the early poems as well as a running commentary on the later Cantos ― indispensable to any reader wanting to follow Pound on his epic odyssey through ancient China, medieval Provence, the Italian Renaissance, the early American Republic, and the darkness of the twentieth century. The editor, Richard Sieburth, provides a chronology of Pound’s life, a new preface, and an informative afterword, “Selecting Pound.” Also included in the appendix are T. S. Eliot’s and John Berryman’s original introductions to Pound’s Selected Poems.

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About the Author:

New Directions has been the primary publisher of Ezra Pound in the U.S. since the founding of the press when James Laughlin published New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1936. That year Pound was fifty-one. In Laughlin’s first letter to Pound, he wrote: “Expect, please, no fireworks. I am bourgeois-born (Pittsburgh); have never missed a meal. . . . But full of ‘noble caring’ for something as inconceivable as the future of decent letters in the US.” Little did Pound know that into the twenty-first century the fireworks would keep exploding as readers continue to find his books relevant and meaningful.

Award-winning translator, scholar, and essayist Richard Sieburth has translated books by Henri Michaux, Friedrich Hölderlin, Louise Labé, Gérard de Nerval, and Nostradamus. 

T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) was one of the fathers of modernism and a defining voice in English-language poetry. He is the author of some of the best known poems in the English language, including "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," The Waste Land, "Ash Wednesday," and Four Quartets. The leading poet of the modernist avant-garde, Eliot radically reimagined the possibilities for literature in the twentieth century and beyond, and was also renowned as a playwright and as a literary and social critic. Eliot's books of criticism include The Sacred Wood, while his theatrical works include Murder in the Cathedral. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Whatever one might think of Pound's legacy--both political and poetical--there's practically no debate about the fact that in order to understand literature from modernism onward, Pound must be reckoned with. Until now, to get a concise but complete idea of Pound's oeuvre--spanning the mythy free verse of A Lume Spento (1908), which seeks "many a new thing understood" to the last, war-wracked cantos of the late 1960s, which plead, "let the Gods forgive what I/ have made"--was all but impossible, requiring the purchase of a thin, confusingly organized Selected Poems put together by Pound; a copy of Pound's selection and re-envisioning of his short poems, Personae; and another slim, oddly curated volume of selected Cantos. At last we have what we've needed for more than half a century: a career-spanning selection gathering all of Pound's major verse, offering both the academic and pleasure reader more than enough Pound to get them going. Sieburth, scholar, translator and editor of the Library of America volume of Pound's Poems and Translations, has removed the distortions of Pound's own preferences in favor of a long view of the high points of Pound's career, and included helpful notes and commentary. This will become the standard Pound. (Oct.)
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