Analysis Of ' Ezra Pound 's '

1146 WordsMar 29, 20175 Pages
Ezra Pound’s (1885-1972) Homage to Sextus Propertius has stirred controversies after its first publication in Harriet Monroe’s Poetry magazine in March 1919. The poem is consisted of twelve sections and it was based on Propertius, a great Latin elegiac poet who lived during the first century. Pound’s poem provides a new interpretation of Propertius that differs from his predecessors. Pound finds a voice to critique the corrupted politics of his time. The poem, However, has enraged the Classicists for they viewed it as an utter mistranslation of Propertius. Such differing views over the poem have been, for quite long, the source of contention in the academic circles. This paper, therefore, discusses the views of the Classicists and…show more content…
The perception of the poem continued raveling to other classicists. L.P. Wilkinson, a Cambridge classicist, harshly criticized the poem and he concluded that “Homage to Sextus Propertius purged of the perversities of Ezra Pound (viii). Similarly, Professor Gilbert Highet wrote in Horizon magazine that Homage was “an insult both to poetry and to scholarship, and to common sense (viii). Highet accused Pound of “bad taste” and a disgusting misinterpretation of Propertius. Later, Robert Graves, a classical translator, attacked Pound’s inaccuracies in the poem. In the Times Literary Supplement, he published a comical short play called Dr. Syntax and Mr. Pound mocking Pound’s ignorance of Latin and the radical distortion he made and his claim of producing a free-verse translation of the poem. He concluded that Pound has no respect for Propertius and that he should learn the moral principles in translation, a reference to his article published in 1965. And finally, Robert Nicholas, a Gregorian poet, who echoed Hale’s review over Pound’s mistranslation of Propertius. In Pound’s essay, Date Line, he identifies five different modes of literary criticism and one of them is “criticism by translation” (Literary Essays 74). This type
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