Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was born on October 30th, 1885 in Hailey, Idaho.
Pound lived a complicated life that is, in parts, difficult to understand and reconcile with. He was an early founder of the Imagist Movement and was instrumental in helping to shape and publish the works of such luminaries as T.S Eliot, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost.
Much of his life was spent abroad initially working on various literary magazines as he attempted to start his own career as a poet. However his ideas tended to change radically and these are clearly charted in his numerous books of poems that he published.
After the First World War he became a strident critic of International capitalism. Unlike many who moved to the left Pound moved more and more to the right. He began to write various economic tracts and eventually was a supporter of both Mussolini and Hitler. During the war he recorded and aired several hundred radio broadcasts for the Italian Government, many of them vile in content and virulently anti-Semitic.
Arrested by American forces on charges of treason he spent months in isolation before, being deemed unfit to stand trial, was placed in St Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital for 12 years.
During this time he also worked on his masterwork, The Pisan Cantos, published in 1948 and very controversially awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library of Congress.
He was eventually released from St Elizabeth’s in 1958 and returned to Italy to live until his death in 1972.