The Bughouse: The poetry, politics and madness of Ezra Pound – Daniel Swift


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ISBN: 9780099593355 Category: Tags: ,


In 1945, the great American poet Ezra Pound was deemed insane. He was due to stand trial for treason for his fascist broadcasts in Italy during the war. Instead, he escaped a possible death sentence, and was held at St Elizabeth’s Federal Hospital for the Insane for over a decade. His visitors there included the stars of modern poetry: T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Charles Olson, and William Carlos Williams. They would sit and talk with Pound in the hospital grounds, and let him know what was happening in the outside world. This was perhaps the world’s most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist, and held in a lunatic asylum. Those who came often recorded what they saw. Unlike traditional biography, ‘The Bughouse’ sees Pound through the eyes of others, at a critical moment in both twentieth-century art and politics, and in his own life.