On the Pound question,
The “Pound Question” is a complex one. At this stage we may conclude at the very least that his well-known fascist sympathy in the war and broadcasts on behalf of Mussolini need be set against his enthusiastic support of Zukofsky’s circle, mostly Jewish and avowedly Marxist.
British painter and writer Wyndham Lewis, with whom Pound worked on the Vorticist magazine Blast in 1913-14, offered some insight into the American poet’s personality. Lewis called Pound, “A bombastic galleon, palpably bound to, or from, the Spanish Main. Going on board, I discovered beneath its skull and cross-bones, intertwined with fleurs de lys and spattered with preposterous starspangled oddities, a heart of gold.”
Pound had discovered the power of “movements” which consisted of little more than a manifesto, a special issue of a journal and an anthology. At his most enthusiastic, he would be praising and advising Zukofsky almost daily, sometimes more often, in letters, introducing his discovery to editors, giving him the benefit of his time, his wondrous editing, academic sponsorship. When his friend James Joyce was down on his luck, Pound sent him a pair of old shoes. According to Ernest Hemingway (in A Moveable Feast), Pound was “so kind to people that I always thought of him as a sort of saint.”
The touching relationship between Zukofsky and Pound, which did not cease in warmth and respect to the end of their days, is an aspect of the passing on of the modernist tradition to another generation of Zukofsky’s Objectivist circle, and then again through Robert Creeley and his generation, or “company” as he called it.
Zukofsky fought for years to have “A” 1-12 (1959, 1967) in print. The poetic sequence Anew (1943), also the name of the collection of shorter poems that New Directions is bringing back, was the last volume that a publisher brought out for a very long time. A testament to Zukofsky’s mood during the long period of his neglect is the title of the sequence “Barely and Widely” (1962), which refers to Louis’ complaining to his soul mate Celia, as he often did, about how “barely” he was known and how “widely” neglected. This was true at least until many of the poets represented in Donald Allen’s very influential anthology, The New American Poetry (1959), discovered and championed him in their war against “academic” poets and the Eliot-inspired “New Criticism”, which ruled English departments after the Second World War.