Tim Redman

Songs of a Broken Man

Ezra Pound: Poet – A Portrait of the Man & His Work, Volume III, The Tragic Years 1939–1972

By

Oxford University Press 654pp £30 order from our bookshop

This is the final volume of David Moody’s massive biography of Ezra Pound. According to Moody, the great American poet, whose broadcasts for Rome Radio during the Second World War led to his indictment for treason and his imprisonment for thirteen years, was a ‘flawed idealist’. Moody acknowledges ‘his moral offense, the anti-Semitism of which he was guilty’. But his case became a travesty of psychiatry and justice as those to whom he entrusted his defence betrayed him.

Moody begins with the war years. There is some new material, though many of Pound’s activities during this period are familiar from other work (which Moody acknowledges). He portrays Pound’s arrest vividly. The second part of the book is devoted solely to 1945, during which Pound was interrogated by the FBI in Genoa and imprisoned under harsh conditions at the US Army Disciplinary Training Center (DTC) near Pisa. It was here that he began his greatest work, The Pisan Cantos, of which Moody offers an elegant and lucid explication.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The breadth of Clarke’s knowledge and experience, coupled to a conspicuous absence of pomposity, makes for easy an… ,
    • In this month's Silenced Voices, Lucy Popescu shines a light on Myanmar's persecution of writers and journalists, p… ,
    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,