POUND Ezra (1917.)


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First American edition, trade issue (following the issue of sixty copies for private circulation). 8vo., original yellow boards lettered in very dark blue. New York, Alfred A. Knopf. 

With a fine bold presentation inscription from the author on the front free endpaper "a Victor / companions in misfortune / E.P."

The recipient is presumably Victor Plarr. Born in Strasbourg, educated in Edinburgh, he was a member of the Rhymers’ Club with Dowson, Yeats and Johnson. He was a member of Pound's circle when he first arrived in London, and Pound was a regular visitor to his Sunday evening at-homes. They both wrote poems about each other, Pound famously describing Plarr's reminiscence of fin de siècle literary life in London in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley:


Among the pickled foetuses and bottled bones,

Engaged in perfecting the catalogue,

I found the last scion of the

Senatorial families of Strasbourg, Monsieur Verog.


For two hours he talked of Gallifet;

Of Dowson; of the Rhymers' Club;

Told me how Johnson (Lionel) died

By falling from a high stool in a pub . . .


But showed no trace of alcohol 

At the autopsy, privately performed - 

Tissue preserved - the pure mind

Arose toward Newman as the whiskey warmed.


Dowson found harlots cheaper than hotels;

Headlam for uplift; Image impartially imbued

With raptures for Bacchus, Terpsichore and the Church.

So spoke the author of "The Dorian Mood."


M. Verog, out of step with the decade,

Detached from his contemporaries,

Neglected by the young, 

Because of these reveries.


What is less well known is the very bad-tempered poem Plarr wrote out on the endpaper of his copy of Pound's A Quinzaine for this Yule, formerly in the Alan Clodd collection, now at the University of Delaware. It can only be about Ezra:


Oh, in our dwindling age, 'tis ours to meet

Rubbish Unspeakable at every turn.

Claudian the Teutons had perforce to greet,

And we dare not America now to spurn.

The Quack survives when Arts of Learning die,

And every critic learns to cringe & lie!

I have not long to live, but let me damn

Asses while I, once Victor Plarr, still am!


An attractive copy, despite chipping to the foot of spine, very slight soiling to the spine, and binding being sprung at pp 30 - 31.

Stock Code: 231853

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