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57 Thought-provoking Ezra Pound Quotes (POET)

Top 5 Ezra Pound Quotes on War and Debt

Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.
Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.
Usury is the cancer of the world, which only the surgeon’s knife of fascism can cut out of the life of the nations.
Usury is the cancer of the world, which only the surgeon’s knife of fascism can cut out of the life of the nations.
Wars are made to make debt.
Wars are made to make debt.
Why fight for a flag when you can buy one for a nickel.
Why fight for a flag when you can buy one for a nickel.
The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.
The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.

Top 8 Most Thought-provoking Ezra Pound Quotes

When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.
A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.
In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.
In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.
The temple is holy because it is not for sale.
The temple is holy because it is not for sale.
Liberty is not a right but a duty.
Liberty is not a right but a duty.
I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn't irascible.
I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn’t irascible.
When words cease to cling close to things, kingdoms fall, empires wane and diminish.
When words cease to cling close to things, kingdoms fall, empires wane and diminish.
America is a lunatic asylum.
America is a lunatic asylum.

5 Inspirational Ezra Pound Quotes

What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.
What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.
Genius… is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.
Genius… is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.
A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.
A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.
The sum of human wisdom is not contained in any one language, and no single language is capable of expressing all forms and degrees of human comprehension.
The sum of human wisdom is not contained in any one language, and no single language is capable of expressing all forms and degrees of human comprehension.
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage.
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage.

11 Ezra Pound Quotes on Artist and Art

“It ought to be illegal for an artist to marry. If the artist must marry let him find someone more interested in art, or his art, or the artist part of him, than in him. After which let them take tea together three times a week.”

Ezra Pound
The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation.
The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation.
It is the business of the artist to make humanity aware of itself.
It is the business of the artist to make humanity aware of itself.
If a patron buys from an artist who needs money, the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates.
If a patron buys from an artist who needs money, the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates.
The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.
The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.
The serious artist must be as open as nature. Nature does not give all of herself in a paragraph. She is rugged and not set apart into discreet categories.
The serious artist must be as open as nature. Nature does not give all of herself in a paragraph. She is rugged and not set apart into discreet categories.
Good art however immoral is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can not be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
Good art however immoral is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can not be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.
Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.
All great art is born of the metropolis.
All great art is born of the metropolis.
Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art.
Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art.
But the one thing you should not do is to suppose that when something is wrong with the arts, it is wrong with the arts only.
But the one thing you should not do is to suppose that when something is wrong with the arts, it is wrong with the arts only.

3 Ezra Pound Quotes on Poetry

Poetry is a sort of inspired mathematics, which gives us equations, not for abstract figures, triangles, squares, and the like, but for the human emotions. If one has a mind which inclines to magic rather than science, one will prefer to speak of these equations as spells or incantations; it sounds more arcane, mysterious, recondite.

Ezra Pound
Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance… poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.
Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance… poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.
Colloquial poetry is to the real art as the barber's wax dummy is to sculpture.
Colloquial poetry is to the real art as the barber’s wax dummy is to sculpture.

3 Ezra Pound Quotes on Being a Good Writer

“And the good writer chooses his words for their ‘meaning’, but that meaning is not a a set, cut-off thing like the move of knight or pawn on a chess-board. It comes up with roots, with associations, with how and where the word is familiarly used, or where it has been used brilliantly or memorably.”

Ezra Pound
Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.
Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.
Nothing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market.
Nothing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market.

2 Ezra Pound Quotes on the Truth

The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once and get people arguing heatedly over which is the truth.
The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once and get people arguing heatedly over which is the truth.
Don't be blinded by the theorists and a lying press.
Don’t be blinded by the theorists and a lying press.

5 Ezra Pound Quotes on Books and Reading

No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.
No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.
There is no reason why the same man should like the same books at eighteen and at forty-eight.
There is no reason why the same man should like the same books at eighteen and at forty-eight.
Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.
Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.
With one day's reading, a man may have the key in his hands.
With one day’s reading, a man may have the key in his hands.
This is no book. Whoever touches this touches a man.
This is no book. Whoever touches this touches a man.

5 Ezra Pound Quotes on Literature

If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.
If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.
Literature is news that stays news.
Literature is news that stays news.
Literature does not exist in a vacuum. Writers as such have a definite social function exactly proportional to their ability as writers. This is their main use.
Literature does not exist in a vacuum. Writers as such have a definite social function exactly proportional to their ability as writers. This is their main use.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.
A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.
A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.

2 Ezra Pound Quotes on Vision

Glance is the enemy of vision.
Glance is the enemy of vision.
A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit.
A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit.

2 Ezra Pound Quotes on Idea

People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf.
People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf.
The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy.
The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy.

6 Ezra Pound Quotes that Will Make You Think

If a man isn't willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he's no good.
If a man isn’t willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he’s no good.
Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing. The rest is mere sheep herding.
Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing. The rest is mere sheep herding.
Technique is the test of sincerity. If a thing isn't worth getting the technique to say, it is of inferior value.
Technique is the test of sincerity. If a thing isn’t worth getting the technique to say, it is of inferior value.
I did not enter into silence. Silence captured me.
I did not enter into silence. Silence captured me.
Until you know who has lent what to whom, you know nothing whatever of politics, you know nothing whatever of history, you know nothing of international wrangles.
Until you know who has lent what to whom, you know nothing whatever of politics, you know nothing whatever of history, you know nothing of international wrangles.
I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them.
I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them.

(MUST READ) Ezra Pound: Poems & Translations

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