Ezra Pound's Subject Matter and the Poetic Avant-Garde


  • C. M. Foltz University of Texas, Dallas




Avant-Garde, Ezra pound, language poetry, modern poetry, poetics.


This paper explores Ezra Pound’s poetics in light of certain American avant-garde poetic schools who claim literary inheritance from him. Specifically, critics in the 1970s to 1990s attempted to redefine Pound’s ars poetica strictly in political terms without acknowledging numerous essays in which he remained apolitical with respect to poetry. In addition to this, Pound’s conception of poetic meter and other theoretical bases are explored. Some of these include Pound’s belief that subject matter is the source of poetic form, and that authorial intention is intimately related to how cultures promote values and a literary tradition. Though Pound is named as a predecessor of American avant-garde-ism, this paper explores how these connections are more tenuous than previously accepted by the academy.

Author Biography

C. M. Foltz, University of Texas, Dallas

Currently, I teach creative writing and rhetoric at the University of Texas, Dallas. I am ABD Ph.D.


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