mehercule, per Ezra Pound

Personae of Ezra Pound (April 1909),
when perused by Ford’s critical eye, as Pound records:
••• displayed me trapped, flypapered, gummed and
strapped down in a jejune provincial effort to
learn mehercule, the stilted language that then
passed for “good English”in the arthritic milieu
that held control of the respected British
critical circles, Newbolt, the backwash of Lionel
Johnson, Fred Manning, the Quarterlies and the
rest of ’em. (‘Ford Madox Ford,’ p. 2)
Ford criticized his contemporaries for their stuffiness and
ivory towerism for he felt their art was divorced from reality. He
wished to see poetry written in a living language about contemporary
life and he wanted poetic communication to be as efficient as that
of prose. In a letter to Mrs. C.F.G. Masterman, a poetess who sent
him some verse in 1912, he wrote:
Your poetry should be your workaday life. That
is what is the matter with all the verse of to-day;
it is too much practised in temples and too little
in motorbuses ••• Literary! Literary!
Now that is the last thing that verse should ever
be, for the moment a medium becomes literary it is
remote from the life of the people, it is
dulled, languishing, moribund and at last dead ••• for what
the poet ought to do is to write his own mind in
the language of his day ••• you live in our
terrific, untidy, indifferent, empirical age, where not one
single problem is solved and not one single accepted
idea from the poet has any more magic ••• It is for us
to get at the new truths or to give new life to such
of the old as will appeal hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Only to do that we must do it in the clear pure
language of our own day and with what is clear and
new in our individuality.
(MacShane, p. 210)