A GUIDE TO EZRA POUND (1885-1920), lan Christie Clark, 1958
No, most emphatically I will not ask Eliot
to write down to any audience whatsoever. I
dare say my instinct was sound enough when
I volunteered to quit the magazine a year ago.
Neither will I send you Eliot’s address in
order that he may be insu1ted.
(Letters, pp. 44-45)
Then too, if the editor printed the best of what materia1 came
to her independent of Pound’s influence, the 1eve1 of the work was often
incredibl.y bad as is attested by this fragment, chosen at random from
Poetry in 1913:
Stream, stream, stream
Oh the willows by the stream;
The pop1ars and the wi1lows
And the grave1 all ag1eam •••
(Fish, p. 206)
Pound oould only write in frustration ”My Gawddd! This is a
ROTTEN number of Poetry” (Letters, p. 60) and continue to prod her with
Can’t you ever see the difference between what is
‘good’ and good enough for the public, and what
is ‘good’for the artist, whose only respectable
aim is perfection?
(Letters, p. 55)
Whatever Poetry’s faults, the magazine had done in America what none
of the established journals had managed to do, and that was to publish
at ALL the work it did, even if under duress. As Pound summed up the
situation in January, 1917, in a letter to Margaret Anderson:
I have only three quarrels with them: Their
idiotic fuss over christianising all poems
they print, their concessions to local pudi-
bundery, and that infamous remark of Whitman’s
about poets needing an audience.
(Letters, p. 107)
pudibund (also pudibond)
Modest, bashful; prudish.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin pudibundus easily ashamed, bashful, modest, shameful from pudēre to make or be ashamed + -bundus, suffix forming verbal adjectives.