Pound, Peripatetic Verse, and the Postwar Liberal Aesthetic
This chapter explores how those attempting to recuperate Ezra Pound’s poetry after World War II misunderstood his epic project as a lyrical one. He was read as a personal or subjectivist writer by a generation of poets who turned to “walk poetry” as one of their primary lyrical forms. Pound also wrote walk poems, but they did not foreground the open-ended freedom celebrated by postwar poets, rather the constraining influence exercised by a landscape already shaped by cultural traditions. It makes sense, I argue, to read Pound’s walk poems as expressions of confinement and freedom, and to explore the hidden constraints lurking behind the postwar lyrics that turn to mobility as a metaphor for personal freedom.