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Ezra Pound Lectures to Examine Hailey’s Least Favorite Son
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Ted Dyer, a local expert on Ezra Pound, enjoys a moment at a bar during a recent Night at the Museum.
 
 
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Saturday, June 10, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

A three-part lecture series on Hailey’s native son Ezra Pound will take place Tuesday through Thursday at Hailey’s Town Center West.

The free lectures will start at 5:30 p.m. June 13-15.

  • On Tuesday, June 13, Idaho Humanities Council speaker Ted Dyer will speak on Pound’s attraction to Benito Mussolini and his indictment for treason following World War II.
  • On Wednesday, June 14, Robert von Hallberg, professor at Claremont McKenna College, will discuss Pound’s anti-Semitism.
  • On Thursday, June 15, John E. Gery, professor at the University of New Orleans and secretary of the Ezra Pound International Conference, will discuss Pound’s literary legacy, which includes the epic “The Cantos.”

Books by Ezra Pound will be given away to those inspired to memorize one of his most accessible poems titled “In a Station of the Metro.”

Apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.”

Ezra Loomis Pound, whom some would call Hailey’s least favorite son, was born in Hailey in 1885 and baptized at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. His father was a registrar at the General Land Office, having gotten the appointment via his grandfather, a Republican Congressman. His mother was descended from Williams Wadsworth, a Puritan whose son helped rewrite the first Connecticut constitution.

Young Pound spent his infancy in a stately two-story white clapboard house at Pine and Second streets before his mother, who couldn’t stand the rough and tumble life of the West, took him to the East Coast.

Local artist Jennifer Wilson acquired and restored his birthplace many years ago and for 15 years  sponsored an annual $5,000 Ezra Pound Award scholarship through the Sun Valley Museum of Art for a Blaine County high school junior to use to further their arts and humanities studies.

This year she offered it through the Hailey Rotary Club, asking students to take part in an essay contest on the subject of “Tolerance.” Ayman Adams, a student at Wood River High School, won the scholarship and will use it for a summer program at Yale University.

Wilson said the lecture series is designed to acquaint Wood River Valley residents with the favorable attributes of Ezra Pound, who revolutionized poetry and helped build the careers of James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway, and his more controversial aspects.

Dyer and the other two Pound scholars took part in the biannual Ezra Pound International Conference, which was held several years ago in Sun Valley.

“He’s a very memorable literary figure and we’re all going to learn so much,” Wilson said.

 

 

 

 

 

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