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Ezra Pound -What You Need to Know About Hailey’s Native Son
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Tuesday, August 27, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Ketchum has Ernest Hemingway. Hailey, Ezra Pound.

Local literary historian Ted Dyer will offer a look at “The Life and Work of Ezra Pound, Hailey’s Native Son” during a free talk at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Hailey Public Library.

I’ll be talking about how to appreciate the genius of Ezra Pound and why. After all, he is Hailey’s most famous individual,” said Dyer, who attended an international conference on Ezra Pound in Spain this summer. “Those who attend will learn how to look past his controversial politics to better appreciate his genius and many accomplishments as a poet, critic and all-purpose cultural dynamo.”

Pound was born in 1885 in a two-story white house his father had built on Second Avenue in Hailey while this country was still part of the Idaho Territory. His father Homer Loomis Pound had worked in Hailey since 1883 as registrar of the General Land Office. His mother Isabel Weston Pound was descended from William Wadsworth.

Pound went on to become a giant in the world of early 20th century literature, perhaps best known for “The Cantos,” an epic poem that reaches across cultures and time periods with themes from Homer to Thomas Jefferson

He was a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement. He helped discover and shape the work of such contemporaries as Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce and Robert Frost while living in London and Paris.

But he blamed World War I on capitalism and embraced Benito Mussolini’s Facism. Paid by the Italian government to make radio broadcasts criticizing the United States during World War II, he was arrested by American forces on charges of treason.

Dyer is a part-time teacher, tutor, free-lance journalist and musician. He has presented lectures on many subjects, including Louis Armstrong and Ernest Hemingway.

The talk, funded in part by the Idaho Humanities Council, is one of several illustrating the early history of Hailey and the Wood River Valley to illustrate the library’s year-long Centennial Celebration. The library was founded on Feb. 19, 1919.

COMING UP:

John Lundin will address Hailey Hot Springs and Guyer Hot Springs on Sept. 11.

 

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