Summer 1961 • Vol. XXIII No. 3 Nonfiction |

The Poet as Translator Ezra Pound and Sextus Propertius

When the first four sections of the Homage to Sextus Propertius appeared in Harriet Monroe's Poetry in 1919, W. G. Hale of The University of Chicago wrote a letter to the editor in which he listed a selection out of the several score errors of translation he claimed to have found in the Homage. He also accused Pound of perverting "the flavor of a consciously artistic, almost academic, original" and concluded: "If Mr. Pound were a professor of Latin, there would be nothing left for him but suicide." This attack was typical of the criticisms which have been and still are made of the Homage. Recently, L. P. Wilkinson, the distinguished Cambridge classicist, referred to the "perversions of Pound" in the Homage, and the earlier attacks of Robert Graves and Logan Pearsall Smith were much more virulent. The latter said: "He has published translations from, or paraphrases of, Latin, ProvenSal, Chinese and Japanese … but specialists in these subjects … are apt to laugh when his name is m

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