Fall 1966 • Vol. XXVIII No. 4 Nonfiction |

Ez and Old Billyum

Ezra Pound, after attending the service for T. S. Eliot in Westminster Abbey in January 1965, memorialized an even older association with W. B. Yeats by visiting the poet's widow in Dublin. His friendship with Yeats began in 1908, six years before he met Eliot. In a shrunken literary scene, it is tempting to try to piece together the substance of this once drastic connection, now diminished to history. At the time of their first meeting in London, Pound was twenty-three to Yeats's forty-three. He did not, like James Joyce six years earlier, find Yeats too old to be helped. Instead, he declared, with humility and yet some arrogance of his own, that Yeats was the only poet worthy of serious study, and in later years he recalled without chagrin having spent the years from 1908 to 1914 in "learning how Yeats did it." What he learned was the "inner form of the lyric or short poem containing an image," as in "The Fish" ("Although you hide in the ebb and flow / Of the pale tide when th

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