Wayne Pounds

"Topaz I manage, and three sorts of blue"

It was ’59, Gino Saviotti back from Lisbon,
they talked of the usual subjects, of books and men.
Gino: “Criticism's dead today.
They lack the essential thing—evaluation.”
[Pause.] “Without curiosity,” he sd, 
[another pause]
“literature dies.”

Twenty-five years ago
in the blazing Tigullian basin
under the azure sky
he had rolled in the wave, a happy Triton--
the Titian-gold beard
and rose of his bare chest
breaching the sea.

The next day (Gino come for dinner)
Pound showed him a hand-written page: 
“Everyman has a right to have 
his ideas examined 
one at a time.” And added,
“Men should be seen as individuals
not in imprecise abusive terms.”

Pound himself, arriving in Naples,
had cited Gronchi, but the reporters only wanted
to catch the fascist salute. 

At dinner he ate little, spoke less. 
Frequent sighs. 
“I don’t know . . . . tired.
My thoughts don’t come . . .in order . . . “
Had the bear spent his wrath,
or was he meditating a new assault?
“He’s like that," sometimes, Dorothy sd.
And they talked of this and that.

Gino to get back to Rome next day,
they bid farewell. Gino wanted to hug him,
to pound his back and say “Well done, old bear.”
But did not.

“For a new Declaration,” Pound had sd,
“of the Rights of Man.”

Wayne Pounds' translation of Art and Usury from Dante to Pound (a selection from Ezra Pound Economista by Giano Accame) is also in FlashPoint Extra 11. Further reading on E.P.'s association with Gino Saviotti can be found on Wayne Pounds' website in A Dash of Barbarism: Ezra Pound and Gino Saviotti in the Indice, 1930-31 and “Say this to the Possum: a bang, not a whimper”: Fascism and Pound Bashing .