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Ezra (Pound), by James Laughlin

December 17, 1995

To Rapallo then I came,

That was in 1934, a student

Bored with the academic conventions

Of Harvard, wanting to get to the source,

To learn about poetry from the best

Poet alive, and you accepted me into

Your Ezuversity where there was no

Tuition, the best beanery since

Bologna (1088). Literachoor, you said,

Is news that stays news,

And quoting from some old bloke

Named Rodolphus Agricola,

Ut doceat, ut moveat, ut delectet ,

Make it teach, move the heart,

And please. You taught me

And you moved me and you gave me

Great delight. . . .

. . . You read

My poems and crossed out half the

Words saying I didn't need them.

You advised me not to bother

Writing stories because Flaubert

And Stendahl and James Joyce

Had done all that could be done

With fiction. . . .

From "The Country Road," new poems by James Laughlin (Zoland Books: $22.95; 149 pp.). Laughlin took Pound's suggestion to become a "first-rate patron" of the arts, but evidently never gave up his itch to write poetry, having published six other books of verse as well as several volumes of prose.

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