Mary de Rachewiltz

20th Century American memoirist

Mary de Rachewiltz

Mary de Rachewiltz

Mary de Rachewiltz (1925– ) is an American poet and translator. She is the daughter of Ezra Pound and the violinist Olga Rudge. Though raised in Italy by foster parents, she frequently visited her father as a child. Rachewiltz married the Egyptologist Boris de Rachewiltz in 1946—the same year her father was deported to the U.S. to stand trial for treason. In 1971 her autobiography, Discretions, was published and she is also the author of several books of poems in Italian and English. Rachewiltz translated several of her father’s works including The Cantos. She served for years as curator of the Ezra Pound Archives at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Rachewiltz lives in Italy with her husband.

cover image of the book Ezra Pound, Father And Teacher: Discretions

Ezra Pound, Father And Teacher: Discretions

Mary de Rachewiltz’s autobiographical account, Ezra Pound, Father and Teacher, which first appeared as a New Directions Paperbook in 1975, is now reissued with a new afterword by the author. Set against the background of Fascist Italy and the Tyrolean Alps where she spent the early years of her childhood, the story Ezra Pound’s daughter movingly reveals is a side of the poet which is seldom touched upon, that of devoted father, and at the same time serves to illuminate many of the more difficult, personal passages of The Cantos. But the book is more than a mere memoir, for Mary de Rachewiltz is an accomplished poet and translator in her own right, guided in her craft under her father’s tutelage: through her stylized, often oblique prose technique we are enabled to appreciate more deeply Pound’s inner anguish during the war years and the strains put upon him by the circumstances of his life. Many of the scenes described are illustrated with photographs. while the narrative itself gleams with lines from The Cantos that light up the events of the author’s life as her life lights up the poetry.

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cover image of the book Cathay


by Ezra Pound

With a contribution by Mary de Rachewiltz

First published in 1915, Cathay, Ezra Pound’s early monumental work, originally contained fourteen translations from the Chinese and a translation of the Anglo-Saxon poem “The Seafarer.” In 1916, Cathay was reprinted in Pound’s book Lustra without “The Seafarer” and with four more Chinese poems.

Cathay was greatly indebted to the notes of Ernest Fenollosa, a Harvard-trained scholar. “In Fenollosa’s Chinese poetry materials,” the noted scholar Zhaoming Qian writes, “Pound discovered a new model that at once mirrored and challenged his developing poetics.” This centennial edition reproduces the text of the original publication along with the added poems from Lustra and transcripts of the relevant Fenollosa notes and Chinese texts. Also included is a new foreword by Ezra Pound’s daughter Mary de Rachewitz, rich with fascinating background material on this essential work of Pound’s oeuvre.

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