Ezra Pound, Father And Teacher: Discretions
Literature by Mary de Rachewiltz
Edited by Richard Sieburth
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.