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The Sudden Fall of an Immortal 

For decades, EZRA POUND was considered one of the greatest living poets in the world, and the most important influence on modern American arts and letters. 

 

In 1939, as the war in Europe drew near, came home to the United States, hoping to help keep the peace between Italy and the U.S.  Angry and disappointed, he returned to Italy. 

 

Between 1941 and 1943, he made several hundred broadcasts over Rome Radio on subjects ranging from the control of money and the U.S. government by Jewish bankers, to his strident condemnation of the American war effort against Nazis and Fascists in Europe.

He was arrested by U.S. forces in 1945 and spent six months in a prison camp for army criminals near Pisa, Italy. Sent back to the United States to face trial for treason, he was pronounced “insane and mentally unfit for trial” and spent the next twelve years (1946–58) in the Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, D.C.

In April of 1958, in no small part due to the intercession of friends, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemmingway, Archibald MacLeish and others, the charges against Pound were dismissed.  He was released from Saint Elizabeth’s.

Eschewing opportunities to teach and lecture, Ezra Pound returned to Italy in 1960, a changed and broken man.  He became a recluse and lapsed into silence, leaving some of his greatest poetic works unfinished.  He died in 1972 in Venice. 

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