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Quotes about Stendhal

Ezra Pound

L'Homme Moyen Sensuel

‘Tis of my country that I would endite,
In hope to set some misconceptions right.
My country? I love it well, and those good fellows
Who, since their wit's unknown, escape the gallows.
But you stuffed coats who're neither tepid nor distinctly boreal,
Pimping, conceited, placid, editorial,
Could I but speak as 'twere in the 'Restoration'
I would articulate your perdamnation.
This year perforce I must with circumspection
For Mencken states somewhere, in this connection:
‘It is a moral nation we infest.'
Despite such reins and checks I'll do my best,
An art! You all respect the arts, from that infant tick
Who's now the editor of The Altantic,
From Comstock's self, down to the meanest resident,
Till up again, right up, we reach the president,
Who shows his taste in his ambassadors:
A novelist, a publisher, to pay old scores,
A novelist, a publisher and a preacher,
That's sent to Holland, a most particular feature,

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Bel Canto

The sun is high, the seaside air is sharp,
And salty light reveals the Mayan School.
The Irish hope their names are on the harp,
We see the sheep's advertisement for wool,
Boulders are here, to throw against a tarp,
From which comes bursting forth a puzzled mule.
Perceval seizes it and mounts it, then
The blood-dimmed tide recedes and then comes in again.


Fateful connections that we make to things
Whose functioning's oblivious to our lives!
How sidewise news of light from darkness springs,
How blue bees buzz from big blooms back to hives
And make the honey while the queen bee sings
Leadbelly in arrangements by Burl Ives—
How long ago I saw the misted pine trees
And hoped, no matter how, to get them into poetry!

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Book Lover

I keep collecting books I know
I'll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never head.
"Please make me," says some wistful tome,
"A wee bit of yourself."
And so I take my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?"
"some day," I say, "I will."
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distrest that I
Am such a busy man.

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;

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Statement With Rhymes

Plurality is all. I walk among the restaurants,
the theatres, the grocery stores; I ride the cars
and hear of Mrs. Bedford’s teeth and Albuquerque,
strikes unsettled, someone’s simply marvelous date,
news of the German Jews, the baseball scores,
storetalk and whoretalk, talk of wars. I turn
the pages of a thousand books to read
the names of Buddha, Malthus, Walker Evans, Stendhal, André Gide,
Ouspenski; note the terms: obscurantism,
factorize, fagaceous, endocarp; descend
the nervous stairs to hear the broken ends
of songs that float through city air.
In Osnabrück and Ogden, on the Passamaquoddy Bay,
in Ahmednagar, Waco (Neb.), in Santa Fé,
propelled by zeros, zinc, and zephyrs, always I’m pursued
by thoughts of what I am, authority, remembrance, food,
the letter on the mezzanine, the unemployed, dogs’ lonely faces, pianos and decay.


Plurality is all. I sympathize, but cannot grieve

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Gusto, Brio And Panache

Gusto, brio and panache
happy writers have, who dash,
while those lack élan and verve
scribe slower, fearing they may swerve,
which doesn't matter if you've brio,
panache and gusto, happy trio,
but does if you have no élan
or verve, not just an also-ran
but, what's far worse, an also-walker,
and, yet more horror, also-talker.

The ones who stand and wait to serve
because they lack élan and verve
won't slow down writers who are rash
and with their brio, gusto dash,
because panache provides the torrent
that those who're slow may find abhorrent,
for those whose writing style is speedy,
of gusto, brio never needy,
in flights of fancy won't be flustered

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