Complete Poetry, Translations and Selected Prose

Mark Ford writes:

When he was 23, A.S.J. Tessimond (Arthur Seymour John, Jack to his family, but known as John in later life) wrote to Ezra Pound, who had recently settled in Rapallo, enclosing some poems and an article on George Bernard Shaw. Tessimond’s letter does not survive, but Pound’s reply does. ‘Dear Sir,’ he wrote,

If you were in the least familiar with my work you wd. know what I think of criticism in general & not try to arouse my interest with a perfectly innocuous specimen of same. Also you wd. know that I think Shaw simple shit, with no base, and not pick that particular bit of revery. Of course I think all England chiefly shit, and none of Shaw’s generation capable of serious thought, or even mental honesty.

(LRB 17 November 2011)