Friday, February 9, 2018

Ezra Pound's Birthplace

Hailey, Idaho

I picked up an Idaho driving guide at the Visitor's Center when we crossed the border and immediately paper clipped the Boise-Sun Valley Loop Tour.  I scanned the entries and read:  On October 30, 1885, poet and writer Ezra Pound was born in Hailey to Homer and Isabel Pound at Second Avenue and Pine Street in Old Hailey.  His birthplace is now the Hailey home of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities.

 "Can we stop there?" I asked my travel buddy.

He laughed.  "Do I have a choice?"

Turns out that this little game of "Travel Trivia" that I like to play, has in interesting twist.  Here was a great American poet who was born only 12 miles from where another great American writer, Ernest Hemingway died.  The two men, however, met in Paris.  Pound became a mentor to the young Hemingway and they became lifelong friends.

  Ezra Pound's poetry is sparse, modern, devoid of adjectives, punchy and almost haiku-like.  Clearly, Hemingway was influenced by his writing.  I doubt, however, that Idaho ever came up in conversation.  After all, Ezra Pound's parents moved back east when he was only 18 months old.  Hemingway, as a young man, had no inkling he would eventually make his way to this western state.

One was born here.

One died here.

They met on the other side of the world.

Ezra Pound's Birthplace

 In a Station of the Metro
Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
petals on a wet, black bough.

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