Ezra Pound

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  • Born: 1885
  • Died: 1972

Ezra Pound was a prominent American poet and writer whose connection to Japan is perhaps found chiefly in his role in the posthumous publication, in 1916, of Ernest Fenollosa's Noh: or Accomplishment, a Study of the Classical Stage of Japan, a book of fifteen plays.

Following Fenollosa's death in 1908, his widow entrusted the manuscript of Fenollosa's book on Noh to Pound. Pound claims he was faithful to the content, best as he knew it based on Fenollosa's manuscript, but edited the language, and eventually saw the book published in 1916. Japanese scholars today generally write that Pound's knowledge of Noh, and of the Japanese language, was minimal, and that the book contains numerous errors, misunderstandings, and sections deeply misleading to readers. However, this was one of the first books published on Noh in English, and it was profoundly influential, including upon the ideas of W.B. Yeats. Yeats' play At the Hawk's Well, which debuted at a private London home in 1916, in particular, was the product of Yeats' conversations with Pound.


  • Gallery labels, "Ezra Pound," "At the Hawk's Well," Yokohama Triennale, 2014.