Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Frost on Pound's Knowledge of Greek and Latin

Richard Poirier, "Robert Frost, The Art of Poetry No. 2," The Paris Review No. 24 (Summer-Fall 1960), an interview rpt. in Robert Frost, Collected Poems, Prose & Plays (New York: The Library of America, 1995), pp. 873-893 (at 877, 881-882):
FROST: I never wrote prose or verse till 1890. Before that I wrote Latin and Greek sentences.

INTERVIEWER: Some of the early critics like Garnett and Pound talk a lot about Latin and Greek poetry with reference to yours. You’d read a lot in the classics?

FROST: Probably more Latin and Greek than Pound ever did.


INTERVIEWER: Pound was a good linguist, wasn't he?

FROST: I don't know that. There’s a teacher of his down in Florida that taught him at the University of Pennsylvania. He once said to me, "Pound? I had him in Latin, and Pound never knew the difference between a declension and a conjugation." He's death on him. Old man, still death on Ezra. [Breaks into laughter.] Pound's gentle art of making enemies.
Pound's teacher was probably Walton Brooks McDaniel (1871-1978), who taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1901 to 1937, and who spent some of his retirement years in Florida. Pound studied at the University of Pennsylvania from 1901 to 1903.

Related post: Elaborate Defence of Howlers.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?