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“A good deal of the political and economic material in the Cantos is [infamously] wrong-headed,” John Rufo ’16 stated, “but the poetic method and forms are not inherently fascist or anything like that.” Rufo, an English major with a concentration in creative writing, is spending the summer developing an independent Emerson project that examines Pound’s work. La Fevre Professor of English, is advising Rufo on his project, “Reading and Writing Pound: A Creative Investigation of The Cantos,” which he described as “a hybrid that involves writing poetry and analytical academic English scholarship.” The project has two components: reading , along with related primary and secondary scholarly material, and using the resources available in the Rare Book Room, with assistance from Director and Curator of Special Collections and Archives Christian Goodwillie. Pound archive, a collection of letters between Pound and his son. Sortes Poundianae, one of his lyric essays, a sub genre of essay writing, combining elements of poetry, essay, memoir, and research writing, was recently published by the online literary journal HTMLGiant.The journal has also published his review of Steve Bradbury's new translation of Hsia Yü's .
“I was amazed at the wealth of Ezra Pound material we had access to,” Rufo confessed.
“As undergraduate students, you typically don't get a chance to look at this sort of material.” Although he was “blown away” during a reading by W. Merwin while he was in high school, Rufo “didn't get heavily involved in reading and writing poetry until coming to Hamilton.” Previously, he “was still mostly interested in writing dense, experimental fiction.” Associate Professor of English Jane Springer, “especially helped spark [his] interest [in poetry];” while former Visiting Professor of English Jules Gibbs, “always mentioned that poetry demands at least a five to 10 year ‘apprenticeship’ phase before you really get crankin,’” something Rufo has remembered throughout the course of his project.
“Both pieces are direct results of my project and I’m thrilled that the project is already pushing beyond Hamilton,” Rufo remarked.
Yao introduced Rufo to the collection this past fall, as part of his Asian-American Literature course.
avant-garde -- painting, cinema, [and] sculpture.” Although he isn’t exactly sure what he would like to do after graduation, Rufo is considering a Master of Fine Arts programs in creative writing and poetry.
“I still have a good deal of time to think about what I'll be up to,” said Rufo.
As Shakespeare said, we have “immortal longings.” All human creativity issues from the urgency of longing.
[…] The restlessness in the human heart will never be finally stilled by any person, project, or place. This is what constantly qualifies and enlarges our circles of belonging.
[…] The ancient and eternal values of human life — truth, unity, goodness, justice, beauty, and love — are all statements of true belonging; they are the also the secret intention and dream of human longing. Everything that is alive holds distance within itself. It is the deepest intimacy which is nevertheless infused with infinite distance.
There is some strange sense in which distance and closeness are sisters, the two sides of the one experience. Yet they are always in a dynamic interflow with each other.