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Stone Cottage

Pound, Yeats, and Modernism

Stone Cottage by James Longenbach
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Although readers of modern literature have always known about the collaboration of W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound, the crucial winters these poets spent living together in Stone Cottage in Sussex (1913-1916) have remained a mystery. Working from a large base of previously unpublished material, James Longenbach presents for the first time the untold story of these three winters. Inside the secret world of Stone Cottage, Pound's Imagist poems were inextricably linked to Yeats's studies in spiritualism and magic, and early drafts of The Cantos reveal that the poem began in response to the same esoteric texts that shaped Yeats's visionary system. At the same time, Yeats's autobiographies and Noh-style plays took shape with Pound's assistance. Having retreated to Sussex to escape the flurry of wartime London, both poets tracked the progress of the Great War and in response wrote poems--some unpublished until now--that directly address the poet's political function. More than the story of a literary friendship, Stone Cottage explores the Pound-Yeats connection within the larger context of modern literature and culture, illuminating work that ranks with the greatest achievements of modernism. 
Oxford University Press; January 1991
348 pages; ISBN 9780198021636
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Title: Stone Cottage
Author: James Longenbach