“Sniffing the Trace of Air”: The Creativity of Influence in Ezra Pound’s “The Return”

  •  Sumaya Alhaj Mohammad    


This study aims at exploring the concept of influence in modernity, based on Ezra Pound's perception of composing modernist poetry. Pound insightfully regards modernist poetry as connected to other previous texts due to the poets’ entangled web of ideas inspired by their readings. The study focuses on Pound’s poem "The Return (1912), which consciously imitates “Medailles d’Argile," (1900); a poem by the French symbolist Henri de Régnier. The study proves that this technique is intentional, as it enriches the poem by returning readers to previous works. It also affirms that Pound's influence is a process of creativity rather than "anxiety" as Harold Bloom suggests. This creativity is realized because Pound alters the impact of the French poem from a symbolist to an imagistic one through the uncanny use of imagery and rhythm, as well as presenting an image that amalgamates the abstract and the concrete, rather than representing an abstract thought.

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