Ezra Pound Introduces Himself

Joyce’s 1903 poem “I Hear an Army” was admired by Irish writer W. B. Yeats, who called it “a technical and emotional masterpiece.” When the poem reappeared in an anthology a decade later, Yeats recommended it to the American poet Ezra Pound. Shown here is Pound’s letter of introduction to Joyce. Before Joyce could answer, Pound wrote again to ask if he could include “I Hear an Army” in the first anthology of Imagist poetry, initially published as a special issue of the American magazine the Glebe. His compliments emboldened Joyce to send Pound Dubliners and the first chapter of his new novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Within a month, thanks to Pound, the serialization of Portrait commenced in the English literary magazine The Egoist.

Ezra Pound (1885–1972)
Letter to James Joyce, 15 December 1913
James Joyce Collection, #4609, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
From POUND/JOYCE: Letters & Essays, copyright ©1967 by Ezra Pound. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.