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This article is taken from PN Review 206, Volume 38 Number 6, July - August 2012.

A Son of Ezra: Peter Whigham (1925-87) Michael Alexander
About twenty years ago I co-edited a book called Sons of Ezra: British Poets and Ezra Pound, which appeared in 1995. The title alluded to the Sons of Ben, young poets who had dined with Ben Jonson at the Mermaid tavern. Those who testified included Peter Russell, Donald Davie, William Cookson, Roy Fisher and Charles Tomlinson, the editor of the Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation. Among the other contributors were several other poets and critics of note, including Peter Davidson.

No British publisher had been willing to take the book, and eventually, following a suggestion from Peter Davidson, Sons of Ezra was published by the Dutch academic imprint, Rodopi. It fell into a pool of silence. Pound's name was bad news in 1995. His poetic achievements were disregarded because he had supported Mussolini and still more because of the anti-Jewish outbursts which disfigure his later work. Pound is not the only writer, or reader, to have been taken in by silly or evil ideas. It is hoped that political censorship will not forever keep the young from the pleasures of reading Pound's poems and translations, and the literary stimulus he and his criticism gave to many other writers.

One of these writers was the poet Peter George Whigham (b. 1925 Oxford, d. 1987 Orleans, CA). Whigham was a Son of Ezra who left England in 1963 to live by the pen, first at Brunnenburg in the Italian Tyrol, where Pound had lived for some time ...


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