International Competitions in Architecture
A HOUSE FOR EZRA POUND
BLAST is a good word.
It is an angry word.
It is also a word hungry of new resolutions.
It is the title of a Vorticist magazine published by several British artists and intellectuals, among them Ezra Pound.
Pound was instrumental in bringing Modernism into poetry.
Like many “non-conformists” he balanced his inherent vulnerabilities, those of “l’homme revolte,” with a deep knowledge of “classical” culture, in this case, Chinese and Japanese. When in the “insane asylum” for a good number of years, he translated 300 classical Chinese poems. Indeed, one MUST be “insane” to do so in a prison, because this is what this asylum was, not to speak about the more general “insanity” to write poetry to begin with.
If one looks at portraits of Pound one does see a man at war with those around him. Didn’t he actually say that a lunatic is the one who is surrounded by them…?!?
So in this sense he WAS a lunatic… but a beautiful one, despite his political missteps. He made the same errors other poets and writers and artists and philosophers made: he sympathized with Fascism: so did Knut Hamsun, Marinetti, Emil Nolde. They certainly were seduced by something that for us, now, is hidden!
From here, Pound was accused of being a “traitor.” And almost condemned to death, if his above mentioned “insanity” didn’t save him.
The very same man who was interned in the asylum was offered the first Bollingen Poetry Prize in 1948. He was also proposed for the Nobel prize, but, again, his political missteps made him not chosen. Yet his unfinished “Cantos” are considered by many the most important poetical work of the XXth century.
We ask you to design a house for Ezra Pound.
For this North American (born in Iowa) who considered all of America an asylum, and who chose to live in Europe, for most of his long life.
This generous man who contributed energetically to the promotion, culturally, of James Joyce, T.S.Eliot, Yeats, and others, was also a very generous producer of great poetry himself. Admirable energy at the disposal of the most ineffable of all “professions:” the one of the poet. But a poet who, though solitary, often did “find time” to be involved in the “civic life,” with choices still debatable.
Nevertheless, it is based on his poetry and his poetry alone that we invite you to design a house: a house that expresses Pound’s view of the world, his very spirit. If you do so, you might find yourself immersed in a WHIRLWIND of ideas, images, feelings that might prolong, revive or even give birth to a new BLAST (inner, or outer, or both).
The poet AGAINST society, because of an immense love of society.
The poet AGAINST “the world,” because an INTRICATE part of this world!
The poet REVOLTED, OUT OF LOVE!
This man MUST have been indeed “mad,” if it is true that during the Second World War he walked for 450 miles in order to see his daughter.
How many parents of this world would do something like this…?!?
Not to mention again that basic, primordial “madness,” the one of WRITING and LIVING poetry.
Design a House for Ezra Pound.
Design a House for a Poet who brought Modernism into poetry like no other one…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please send us ANY work, ANY size and ANY format that responds to the theme to email@example.com. We will publish all the works received on our website, www.icarch.us. There is an entry fee of 30E (15E for students) payable by PayPal through the registration section of our website. The registration deadline coincides with the submission deadline: December 31st, 2010 (when we will celebrate Ezra Pound’s 125th birthday). If you have any questions please be kind and contact us.