“How do you account for Ezra?,” W. B. Yeats once famously asked. Indeed, how do you? How account for the man who edited the Waste Land, brought the classical Chinese poets into English (see this stunning translation), and who wrote a foot-thick epic studded with lines like these?
A blown husk that is finished/but the light sings eternal/a pale flare over marshes/where the salt hay whispers to tide’s change
You can’t really. (And that’s not even mentioning Mussolini, tiger cages, treason trials). But there’s a new Selected out from Faber, and it looks good. The accounting continues.