I make truce with you, Walt Whitman
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown child
Who has had a pig-headed
I am old enough now to make friends
It was you that broke the new wood,
Now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root
Let there be commerce between us.
- Ezra Pound
Amusing academic wankery follows: Herbert Bergman, "Ezra Pound and Walt Whitman," American Literature 27 (1955-56): 56-61, transcribes an unpublished article by Pound, "What I Feel About Walt Whitman" (Feb. 1, 1909), which includes the following comments:
He Is America. His crudity is an exceeding great stench, but it is America .... He is disgusting. He is an excedingly nauseating pill, but he acomplishes his mission.
I honor him for he prophesied me while I can only recognize him as a forebear of whom I ought to be proud.
As for Whitman, I read him (in many parts) with acute pain, but when I write of certain things I find myself using his rhythms.
Mentally I am a Whitman who has learned to wear a colar and a dress shirt (although at times inimical to both) .... And, to be frank, Whitman is to my fatherland ... what Dante is to Italy ...