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A run from the Pound

I’ve come to the end of my residency, which ran in tandem with my commission to write and present a documentary about Ezra Pound and economics (due out on Radio 4 this summer).

It has been fantastically helpful for me, not least because I sometimes find it hard to see the wood for the trees, and every draft of my documentary script climbed many trees, and couldn’t get a good aerial view of what the wood should be. Thank you, CAMPUS, for hosting my trees.

Writing for radio is an odd thing: it isn’t quite academic and (try as I might) I have no home in academia. I do know something about hinting at more, but going with the flow. I like the dynamism and drama of radio, and I always over-prepare for it then let the moment take me.

I’ve thought a lot about Pound this past few weeks, and tried to ask myself if I need to sober my own language playfulness, when learning more about some of the scandals of economics and wanting to convey these in some hope of bringing about change. I think this is maybe the way for me to work. Plan a big documentary, and blog my digressions. A book? Always been hard, and I suspect always will be.” I have finally written a Canto of sorts, which I’ll debut on the documentary, but here’s a brief excerpt to finish with:


29 May 2015 10:17:52

Ira Lightman has been publishing chapbooks for 20 years, and remains very fond of sequences. His 4 books are Trancelated (online, free, at, in a list with major out-of-print publications by the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets), Duetcetera (Shearsman), Mustard Tart as Lemon(Red Squirrel) and I, Love Poetry (KFS). He makes public art with communities and text, around the UK. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3′s The Verb, and is currently making a documentary for Radio 4 about Ezra Pound. In 2013, he became the “plagiarism sleuth”, highlighting and exposing poetry plagiarists in sometimes prominent positions. He is a professional copyeditor, proofreader, and storyteller for primary schools, where he jumps around and gurns a lot. He loves experiment and song. He was the Poetry School’s 8th Digital Poet in Residence.

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“The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast –
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.”

-Ezra Pound

Image credit: Diane Cordell