I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had no idea that Ezra Pound was from Idaho. I definitely do now. The Boise Weekly gives us an extensive look at the impact that the state with the most interesting shape had on the poet:
Some scholars now theorize that it was Pound's childhood in the Idaho silver mining town that shaped his view of global economics, which in turn led to his fascist and anti-Semitic leanings.
Pound set out to change not only the world of poetry, but the world of banking and finance as well. His plan to eliminate debt by taking control of credit from central banks, and giving it to communities was fatefully tied to his apparent belief in an international conspiracy of Jewish bankers to rule the world through financial bondage. He accused these conspirators of "usury"—charging high interest rates on loans—which he claimed made slaves out of the citizens of a nation and pawns of their governments.
While Pound's Jewish conspiracy theory may seem wildly misguided today, the perennial mistrust of the rulers of capital is still as fresh as a daisy in his hometown, where his childhood home now houses the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
Between the two World Wars, Pound became one of the giants of literary modernism; editing T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land," trading conversation for boxing lessons with Hemingway, and coming to the aid of many of the writers of his generation who worked, as he did, to free English verse from the moralistic, Victorian constraints of the 19th century.