The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound, by Daniel Swift
Ezra Pound (1885–1972) had a starring role in 20th-century poetry and the birth of modernism. This book begins in 1945 with Pound’s arrest and imprisonment in Italy, where the poet had made pro-fascist radio broadcasts throughout World War Two. Escaping a possible death sentence, he was sent to St. Elizabeths Hospital (termed the "bughouse" by Pound) near Washington, D.C. The author "vividly describes Pound’s confinement, which lasted until 1958" (Publishers Weekly).
"A stubborn patient who refused the mandated occupational therapy, Pound read and wrote constantly and received a parade of famous guests—Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams among them." - Publishers Weekly.
Pound continues to divide all who read and think of him. At the hospital, the doctors who studied him and the poets who learned from him each had a different understanding of this wild and most difficult man. Tracing Pound through the eyes of his visitors, The Bughouse tells a story of politics, madness, and modern art in the twentieth century.
"Recommended for both scholars and general readers interested in this most enigmatic of 20th-century literary figures." Library Journal