Wednesday 13 May 2015


I see the house on Church Walk, Kensingon, in which Ezra Pound once lived is for sale, for the thick end of five million smackers (that's Kensington for you). Pound rented an upstairs room in this house, hard by St Mary Abbots church (tallest spire in London, fact fans) - whose bells maddened him - from 1909 to 1914. It was the base from which he conducted his assault on English letters, making himself known to the likes of Ford Madox Ford (whose English Review was housed a short walk away), Yeats, D.H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Gaudier-Brzeska, T.E. Hulme and Robert Frost, who once climbed the stairs to Pound's room and found him in the bath. It was in this sparsely furnished room, with its single gas ring, that Pound wrote most of the delicate lyrics collected in Lustra. He wasn't quite living in a garret, but his poem The Garret rather sweetly sums up his Church Walk life...

Come let us pity those who are better off than we are.
Come, my friend, and remember
       that the rich have butlers and no friends,
And we have friends and no butlers.
Come let us pity the married and the unmarried.

Dawn enters with little feet
       like a gilded Pavlova,
And I am near my desire.
Nor has life in it aught better
Than this hour of clear coolness,
       the hour of waking together.

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