Monday, September 11, 2006

The Gratitude of the Nunavutian

E.P. in 1913I have always been interested in the life and poetry of Ezra Pound. He spent his whole life pretending to be European and writing highfalutin poetry with a lot of foreign words just to prove how European he was – in spite of having been born on a farmhouse in Idaho. Through my years in high school and much of college he and his poseur-Euro pal T.S. Eliot seemed to me to be the bee’s knees. While I never read that many of them, Pound’s actual poems seemed pretty cool to me, especially that one about the subway and that one about the Chinese lady.

I now realize that Ezra Pound was an OK poet and a good influence on other poets, but aside from that a pretty complete failure as a human being. Outside a few isolated lines in his poems he showed almost no understanding of human feeling, and he eventually became a raving anti-Semite and Fascist and died a reviled and lonely man who only escaped execution because he claimed to be a lunatic. His poems are full of interesting language but are in some ways ultimately meaningless, because they exist only to show off how what a smart guy Pound thought he was and how many different languages Pound thought he knew.

Why do I bring this up? Looking back upon my few posts here I see they’re full of things like real-time strategy games, German heavy metal bands and tumors – none of them particularly warm and fuzzy.

Except for the tumor, and that’s really more hairy than fuzzy.

So, in honor of it being Canadian Thanksgiving today, I hereby dedicate this post to something emotional and heartfelt. I would like to briefly express my gratitude to the people who have helped me the most.

I’m thankful for Kim, for being my best friend and everything else for the past decade or so.

I’m thankful for my parents, for having raised me very well indeed and for continuing to always be there for me. On top of everything else you taught me important things such as respect and compassion for others and the importance of the Golden Rule, and while I might not always succeed your examples are always in my mind.

I’m thankful for my little sister and brother, for sharing their great senses of humor and intelligence with me over the years.

I’m thankful for the friends I met at Fast Train this summer, who were such fun to be around that I felt like an undergrad again – and a slightly less unpopular one this time around. I wasn’t even spat on once, which is more than I can say for my time at UConn.

A typical Canadian ThanksgivingI’m thankful for everyone at the school here in KL, for giving me so many great chances to learn to become a teacher, and for being such good friends outside of school.

I’m thankful for Mithra, Frank, Neil, Sabine, Martin, Trish, and everyone else at WorldGuide and MIS back in Munich, for their friendship and help over the past five years.

I’m thankful for Justine, Carolyn, Steve, Mary, Ted, and everyone else at CTI, for making my first job out of college so much fun every day.

I’m thankful for Mark, Bill, Larry and everyone else at The Hartford Courant, for their patience with me during three great summers.

I’m thankful to all my teachers and professors over the years, and am sorry for all the times I didn't pay attention to what they were trying to tell me, both about school and about life.

I could go on forever here, but that’s a start. And as for literary Europhile Americans to emulate, these days I hope to be slightly less like Pound and Eliot and a little more like Henry James; not in terms of style or anything, but in emotional perception and introspective honesty.


Elaine said...

Greetings from Bangladesh!

I stumbled onto your blog from the GMU course site as I decided to postpone working on my final paper. I was even later than you in posting my short story for the course! (Great story, by the way!)

I am enjoying your blog entries! It's great to see the cool FAST Train kat we all got to know and love this summer!

I hope you and Kim had a great American Thanksgiving!

albtraum said...

hey thanks elaine! i thought your story was really good... i just wish i'd seen that part of the board earlier. oh well. it's great to hear from you and i hope everything's going well over there. good luck with the end of the semester etc.