“What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee.”
Ezra Pound Birthplace House
The Ezra Pound House is a rare find, given its age and most famous (some historians might say “infamous”) resident, Ezra Pound (1885-1972). Harsh weather conditions are miserable for historical houses in this climate, but somehow this one has survived. The address is 314 Second Avenue South, Hailey, Idaho. Hailey is a small town in central Idaho.
According to idahoheritage.org, an information hub for the Idaho Heritage Trust:
“The birthplace of poet Ezra Pound built on, added to or moved to its present location by his father, Homer Pound, who came to Hailey by presidential appointment as Register of Mines in 1883. His son, Ezra, born in 1885, was the first child to be christened in Emmanuel Episcopal Church, two blocks away. The house eventually came to be known as the McKercher House after Roberta McKercher, a reporter for the Hailey Times.”
Pound’s poetry can be challenging to understand, unless French and Latin are your strong-points. His career and financial choices are even more difficult to comprehend in that they ultimately placed him in incarceration. But, the landmark house is worth a visit, if just to applaud that the longevity of the house matches the long life of the poet’s work.
Pound was controversial for many reasons but perhaps the most public reason was his outspoken anti-semitism in the era of World War II. Read more here: https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/poetry/2017/02.
Even if you are not a fan of Pound’s writing, you may still appreciate his early support of friend Robert Frost, which helped launch Frost’s career when Frost was at a pivotal point in his life. (See Robert Frost entries on our Florida, New Hampshire and Vermont pages.)
The Ezra Pound Birthplace House is the third stop on our Idaho Author Adventures Trail.