It is true that Pound was considered crazy and pretty much discounted by the time I have memories of him, but he loomed large in the pantheon, nonetheless. Pound may have been an ex-patriot fascist nutcase where it came to politics, but as an artist he was both brilliant and crucially important to the development of Modernism. Today's QdJ, from Hall’s interview with Pound, is an example of the perceptive intelligence underlying the madness:
Interviewer: Your work includes a great range of experience, as well as of form. What do you think is the greatest quality a poet can have? Is it formal, or is it a quality of thinking?
Ezra Pound: I don’t know that you can put the needed qualities in hierarchic order, but he must have a continuous curiosity, which of course does not make him a writer, but if he hasn’t got that he will wither. And the question of doing anything about it depends on a persistent energy. ...The transit from the reception of stimuli to the recording, to the correlation, that is what takes the whole energy of a lifetime.
(How could any poet look more American than does Pound in the portrait above? And don’t it make your brown eyes blue?)