Ezra Pound: Poet with NPD

Ezra Pound, ca. 1913. Photo by Alvin Langdon Coburn

Ezra Pound, expatriate poet, is listed in Wikipedia as a person having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Following is his Wikipedia biography, and the diagnosis seems to fit. It seems very strange to me that so many people with NPD become expatriates. In running to other countries, are they symbolically trying to run away from themselves?
But you will find yourself wherever you are. So running never works.

A lot of them also write poetry. It’s as if their true self must have an outlet, and poetry is the “safest” way to release their true feelings and self-hatred. Poetry allows a measure of obliqueness and the opportunity to hide behind symbolism and obscurity. But if the poet is talented at all, and the reader at all sensitive, the true message of shame, hurt and self loathing will come through.

I resolved that at thirty I would know more about poetry than any man living … that I would know what was accounted poetry everywhere, what part of poetry was ‘indestructible’, what part could not be lost by translation and – scarcely less important – what effects were obtainable in one language only and were utterly incapable of being translated.

In this search I learned more or less of nine foreign languages, I read Oriental stuff in translations, I fought every University regulation and every professor who tried to make me learn anything except this, or who bothered me with “requirements for degrees”
–From How I Began, written in 1913

He definitely sounds like a narcissist.

Here is the Wikipedia article about Pound. His life does seem to follow the trajectory of a high functioning person with NPD, including a rendezvous with the criminal life.

The article is too long to repost here, but you can click on the above link. It’s definitely worth reading if you’re interested in poetry or NPD, or famous people with NPD.

2 thoughts on “Ezra Pound: Poet with NPD

  1. Dear Lucky Otter, have noticed that both expats and wannabe expats have a selfish-streak as wide as a Los Angeles highway. One who works in my building is fixing to retire and move to either Mexico or somewhere in SouthAmerica – where the (live-in ;/) maid -service is cheap. Another off-line selfie is fixing to move (so he says) to Costa Rica. Ex-pat posts on-line, that i’ve read on-line all stench of the same-old all about-mmeeeee!

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