Omar Pound

Omar Shakespear Pound (September 10, 1926 – March 2, 2010)[1] was an Anglo-American writer, teacher, and translator.

Omar Pound
Omar Shakespear Pound

(1926-09-10)September 10, 1926
Paris, France
DiedMarch 2, 2010(2010-03-02) (aged 83)
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
NationalityBritish, American
EducationBA in anthropology and French (1954), MA in Islamic Studies (1958).
Alma materHamilton College, New York; London School of Oriental and African Studies; McGill University
OccupationWriter, teacher, translator
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Stevenson Parkin
Parent(s)Ezra Pound and Dorothy Shakespear


He was born in Paris, the son of artist Dorothy Shakespear, who was married to poet Ezra Pound at the time. Omar was born fourteen months after Maria (the future Mary de Rachewiltz), the daughter of Pound and his long-time mistress, violinist Olga Rudge.[2] Shakespear was separated from Pound for much of 1925: she spent the autumn of 1925 in Siena with her mother, then headed to Egypt from December 1925 to March 1926.[3] Shakespear was pregnant on her return.[3] Nonetheless, Ezra Pound signed the birth certificate for Omar and assumed responsibility for this son.[4]

Shakespear headed to Paris in June for the opening of Pound's opera Le Testament de Villon, and remained there so her baby could be born at the American Hospital. Because Pound was away when Shakespear gave birth, it was novelist and fellow expatriate Ernest Hemingway who accompanied Shakespear to the hospital where Omar was born in the afternoon of 10 September 1926.[3]

At around 18 months, Omar was sent to London to be reared by his maternal grandmother, Olivia Shakespear.[5] While he saw his mother annually, after being sent to England, Omar did not see Ezra Pound again until he was 12.[2]


He attended the Norland Institute in London, and in 1933 moved to a Montessori School in Sussex. In 1940 he entered Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, surviving bombing during the London Blitz.[6] He left in 1942 to train in hotel management. He volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1945, and afterward attended Hamilton College in New York, his father's old college, where he studied anthropology and French, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. He studied Persian and Islamic history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and received a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Islamic Studies from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, in 1958.[6] He taught at the Roxbury Latin School in Boston, The American School of Tangier (which he founded in 1950),[7] the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, and Princeton University.[6][8]


He is the author of Arabic & Persian Poems (1970) and co-author of Wyndham Lewis: A Descriptive Bibliography (1978). He was also a founding trustee of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust.[6] Omar Pound′s own poetry was published in The Dying Sorcerer (1985), Pissle and the Holy Grail (1987), and Poems Inside and Out (1999), Watching the Worlds Go By (2001), and in literary magazines.[6] He also published material about his father, the poet Ezra Pound, and his mother, Dorothy Shakespear, including Ezra Pound and Dorothy Shakespear, Their Letters 1908–1914 (1984) and Ezra Pound and Margaret Cravens: A Tragic Friendship 1910–1912 (1988).[5]

Personal life

He married Elizabeth Stevenson Parkin,[5] and they had two children, Katherine Shakespear Pound and Oriana Davenport Pound.[1] In his biographical entry in Contemporary Authors, Omar Pound listed both his politics and his religion as “nil,” and he clarified in an interview that he considered himself “fundamentally a mystic,” adding “Even saying one doesn't have a religion is an acceptance of the mysteries of life, and I think acceptance of mysteries gives one a sense of wonder.”[8]


  1. "Pound, Omar Shakespear", The New York Times, March 10, 2010.
  2. Smith, Dinitia (15 February 2002). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Handmaiden to an Egotist: The Years With Ezra Pound". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  3. Carpenter, Humphrey (1988). A Serious Character: the life of Ezra Pound. Houghton. ISBN 978-0-571-14786-1.
  4. Cockram, Patricia A. (2005). "Shakespear, Dorothy". In Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos and Stephen Adams (ed.). The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-313-30448-4. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  5. Pound, Omar. "Pound, Omar (b. 1926", in Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos and Stephen Adams (eds.). The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005, p. 239.
  6. "Omar S. Pound (obituary)". Town Topics. Princeton, N.J. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  7. "School Profile". The American School. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  8. Bourne, Daniel. "A Conversation With Omar Pound". Artful Dodge. The College of Wooster. Retrieved 2 July 2012.

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