"better than Ezra learning to play the bassoon"

Ezra Pound is well known for his experimental use of melody and rhythm in poetry. After his 1914 meeting with Arnold Dolmetsch, he developed an interest in 'monophonic medieval song' and learned to play the clavichord with some success.

Antique bassoon
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAntique bassoon - Credit: Frinck51
In 1919, with little in the way of formal training, Pound even turned his talents to musical composition, which resulted in the operas Le Testament and Cavalcanti, amongst other works. His fearlessness in trialling different instruments and musical forms -- he referred to his method as 'improving a system by refraining from obedience to all its present "laws"' -- met with varying degrees of triumph and failure, the bassoon proving to be one of the latter. After a few months with the instrument, and much to everyone's relief, he noted 'The bassoon slumbers.'