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Published: Thursday, 1/23/2014

Noel Stock; 1929-2014: Author, UT professor an expert on Ezra Pound

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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Noel Stock, a noted expert on the life and works of poet Ezra Pound and a retired University of Toledo professor of English, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 16 in Sylvania Center, a nursing facility. He was 84.

He’d had a stroke in July, said Karen Csengeri, a former student and longtime friend.

Mr. Stock, who lived in West Toledo, retired from the UT faculty in 1991 and continued teaching as a professor emeritus until the mid-1990s.

He arrived at the university as a visiting professor in 1969. Wallace Martin, a UT faculty member knew Mr. Stock’s work on modernism and, along the way, the two met, said John Boening, a former English department chairman who was new to the faculty in 1969.

“At the time, Toledo had just launched its PhD program in English. One of the things the university was trying to do was to recruit a few heavy hitters, a few substantial scholars to give the program heft,” Mr. Boening said. Mr. Stock was one of those.

Mr. Stock’s 1970 book, The Life of Ezra Pound — “as scholarly a book as you’ll find,” Mr. Boening said — was reviewed widely and positively. Prominent academics stopped by UT to visit Mr. Stock and pick his brain, Mr. Boening said.

“Noel Stock came from the literary rather than the academic world,” Mr. Boening said. “Despite the technicality of not having a PhD or any other degree, he had a fine reputation among academics.”

Mr. Stock, a native of Australia, “was adored by students and graduate students, not least because he was so cosmopolitan,” Mr. Boening said. “He was a terrific dresser. He was a wit. He was delightful. He was a very personable fellow. He was not loud, he was the opposite — very civilized.”

He became a professor of English in 1971 and taught courses in poetry and modern literature and led seminars on modernism, Mr. Pound, and T.S. Eliot.

His book, Ezra Pound’s Pennsylvania, was published in 1976 by the Friends of the UT Libraries group. Earlier works about Mr. Pound included Poet in Exile and Reading the Cantos: A Study of Meaning in Ezra Pound. He and Mr. Pound were the translators of a volume, Love Poems of Ancient Egypt.

He was born May 29, 1929, in Melbourne. He began reading Mr. Pound’s poetry as a teen. While working in the news department of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, he began an extended correspondence with Mr. Pound. He met the poet in 1959 in Italy and two years later, received a fellowship to catalog Mr. Pound’s archive there.

In retirement, Mr. Stock self-published several books of poetry on his Catholic faith, including a series of meditations on the Rosary’s mysteries, Ms. Csengeri said. He also crafted aphorisms — his observations about the world and society.

Survivors include his wife, Marjorie, and daughters, Maria and Jenny.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph Church on Locust and Erie streets in North Toledo, where he was a member. Arrangements are by the Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Oregon. Tributes are suggested to the church or Little Sisters of the Poor.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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