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From Rick's find:

The nicknames were no mistake — Pound viewed himself as a brash risk-taker,
while he considered Eliot’s reserve to be quietly subversive. True to form,
Eliot even signed one of his letters “Tar Baby” (as in the story where the
“Tar-Baby ain’t sayin’ nothin'”).

http://www.wrensnest.org/make-it-new-the-uncle-remus-inspired-letters-of-t-s-eliot-and-ezra-pound/

Pound, I guess, would liken Tom to a possum for he (Tom) partook of
that animal's behavioral trait of feigning ignorance, sleep or death as a
defensive tactic.

CR

On Sunday, October 11, 2015, Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> On Sun, 11 Oct 2015 02:12:21 -0700, P <[log in to unmask] <javascript:;>>
> wrote:
>
> > So CR,  any idea why Pound nicknamed Eliot Ol' Possum?
>
> I took 60% of this query (why Pound nicknamed Eliot Ol' Possum) and stuck
> it into Google. The first hit explained it:
>
> http://www.wrensnest.org/make-it-new-the-uncle-remus-inspired-letters-of-t-s-eliot-and-ezra-pound/
>
> The second hit was scholarly:
>    The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language, and Twentieth-century
> Literature
>    By Michael North
>    Old Possum and Brer Rabbit: Pound and Eliot's Racial Masquerade
>    https://books.google.com/books?id=urxqG-ibZQ4C&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77
>
> Regards,
>    Rick Parker
>