The Cantos of Ezra Pound

The Cantos of Ezra Pound The Cantos by Ezra Pound is a long incomplete poem in sections each of which is a canto Most of it was written between and although much of the early work was abandoned and the early

  • Title: The Cantos of Ezra Pound
  • Author: Ezra Pound
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 482
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The Cantos by Ezra Pound is a long, incomplete poem in 120 sections, each of which is a canto Most of it was written between 1915 and 1962, although much of the early work was abandoned and the early cantos, as finally published, date from 1922 onwards It is a book length work, widely considered to present formidable difficulties to the reader The Cantos is generally coThe Cantos by Ezra Pound is a long, incomplete poem in 120 sections, each of which is a canto Most of it was written between 1915 and 1962, although much of the early work was abandoned and the early cantos, as finally published, date from 1922 onwards It is a book length work, widely considered to present formidable difficulties to the reader The Cantos is generally considered one of the most significant works of modernist poetry in the 20th century As in Pound s prose writing, the themes of economics, governance and culture are integral to the work s content.

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    About "Ezra Pound"

    1. Ezra Pound

      Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet, critic and intellectual who was a major figure of the Modernist movement in early to mid 20th century poetry.Pound s The Cantos contains music and bears a title that could be translated as The Songs although it never is Pound s ear was tuned to the motz et sons of troubadour poetry where, as musicologist John Stevens has noted, melody and poem existed in a state of the closest symbiosis, obeying the same laws and striving in their different media for the same sound ideal armonia In his essays, Pound wrote of rhythm as the hardest quality of a man s style to counterfeit He challenged young poets to train their ear with translation work to learn how the choice of words and the movement of the words combined But having translated texts from 10 different languages into English, Pound found that translation did not always serve the poetry The grand bogies for young men who want really to learn strophe writing are Catullus and Fran ois Villon I personally have been reduced to setting them to music as I cannot translate them While he habitually wrote out verse rhythms as musical lines, Pound did not set his own poetry to music.

    276 thoughts on “The Cantos of Ezra Pound”

    1. I read this one on the train on my way home from work today - NOT! Three decades ago I picked it up, finished nearly half, then was overwhelmed with his words and the strife of my then life.Two decades ago I picked it up and nearly finished the thing until others' words got in the way of his words and I had to use my own words to defend against said words and got lost in the sway.Rhythm, always rhythm.One day ago I finished it, complete, replete and without any sleep, yet strength enough to keep [...]

    2. One of the greatest wordsmiths ever. Reading Pound, one feels the weight of civic responsibility. Pound rages at what he sees rending Western Civilization from its roots. He discloses history by mentioning it, using events as metaphors, as expressions, as examples of his points, and in doing this he expects you to know them. Pound's poetry convicts one to read Dante, to read Homer, to read the Troubadours. The Cantos really has no plot. The poem consists of approximately 120 shorter poems (thems [...]

    3. Though Pound's Cantos are going onto the "to-poke-at-with-a-stick" shelf, I have actually read a number of the poems over the past few months, and some of them are staggeringly stunningly wind-and-sea-and-stone-coast-wrought Hellenic dreambeauties. These from the first 15th or so of the book that I have breached. Then some are incomprehensible limbos. Gass's essay on Pound in "Finding A Form", where he spends the first two pages deconstructing the Fate hidden in his name and the rest chalking up [...]

    4. Phew. This is something. I feel like I've run a marathon, and I've only picked at parts of these.This is a wholly absorbing set of poetry. Approximately 120 cantos which start off reminiscing about the Renaissance, going through all eras and ages of history, citing letters, missives, pamphlets, rages. History as poetry, a grand tour. Chinese characters, intricate, representing ideas and names and figures.The chant, USURA, elicits rage and greed and war, and the titanic struggles against corrupti [...]

    5. "Yet what need to say? ’Tis as human a little story as paper could well carry, in affect, as singsing so Salaman susuing to swittvitles while as unbluffingly blurtubruskblunt as an Esra? the cat, the cat’s meeter, the meeter’s cat’s wife, the meeter’s cat’s wife’s half better, the meeter’s cat’s wife’s half better’s meeter, and so back to our horses, for we also know, what we have perused from the pages of I Was A Gemral, that Showting up of Bulsklivism by ‘Schottenboum [...]

    6. It is difficult to estimate the totality of effect of Pound's having been. We can say this much. Without Pound there is no Williams, no Olson, no Zukofsky--to name only the most obvious suspects. But we might as well say that without Pound there is no Joyce, no Eliot. Lewis is, natheless, as the tree, having never been (nor yet is he to be) seen as much, if seen. Gaudier? Forget it. Antheil? Well, yes, but to what extent? Thus, and as simply, may we owe the finer and distinct shapes of poetry, p [...]

    7. "And If you say that this tale teachesa lesson, or that the Reverend Eliothas found a more natural languageyou who thinkyou willget through hell in a hurry" - opening lines of Canto XLVI You will not find a better summary of all that modernist poetry had to offer than Ezra Pound's decades long collection of poetry, written with The Divine Comedy in mind, that he simply called The Cantos. It is one of the most voluminous, complex, ambitious, and extreme works of literature ever released. If you e [...]

    8. You want to reject Pound, as you want to reject Celine, for his politics, and for his role in the tragedy of the 20th century. But his is voice that gets inside you head and won't got way, and his incantations make your liver quiver. And you realize that there really is no Eliot or Hemingway or Williams or Ginsberg without him. No Beats. No Funk. And besides, the greatest tragedy he presided over was his own. Winter is icumin in, lude sing goddam . . .

    9. Ugh, if I could provide a rating of negative stars, this would be the one. Perhaps I'll finish it one day. In my death-bed senility I'll turn the last page and hauntingly tell that terrible grandchild, the one that's always torturing the cat or something, "Promise me one day you'll read this, it's a classic." I call this move the Reverse Rosebud. I'm spiteful like that; I've just committed to too many pages at this point. I'm no great critic of poetry. I try not to overanalyze what I read that c [...]

    10. Difficult, difficult read. It is also a work of genius. Demented genius at that. Imagine Pound living in an steel cage, writing under the glare of floodlights and open hostility. Certainly not a nice man, but also not an animal. There is no Emily Dickinson to be found here

    11. Miles Jochem (Editorial Intern, Tin House Books): You know you’re in for a doozy when the most famous literary appraisal of a book ends with the warning, “There are the Alps, / fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble.” These lines, written by Basil Bunting, are about Ezra Pound’s Cantos, one of the pillars of Modernism. Pound ranks among the most controversial of writers, not least due to his open sympathy for anti-Semitic fascists. In fact, the US government charged him with treaso [...]

    12. I think The Cantos is a disaster. Maybe you could justify this mess by citing it as an early example of “found poetry” (i.e large chunks of it is stuff that Pound cribbed directly from primary sources, but he chopped the lines to make it look like poetry). I confess: I didn’t make it past Canto 28. There is some beautiful writing, but at a ratio of about three lines per five cantos. So it was difficult mathematically to justify carrying on in the face of this deluge of obscurantism. There [...]

    13. Brilliant, maddening, exhausting--- but one of the masterpieces of modern lit. There are sections that thrill the heart to read aloud and cantos that drive you into a fury with obscurantism and posturing. Every time the word "usura" comes up (a fortiori when it's a personified Usura) you remember Pound's lunatic politics and his support of Mussolini and Hitler's invasion of Russia. And certainly the madness of Pound's later years is just waiting here. But these poems are great powerful thunderin [...]

    14. after a few glasses of wine i LOVE this book. i haven't found very many deeper meanings in pound's rambling i think its just his intoxication with words and their rhythms that make it fantastic

    15. Probably the most ambitious work of poetry ever, and interesting for so many reasons. Sections of this book are incredibly beautiful, timeless, and untouchable, paired with a bunch of fascinating intellectual moves and an attempt to bring together the history and mythology of everything, ever, in a single poetic work. Unfortunately, huge chunks (probably most of the book) are terrible, with a special mention going to a chunk near the center where Pound basically just lineates John Adam's letters [...]

    16. Oh the internal conflict of being both a Jew and a massive Ezra Pound fanMercifully he kept his views to himself for most of the time here so it was all really easy to enjoy without any major detracting distractions (and, though not really relevant to the book at hand - he did express a deep regret for his "stupidity and ignorance" to none other than Allen "What-A-Babe" Ginsberg, which certainly makes me feel a little less concerned about endorsing this book). This book is without a doubt one of [...]

    17. Tough going, but worth it. Despite its size, it's incomplete, trails off. Full of false starts, wrong paths, arrogance. But also great beauty. It's a gorgeous failure, and well worth exploring, much like life.

    18. I could read this book again and again forever and still not completely get it, but it is one amazing book. Being fluent in 12 or 13 languages would help.

    19. I finally read it through this year (every word, with the exception of some pieces of the "China" cantos), and will go back to reread a bunch of it soon. Really, it deserves 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 stars. It's necessary to read it in chunks: often a particularly opaque and kind of boring canto turns out to have a formal function in relation to the ones around it that gives it the status of a low-activity passage in a piece of music. I'm with just about everybody else in preferring the "Pisans," but oth [...]

    20. Well, a fascist he may have been, but his poetry is daring, difficult and beautiful. His images remain the best ever writtenwith a line he could conjure such feelings, such reactions -- and not always pleasant: "a condom full of black beetles". His writing, nigh inaccessible to those not possessing an almost encylopedic knowledge of classical literature, chinese mythology, science, poetry, etc. is in some senses the ultimate expression of the elitist movement of high modernismd that's why I love [...]

    21. I know. I KNOW. Pound's indefensible as a person. He was a fascist and an anti-Semite and completely fucking nuts. He's also been dead for a while so I don't feel bad about reading this (much like I'll finally watch Roman Polanski films once that fucker kicks the bucket). The parts about how shitty World War I is are fantastic. The parts about myth are fantastic. Then Pound goes off on a tear about I don't know the gold standard, or something, and then the banks that run the world, and then yeah [...]

    22. I only give this five stars because Pound is dead. If he was alive, I'd ask him to stop publishing, but by all means to keep writing this mind-boggling work----it was clearly important to him in ways I can't fathom. On the other hand, it makes complete sense. There are moments of clarity that remind me of old Pound, but Old Pound spreads them out so far across the work that I forget why I'm still reading. But that's what reading is, though: lots of words and a few great, memorable moments that a [...]

    23. So what if it doesn't cohere? When it's lovely, it's lovely. Parts are intensely moving. Demote the book, please. It's the magnum opus of an American eccentric, and should be read as such.

    24. An epic masterpiece, heart breakingingly beautiful in many places, but uneven, and even unreadable in other spots.

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