Article Index


A SELECTION OF PRESENTATIONS

FROM THE BRUNNENBURG CONFERENCE 
___________________________________

 

 

Walter

Tim

Walter Baumann Tim Redman
Richard

John

Richard Sieburth

John Gery

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Walter Baumann

 

EZRA POUND AND TREES

 

             

In May 1977 C. F. Terrell was sent an album of contact prints by the photographer David Place. Many of the pictures were of the trees surrounding 166 Fernbrook Avenue, the house in Wyncote, Philadelphia, where Pound grew up. David Place considered them as “evidence of Ezra Pound’s visual experiences” and intended to publish a selection of them with “the poetry being engraved on the print.” Unfortunately the project came to nothing, but when Carl Gatter, the then owner of 166, sent Pound a snapshot of the porch and the big oak close by, Pound commented: “Oak was purty tall in 1900. What about the olde apple tree @ the back” (Stock 18). Another apple tree stood in its place when the Pounds and entourage came for an overnight stay in June 1958. It was under that tree Carl Gatter “saw Pound tenderly kiss his wife Dorothy.” (Gatter & Stock 107) Fifty-four years earlier there were other kisses and another tree.

“Why had I ever come down out of that tree?” (H. D. 12) This is what H. D. asks herself in End to Torment, when remembering being up in the crow’s nest her younger brother had built in the Doolittles’ big maple tree, with the nineteen year old Ezra Pound. She also recalls Ezra urging her: “You must come away with me, Dryad” (15). To him, Hilda was then and always remained a tree nymph.

To me, the “larches of Paradise” are Pound’s most magnificent evocation of trees. It was Hugh Kenner’s use of “Under the Larches of Paradise” as the title of his review of the Rock-Drill Cantos that first alerted me to its splendour (Kenner 280-296). In Canto 94 Pound juxtaposes them with a water-course:

So that walking here under the larches of Paradise
          the stream was exceedingly clear
                  & almost level its margin   (658)

These larches first appeared in the 1912 poem, “The Alchemist.” Pound’s association of them with Paradise may be the result of a similar perception as the one he wrote about in a 1910 letter to H. D. from the Hotel Eden in Sirmione: “I have been about a bit and I know paradise when I see it.”(qtd. Stock 1982 87)

That Pound was a keen observer of leaves, is well known from his description of the movements of the olive leaf, which “turn[s] under Scirocco” (76/473) and “gleams and then does not gleam” (74/458). In Thrones he condemns the blindness “to the olive leaf” of those whose “mania is a lusting for farness” (107/782). And they are “not seeing the oak’s veins” (783) either. In the Companion to The Cantos C. F. Terrell believes that looking “at an oak-leaf” is a “rhyme with ‘learn of the green world’” of Canto 81 (541). I can be rather more specific than that, since I have found in Marcella Spann’s Paideuma article “Ezrology: The Class of ‘57” the following:

Once Pound gathered a bouquet of oak leaves and let it shower down into my lap. He picked one and began to trace the patterned veins. “You can’t look at design like that,” he said, “and think it just happened.” (378)

In other words, as we read in Canto 92, the beauty of the arrangement of the leaf veins is proof that “the Divine Mind is abundant,” its action “unceasing / improvisatore / Omniformis / unstill.” Hence Pound’s fulminations against “the lice [that have] turned from the manifest; / overlooking the detail / and their filth now observes mere dynamics” (92/640).

As if looking at one of Joseph Rock’s fine colour National Geographic photographs, Pound wrote:

And over Li Chiang, the snow range is turquoise
Rock’s world that he saved us for memory
                   a thin trace in high air   (103/806)

The land of the Naxi, with its purification ceremonies and with its young people who preferred suicide to an arranged marriage, thus remained a part of his “paradiso / terrestre” (822), “now in the mind indestructible” (74/450).

I would like to leave the last word to the late James Wilhelm. As early as 1977, he wrote in Ezra Pound: The Later Cantos

Scenes from Europe and Asia are viewed in all of their splendour, particularly in the form of trees. As the reader sees the sequoias and junipers of the Himalayas being blended with the larches of Paradise . . . [he] realizes that Pound has indeed linked East and West in terms of myth and expectations . . (178)

 

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WORKS CITED

Booth [Spann], Marcella. “Ezrology: The Class of ’57.” Paideuma 13.3 (Winter 1984): 378-87.

H. D. [Hilda Doolittle]. End to Torment: A Memoir of Ezra Pound. Manchester: Carcanet, 1980.

Gatter, Karl. Unpublished Notes to David Place’s Photographs. Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation.

Kenner, Hugh. Gnomon: Essays on Contemporary Literature. New York and Toronto: McDowell, Obolensky & George J. McLeod, 1958.

Pound, Ezra. The Cantos. New York: New Directions, 1995.

Stock, Noel. The Life of Ezra Pound. San Francisco: North Point, 1982.

_________. Ezra Pound’s Pennsylvania. Toledo, OH: The Friends of the U of Toledo Libraries, 1976.

Terrell, C. F. A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Berkeley: U of California P, 1980 & 1984.

Wilhelm, James J. The Later Cantos of Ezra Pound. New York: Walker and Company, 1977.

 

rsz trees at garda

Trees at Lago di Garda 


 

Tim Redman

 

INLAWS AND OUTLAWS, A TALE OF TWO HOMESTEADS:

THE LOOMIS FAMILY IN AMERICA

(Dedicated to Walter Baumann, for all that he does)

 

In my talk I raised the question of why Ezra Loomis Pound, shortly after arriving at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, changed his name to Ezra Weston Pound. His father, Homer Loomis Pound, was justly proud of his Loomis family ancestors. Loomis family members endowed the Loomis School (now the Loomis Chaffee School) in Connecticut on the 300-acre family homestead and it still includes the family manor, built in 1640. The family included ministers, missionaries, physicians, mayors, jurists, judges, consuls, statesmen, an “army” of teachers, professors, artists, and inventors. Among the latter was Dr. Mahon Loomis, a Washington D.C. dentist, who filed a patent in 1872 for the invention of wireless telegraphy (radio). I circulated as a handout a copy of that patent application and a preliminary examination of its claims by a federally certified patent examiner, Mark Meloni.

The Loomis family included army and navy officers, engineers, and 31 authors (make that 32). Even black sheep were acknowledged. Charles Battell Loomis refers to the family members in Middle New York: “Who among us remember the Loomises who stole the sheep. Let us only remember that they knew their business and got away with the goods. What is a sheep among friends.” Therein lies the tale of the rise and fall of the Loomis Gang, which became the largest family crime syndicate in the United States. My talk focused on the Gang.

George Washington Loomis (George) married Rhoda Mallet Loomis and they purchased 400 acres on a high pinnacle adjacent to the Nine Mile Swamp, fourteen miles from Clinton, New York. After his death, his son, George Washington Loomis, Jr. (Wash) assumed leadership of the gang. Rhoda taught her children and young gang members to steal. Crime peaked. They specialized in stealing horses but also stole sheep, clothes, gold, silver, and anything that wasn’t nailed down. Their manor house and barns contained false floors, crawlspaces, and hiding places for stolen goods. They branched out into counterfeiting, stagecoach robbery, and bounty jumping. Arson and murder were used to punish citizens who stood up to them.

The Nine Mile Swamp was impassable except to members of the Gang, who used it to escape the law and as a protected corral for stolen horses. At its peak, the Gang had 400 members and its activities encompassed an area of 400 miles north and south and 400 miles east and west of the homestead. Rhoda taught the gang that everyone steals but only the stupid are caught. Citizens finally stood up to the Loomis Gang. In 1865 their house and barns were raided by over a hundred men and the house burned to the ground. More than 2,000 people visited the burnt-out manor in the two days after. A local constable murdered Wash but was acquitted.

I suggested that had Pound not renounced all his connection with the Loomis Gang, the thematic canto for the conference might have turned out as follows:

“Learn of the swamp world what can be thy place

In scaled deception or true larceny

Pull down thy honesty, Rhoda pull down!”

 

And that is why Ezra Loomis Pound became Ezra Weston Pound.

 


  

Richard Sieburth

 

SERO TE AMAVI :

ON THE LATE OLGA RUDGE/EZRA POUND VENICE NOTEBOOKS

(1962-1972)

                       

I’d like to share with you a preview of the edition of Pound’s late writings that I am currently preparing for New Directions under the provisional title: Ezra Pound & Olga Rudge: The Venice Notebooks 1962-1972 —a deliberate echo of E.P.’s early San Trovaso Notebook, edited, back in the day, by Mary de Rachewiltz.  

With this forthcoming edition, I want to better comprehend Pound’s Spätwerk, or Alterswerk. We have of course the magnificent Drafts & Fragments of Cantos 110-117, first published by ND in 1969 and dedicated on its title page “To Olga Rudge.”   But as the recent publication by Glenn Horowitz of the facsimile notebooks of these Cantos reconfirms, the Drafts & Fragments were for the most part composed between late 1958 and 1960, that is, well before Pound’s nostos to the Ithaca of Sant’ Ambrogio in the spring of 1962, where Olga, his “true Penelope” awaited him. From 1962 through 1972, that is for a full decade, Olga, although legally still regarded by Dorothy’s Committee for Ezra Pound as merely her husband’s “housekeeper and nurse,” will be not only “the sea in which Ezra floated” (in the words of Richard Stern) but, more crucially, will be celebrated by the poet in his private writings as the Beatrice who had saved him from his “dance of death” and made possible a vita nuova of sorts. During this final decade, moving between Venice and Sant’ Ambrogio, E.P. will for the most part maintain a position of strategic silence in public; while in private Olga tries to coach him back to health, back to speech, and back to writing. If, during this period he is not exactly writing Cantos anymore (although there is the hope, as announced on the final page of the Cantos, dated Aug 14, 1966, that he might write some further ones “in the interim”), he is at least jotting down on stray pieces of paper something approaching the fragments of a diary--the scattered gists and piths of “the last rower on the river of the dead” (as Cocteau called him), the traces of a penitential consciousness still trying to confess wrong without losing rightness, still engaged in a rueful and revisionary review of his life’s work.  

My edition of Pound’s post-Drafts & Fragments writings will draw primarily from the four large bound notebooks contained in Box 101 (#2603) of the Olga Rudge papers at the Beinecke Library, entitled “Transcription E.P. Annotated copies of notebooks kept by Pound 1962-69”.   These are very precise diplomatic transcriptions in Olga’s hand of Pound’s late loose-leaf notebooks, which were made up for the most of feuille volantes or stray pages. Professionally trained as a copyist of musical scores (see the Jannequin of Canto 75) and committed to an absolute fidelity to E.P.’s words, Olga is careful to reproduce the exact lineations of the originals, while providing information as to their probable dates of composition, as well as other comments elucidating their references—information often provided to her directly by E.P. as they read through this material together in Venice as late as 1972, during the last year of his life. So what we get here is a fair copy of Pound’s late texts with a running (if erratic) editorial apparatus by Olga—Penelope weaving the shroud of her Odysseus. It is important to observe that virtually all this material is handwritten, for Pound’s descent into silence also involved his abandonment of the typewriter, that is, his giving up of any notion that his writing (with very few exceptions, such as his obituary tribute to Eliot in 1966, or his forewords to the Madersteig reprint of his Cavalcanti Poems (1966) or to Cookson’s Selected Prose (1972)) might henceforth move into print—the much-delayed publication of the Drafts and Fragments, apparently initially opposed by E.P., being the major exception. We are in the domain of private longhand communion here: Ezra dashing off the occasional note or fragment, with Olga in Venice later religiously gathering up these scattered limbs of Osiris after his death and transcribing them into her four large keepsake or commonplace books.  

The other background source for this edition will be the so-called I Ching notebooks (Boxes 93-99) of the Olga Rudge Papers, containing her daily records (including morning transcriptions of E.P.’s dreams and accounts of their throwings of the I Ching) of the years 1966-1972—material which has already been put to effective use by Anne Conover in her 2001 Yale biography, Olga Rudge & Ezra Pound: “What Thou Lovest Well. . .”    Pound observes at one point in one of the Venice Notebooks: “Keep a diary/ you will never/ regret// error in my case/ not to have/ kept diary// noted only intake,” and, later on: “the I Ching note book/ gives/ what/ happened// day by day/ a record of Olga’s courage/ Festa di Sant’Ambrogio/ the I Ching / day by day/ & the Blake // Olga gay, gallant/ worth ten of/ me.”

The final source for this edition will be the collection of cassette tape recordings made by Olga during this final decade—which I have editorially (and somewhat ironically) dubbed “The Aspern Tapes.” These were first discovered by Robert Hughes in the spring of 1984 when in a course of a visit to Olga’s home in Venice, he was shown, lying in a desk drawer, what he described as “a mess of about two dozen Radio Shack-type cheap cassettes, many of them with their tape guts extensively spilled out.” Hughes carefully respooled the tapes and in 1985 Olga (after having attended the 1985 Pound Centennial in Idaho) traveled to San Francisco to oversee Hughes’ transfer of these tapes to reel-to-reel format and to TDK high bias cassettes—copies of which Sizzo de Rachewiltz allowed me to make some years ago and portions of which may be found on the Penn Sound “Pound Page” that I curated several years ago for Charles Bernstein, accompanied by my essay: “The Sound of Pound: The Work of Voice in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Many of these tapes show Olga trying to jump-start Pound back into speech, largely by having him read texts into the tape recorder and then playing them back to him, in order to create a kind of feedback loop. The texts he reads are various: his own works of course, for example the new 1968 edition of the lost “Redondillas,” numerous Cantos, bits of the Drafts and Fragments, and reams of Confucian Odes, clearly practice sessions for the LP records Olga would later supervise: the 1967 Spoleto Recordings, and the 1970 Confucian Odes. The other authors Pound reads into the tape recorder include: T.S. Eliot (from the 1971 facsimile of The Waste Land manuscript, including passages E.P. himself had edited out in 1922); Beckett (from Cascando and Echo’s Bones); Marianne Moore; E.E. Cummings; Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds, etc. Some of the tapes contain domestic scenes that can only be described as Beckettian: For example, this five-minute scene, during which Olga seems to have inadvertently left the tape running.

            Radio on in background, playing Beethoven late string quartets.

            Olga: Put on your pajamas. You’re not going to bed without your pajamas.

                        What about that undershirt you’re wearing?

            Ezra: [inaudible mumble]

            Olga: What are you going to do about it?

            Ezra: [inaudible mumble]

            [Silence]

            [Ambient household sounds]

            Olga: Have you any other remarks, Ezra?

            Ezra: [inaudible mumble]

            Olga: What did you say, caro? What did you say, caro? Would you repeat it?

            [long pause]

            Ezra: There must exist life somewhere.

            Olga: This is your last word?

            [pause]

            Ezra: [barely audible] No . . .

The most important of these Aspern Tapes is tape 13, recorded by Olga, according to Robert Hughes, on March 16, 1975, thus two and half years after E.P.’s death. We need to imagine her alone, age 79, in her little Venice house on the Calle Querini reading into her Grundig—a scene out of Krapp’s Last Tape. And what she reads, mostly from loose leaves, is an anthology of Pound’s late love lyrics to her—some 14 or 15 of them, over the course of 40 minutes. A few of these have already been published as “Lines for Olga” in Massimo Bacigalupo’s 2002 edition of Pound’s Canti postumi, but his edition contains only a small fraction of E.P’s late homages to Olga. These occasional poems, often presented as gifts to Olga on special feast days of the year--Thanksgiving Day, the Festa di San Pantaleo (i.e. July 26), the Festa di San Ambrogio (Dec. 7th), Valentine Days, Sundays--begin to cast some light on what exactly Pound was writing during this final decade 1962-72, in the wake of the Drafts and Fragments. In these particular texts, he reverts back into the private love poet of Hilda’s Book (1905-07), expressing his romantic thralldom to his Donna, his Beatrice, now his rescuer and redeemer, placing himself in a state of complete self-abnegation and self-abasement in front of his Lady, expressing his gratitude for a gift so immense on her part that he is barely in any condition to return it—save by the extraordinary gesture of occasionally breaking his silence and demonstrating to her that he has not altogether lost his poetic voice. After the bankruptcy of the Cantos, then, we here move into a purely private economy of potlatch: Olga has given him more than he can ever return, more than he can ever deserve. Still, he must try to respond by giving her everything he still possesses: he signs over to her the most precious books in his Venice library
(subsequently purchased by the bookseller Glenn Horowitz), and, on the final page of the Cantos, he signs over his life’s-work to her, given that, as in a fragment you’ll hear in a moment: “the real poem is her/poem/ She wrote her Eurydice.”

           

My edition of the Venice Notebooks will begin with some 10 pages taken from Olga’s performance of these late love poems on the tape recorder in 1975. As the various reviews of her performances as a concert violinist typically indicate, the renditions are sharp, clear, classical, well-measured, unsentimental, in short, authoritative, and somewhat distant—the distance increased by an English accent which is that of an American who has lived her entire adolescent and adult life abroad.

Here are three of the poems she reads on tape, with her introductory comments:

“This is from a loose page marked in the margin “Lines for Olga, Domenica,” written at Sant’ Ambrogio”

 

& the grasshopper was not

            yet dead on his stalk

& her flame prolonged him,

            as it had with the dragon fly

invicta.

            & that she would not relinquish

                                                   hope

& that hers was a will to go on

                                           living

despite all betrayals.

                        sero       sero

that she cd. not believe

                        in such perfidy.

& Rossaro sd/ the honest man

            can not believe

                   that mascalzone etc.

he the onesto

            does not see the other man’s evil

           till it surprises him

 

A penciled page, written 26 November 1964. In America, Thanksgiving Day.”

 

The gondolas dying in

                        their sewers

& the grasshopper dead

                        on his stalk

& she, Olga, with serene

                        courage

     bearing it all

            finding beauty

       where the last

            vestige of it

                        still was,

      finding it in the least items

             & in the great

             in San Marco

           & the piazza

                       by night.

hers the heroism to build upon sand

A note in pencil with no date.”

 

and as to why this

                       timing?

Olga ever willing

         to resurrect the good,

             such as it was

                 that was in me

               ---

& the signs clustering

         ever increasing

cumulation of evil

            against us,

minute clusters of symbols

               ---

the real poem is her

                     poem

She wrote her Eurydice

   =

saw beauty & showed it

against my distraction

   =

to sunset and the cherry-tree

               ---

if there was beauty she saw it

   =

     & lifted the weight

& I have profaned

 

I certainly would not want to claim that these are among Pound’s greatest writings; compared to the intense agon and the ekstasis of the Drafts & Fragments, they feel a bit like de Koonings’ late Alzheimer paintings. Nonetheless, as you have just heard, it is the ministering presence of Olga who continues to remind him “dove sta memoria” and who, more specifically, keeps him in touch with the ethical and aesthetic realm of that “Green World” to which this conference has been devoted--whether it be by turning his attention “to sunset and the cherry-tree” coming down the salità to Rapallo, or alerting him to “the petal unsullied” or the “apricot that had not fallen”—a clear reprise of Canto 13’s “The blossoms of the apricot/blow from west to east/ and I have tried to keep them from falling.”   Again echoing lines from the Cantos (this time Cantos 6 and 47), the late Pound perceives the “green world” around Sant’Ambrogio through the illuminating and redeeming presence of Olga, as in this late note: “they tie the vine/ to the frame/ to hold up the grape/ cluster /Stone alive in my hand/ & I hear the roots/ talking together/ as the apple holds the/ gestalt of the blossom . . . feldspar/ loses its colour/ as the sun/ beats upon it.”   Here is another fragment, this one worthy of Williams: “by the door/ @ Casa 60/ the traces of paradise/ apricot/ plum/ pesca/ orange ungrafted.” (p. 26) Or again: “eucalyptus/ & cypress/ the tendril/ encircling/ as you go toward/ Beltrami’s/ singing ten bars/ of Jannequin/ seed-bound/dinamos/ no grass was out of place” (again, an echo of the Cantos, this time Canto 51).  

But it is the nature of Poundian paradise to be only spezzato, to exist only in fragments, to be perpetually threatened. Here, in a text dated by Olga August or September, 1967 (this is the same summer Allen Ginsberg visits them at Sant’ Ambrogio), he protests the paving over of the Green World: “All inside of earth being put/ outside. Oil and metal in which/ nothing grows. Tar where grass/ should be. The inside of earth put/ outside. Macadam, the infertile/ roads encroaching on fields.” And for those of you interested in Pound’s broader ecological vision, here is a statement dated June 17, apparently also from the mid-60s: “hydrogen/ oxygen/ nitrogen/ carbon,” it begins, and then these astonishingly prophetic lines: “the war is from carbon/ attacking first hydrogen/ then oxygen/ their mouths are stopped with/ dust.”   I.e. “The war is from carbon”—and not simply from Usura.

Running through these late fragments are allusions to the tiny denizens of the green world, as in Canto 88’s “To respect the vegetal powers/ Or ‘life however small’ (Hindoustani).”   I’d like to return to the first poem quoted above in Olga’s reading: “& the grasshopper was not/ dead on his stalk/ & her flame prolonged him, as it had with the dragon fly.”   Reaching back to Gourmont’s Natural Philosophy of Love and behind that, Fabre’s Souvenirs entomologiques, this insect world also recalls the “grillo” (cricket) of the Pisans, and the katydids mating in air, color di luce, or for that matter, the “farfalla gasping” or the monarch butterflies meeting “in their island,/ where no food is after flight from the pole” of Canto 120. Here, as elsewhere in these late fragments, Pound thanks Olga for having saved his grasshopper life (“a blown husk that is finished”) just as she has saved the lives of a dragonfly, a firefly, and that of a “black moth with yellow spots & orange body” at their house at Sant’ Ambrogio. Olga as Kuanon here, goddess of Mercy—whose “pity for every living thing” has similarly kept the aged grasshopper poet intermittently chirping on his stalk.

“Two mice and a moth my guides,” runs Canto 120.   In a note dated “April 4 1968, San Ambrogio,” contained in her I Ching Notebook, Olga recalls E.P.’s explanation of this enigmatic line from the final Canto:

2 mice: One from Venice, saved by umbrella. Other went through grate in Rapallo stove, afterward found dead.

moth: Trying to keep moth alive turning it to the light as you did to that dragon-fly (Beltrami’s house) [i.e. at San Ambrogio].”

“So high toward the sun and then falling.”

 


 

John Gery

 

WHAT ARE TEMPLES FOR:

SPONTANEITY, SIMULTANEITY AND FORTUNA IN CANTO 97

 

None of the notoriously challenging poetry in Ezra Pound’s The Cantos – not even lines from Drafts & Fragments – seems more demanding, more idiosyncratic, more elusive than that in Thrones. Yet paradoxically, the very lack of an ostensible “poetic” style in Cantos 96-109 may well result from Pound’s conscious intent to make his epic almost universally available, not merely to the elite among readers. What seems the driving force behind the cryptic style of Thrones, as Michael Coyle observes, derives from a creative dilemma that Pound initially acknowledges in Canto 19, when he quotes “the stubby fellow” Arthur Griffith, the Irish founder of Sein Fein, acknowledging the major challenge of stirring a successful social revolution, when he says, “Perfectly true,/ but it’s a question of feeling,/ Can’t move ‘em with a cold thing, like economics’” (19/85). While most of the cantos in Thrones, even more than in Section: Rock-Drill preceding it, dwell on Pound’s economic vision, nevertheless, the intensified, singularly compressed style of Thrones suggests a development in Pound’s poetic method from his earlier “ply over ply” technique, evident since Canto 3, to what we might call a “phase over phase” technique. Specifically, as evident in a relatively lyrical passage in Canto 97 where Pound introduces the Sumerian hieroglyph of the temple, a graphic mark of three pillars on base that appears four times within a space of five pages mid-canto, to frame a passage on the unparalleled power of Fortuna, a passage that works as an epic rhyme to the ceremonial procession on love enacted in Canto 90, Pound adopts a method that relies oddly on both simultaneity and spontaneity of association to inform the poem’s vision of a world free of economic tyranny.

Without pretending a full reading of Canto 97 – and in deferring the wide array of formidable, impressive readings of this canto by Pound’s critics -- I focus here specifically on the lines framed by the hieroglyph of the temple with three pillars and its contiguous sentence, “The temple [sign] is holy” (97/696), together with its telling variants. Among others, Gerd Schmidt has delved into the quandaries caused by the questionable nature of Pound’s source for his Sumerian text, Lawrence Austin Waddell’s Egyptian Civilization, Its Sumerian Origin and Real Chronology (London, 1933), which Pound discovered through Boris de Rachewiltz: If the interpretation of the hieroglyphs is, in fact, erroneous, where does that leave a reader in following Pound’s effort to find uncanny truths within it? Nonetheless, through the hieroglyph of the temple Pound constructs his lines, “phase over phase,” including apparently some chance associations, yet he simultaneously remains deferent to Fortuna, in order to stir life into his economic vision to “move” his reader.

Although the lines under consideration (approximately lines 239-321) -- from “All neath the moon, under Fortuna,/ splendor’ mondan’ ” (97/696) to “The temple is holy       because it is not for sale” (97/699) -- are thickly layered with the names of gathered participants in a manner that may weigh down the poem’s lyrical effect (unlike the rhetorical flourishes in, say, Cantos 36, 81, 90, and 93), the visual effect of the framing of this passage with the hieroglyph of the temple works to lighten a reader’s load considerably. As the passage literally illustrates, what a temple is for – akin to the stained glass windows in a cathedral or bas reliefs on the Parthenon – may well be to carve out perceptible daises upon which the ablutions or acts of Fortuna can be readily performed, without the impingement of restrictive forces. Yet at the same time the poetry devises an economics to benefit of human endeavors.

_________________

WORKS CITED

Coyle, Michael. Ezra Pound, Popular Genres, and the Discourse of Culture. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 1995. Print.

Pound, Ezra. The Cantos of Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions, 1995. Print.

Schmidt, Gerd. “‘Sumerian’ Hieroglyphs in Cantos 94, 97, and 100.” Draft of an unpublished essay (19 July 2015).