Caterina Ricciardi 1947-2020

by Massimo Bacigalupo

Caterina Ricciardi (Bitonto, Bari, November 25, 1947—Rome, February 15, 2020) was an indefatigable educator and scholar who devoted much of her work to Ezra Pound. In the late 1970s, after a Fulbright scholarship at UC Santa Barbara, she participated in a research group overseen by Elémire Zolla (1926-2002), an eccentric cultural critic and professor of American literature very remote from the political conflicts of post-war Italy and in particular of the Sixties (when Ricciardi was at school), as well as from historicism, i.e., a consideration of culture as determined by, and reflecting, its historical context. Likewise, Ricciardi was chiefly interested in tradition, myth and art as sources of fiction and poetry, and her scholarly contributions investigate complex networks of influences and allusions, revealing extensive reading in her fields.

Her first and major work on Pound, with the Greek title EIKONEΣ, and the subtitle Ezra Pound e il Rinascimento (1991), brings together her passion and scrupulous research. With 330 pages, and a useful index, it is well written and well organized in six chapters, with titles like “The Renaissance in ‘Three Cantos,’” “The Hermetic Approach and the Iconological Code,” “Venus/Hilda: the Botticelli of H.D.,” “Venus in Poundian Iconography,” “Venus/Venice: Poundian ekphráseis,” “The Venus of Pisa.” EIKONEΣ is the fruit of genuine passion and of a fascination with complexity, with one thing leading to another. Ricciardi revealed herself immune to concern with Pound’s political blunders, as well as to the critical jargon of the day, though she was widely read in theory. But she was also interested in minuscule connections and facts. She ran the risk of reading into Pound’s texts more than is actually there, and perhaps ignoring some of their topical and historical implications. Her Pound was a sage, a master like an old Renaissance imitator of the antique, not a fulminating reformer very much of his time.

In 1991 Ricciardi also edited Idee fondamentali, a selection of Pound’s wartime Meridiano di Roma articles, some of which were surely incendiary in theme and treatment. However, in her introduction she stressed chiefly the poet’s mythical concerns—Rome, grain, Venus, etc. She was tactfully taken to task for this by a prominent older scholar, Guido Fink (1935-2019), in a review for the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero (August 26, 1991). (For details see Bacigalupo, “Pound Studies in Italy,” 17-18.) Surely the tenor of Ricciardi’s writing was very independent from the climate of the period, especially of the previous years, when young Americanists, like Franco Moretti and associates, were all ipso facto politically conscious, rebellious and active (and essentially Marxist). But many of her contemporaries had studied (as I did) in the Faculty of Letters of “La Sapienza” Rome University with Agostino Lombardo, whereas Caterina came from another Rome campus, the Faculty of Education (“Magistero”), where Zolla and Giorgio Melchiori taught, and which would eventually become Roma Tre. This is the university in which, after teaching some years in Viterbo, she eventually became a full professor of American studies in 1994.

In 2004 she published with Raffaelli, a small Poundian publisher in Rimini, an annotated translation of Indiscretions, the product of much minute scholarship; some of her findings were presented in “Pound and Henry James’s ‘Small Boy’ Persona,” her contribution to the proceedings to the 2005 EPIC, Ezra Pound Language and Persona. She even posited some connections with Hawthorne’s “The Custom House”—of which I am skeptical. For us Americanist well-versed in the classics, it is easy to see allusions to our favorite and most studied authors where none are intended.

Caterina had of course exceptional competence and in a way lived in her own Poundian chamber of echoes. Her next book with Raffaelli, Ghiande di luce (176pp., 2006), i.e., “Acorns of Light,” contained seven masterful readings in and around Pound: Adrian Stokes, Venice and the Ducal Palace, Jefferson and Adams, the goddess at Terracina, “Beauty’s Rose: Shakespeare at Stone Cottage.” These pages show the freedom of the mature scholar and essayist, who does not tire to investigate and study her loved sources. I confess that I wrote a short review (“Poundiani raccordi”) in which I questioned her reading of the close of Hemingway’s story “Cat in the Rain.” But Caterina did not mind, and I enjoyed seeing her ferreting out interpretations and working at length to offer her version to readers—and I was probably one of the few readers in Italy whom she could address with some confidence of being understood.

As a Roman, living near Piazza Navona, and an antiquarian by character, she was uniquely qualified to discover Pound’s Roman traces, which she presented most usefully in the handsome Ezra Pound and Roma: Roma Amor. A Roman Album, prepared for the 2009 Rome EPIC. And to the Roma/Amor volume that came out of that conference, and which she kindly undertook to edit with Bill Pratt, she contributed a fascinating note on Pound and the Centro Studi Americani, the library where the Rome conference was held and where all of us Italian Americanists of the 1960s and after did our spadework. These bits of minor Poundiana that Ricciardi was good at investigating are I find some of her more lasting contributions. Yes, footnotes.

Caterina had become over the years a fluent writer and reviewer, in spite of the academic chores she did not shy away from. (She was often on national committees for promotions and new appointments.) She became a frequent contributor to Alias Domenica, the Sunday supplement of Il manifesto, the “Communist Daily” (as its masthead unabashedly proclaims). The Sunday Alias, however, is quite innocent of an explicit political agenda and through Caterina has become a vindicator of the example of Pound at a time when his name has unfortunately been hijacked by the self-proclaimed disciples of Casa Pound (a sort of Italian Alt-Right, with open neo-Fascist sympathies). Quite undaunted, Ricciardi spoke for Pound, her Pound. But interestingly she was able to reveal her catholic interest in all things American and Canadian by sensitively reviewing Plath, Munro, Strout, Mantel, Atwood, Robinson, Agee (her very last article, published the Sunday after her sudden death), Sexton, Glück, Levine, Strand, Charles Wright, and many many others, including Shakespeare (in recent years she authored a translation of Measure for Measure for a new collected edition).

Shortly before her death Ricciardi compiled for Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura (Rome) a collection of reviews, Novecento poetico americano, which opens with D. H. Lawrence’s studies in American classics and George Santayana, and closes with Jorie Graham and Susan Howe. This promises to be a well-informed survey of modern classics and contemporaries. Few scholars have been able to cover so much ground.

She lived alone since the death of her older companion in 1996 and was a solitary and private person, somewhat child-like according to the sensitive obituary by her brilliant colleague Viola Papetti. In 2013 she acquired a small dog, Tatum, and sent me a photograph of him near the cover photo of a book on H.D.—a writer with whom she had much in common, chiefly her otherworldliness. In 2019 she published a scholarly essay on H.D.’s Hymen as “false epithalamium,” and a handsome artist’s book of translations chiefly from Hymen, [Divae], of which only fifty copies were printed for Gabriele Stocchi, an old and staunch Pound associate.

Caterina pursued her passions to the end. One of her last reviews took issue with a new (and unnecessary) translation of the Pound/Joyce correspondence, defending E.P.’s passion and indignation against J.J.’s skepticism. (Pound, she wrote, is “the prophet of the century (or of the two centuries),” who “may rest secure.”) And on January 12, 2020 she published a glowing appreciation of a small and fine selection of Mary de Rachewiltz’s poems, L’economia amorosa. To some extent Caterina can also be said to be a faithful daughter (or grand-daughter) of Ezra. She was lucky to be working until the end, and still wrote me on February 11, in answer to my question, that she was “always better, even a little fatter.” Despite her diffident character, she had a fruitful and happy life among the beautiful things and writings she loved.

When I learned of her death on Sunday, February 16, I phoned Mary de Rachewiltz with the news. The following day Mary sent me a short poem in Italian for publication in Alias Domenica, where it duly appeared with Caterina’s final review—of James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. An appropriate valediction!

This is a tentative translation of Mary’s poem, with her footnote:


by Mary de Rachewiltz

It isn’t at all easy, Caterina
to recall you from the depths of the earth
(“black” in Carducci’s words)
so as to thank you for the chocolates
of Sant’Eustachio, Café
(but to me Church with antlers and cross). Ivory-like, you hold sway
with Hilda over Circeo
in eternity custodian
of a castle brimming

with soulmates and
their works.*

*The allusion is to a poem by Carducci on the death of his little boy (a vague high-school memory?). Sant’Eustachio, with a deer (if I mistake not), is the fine Church in Rome (funeral service for Boris). I believe Caterina spent her summers on Circeo. And the strange “coincidence” that I should have heard of her passing at yesterday’s Sunday tea with the students.—MdR, Brunnenburg, February 17, 2020


Works Cited

Bacigalupo, Massimo. “Poundiani raccordi di luce. Caterina Ricciardi.” Il manifesto. Alias 15 (April 14, 2007): 18.

—. “Pound Studies in Italy, 1991.” Paideuma 23.1-2 (1993): 11-34.

de Rachewiltz, Mary. “Per Caterina.” Il manifesto. Alias Domenica 10.8 (February 23, 2020): 5.

[Doolittle, Hilda.] H.D. [Divae]: 10 poesie tradotte da Caterina Ricciardi e 10 immagini di Luisa Gardini. Pomezia (Rome): continua [Gabriele Stocchi], 2019.

Papetti, Viola. “Caterina Ricciardi, tra i Modernisti e le pagine di Alias.” Il manifesto (February 18, 2020).

Ricciardi, Caterina. “Agee-Evans. Nella carne viva dei diseredati.” Il manifesto. Alias Domenica 10.8 (February 23, 2020): 5.

—. “Economia amorosa di una figlia di Ulisse." Rev. of Mary de Rachewiltz, L’economia amorosa. Il manifesto. Alias domenica 10.2 (January 12, 2020).

—. “Ezra Pound and the Foundation of the Centro Italiano di Studi Americani: 1936.” Roma/Amor: Ezra Pound, Rome, and Love. Eds. William Pratt and Caterina Ricciardi. New York: AMS Press, 2013. 95-108.

—. “Il falso epitalamio di Hilda Doolittle: uno sguardo a Hymen." Dialoghi con i classici nel Novecento americano. Ed. Caterina Ricciardi. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2019. 25-49. (Biblioteca di studi americani, 34.)

Caterina Ricciardi – Photo Essay

Caterina photo essay 1

Image 1: at the 14th Ezra Pound International Conference, Brunnenburg, 1991

(Photograph courtesy of Walter Baumann)


Image 2: Caterina Ricciardi, Convenor’s opening Address, 23rd Ezra Pound International Conference: ROMA / AMOR: Pound, Love, and Rome, Centro Studi Americani, Palazzo Antici Mattei, 30 June 2009 (Photograph courtesy of Walter Baumann)


Image 3: 23rd Ezra Pound International Conference: ROMA / AMOR, 30 June 2009

(Photograph courtesy of Walter Baumann)


Image 4: 24th Ezra Pound International Conference, London, 2011

(Photograph courtesy of Walter Baumann)



[Editor’s Note: A reprint of ‘I luoghi della memoria nei “Cantos”’ (Intervista con Caterina Ricciardi), Studi cattolici 566 (aprile 2008): 275-278, translated and annotated by Archie Henderson and Massimo Bacigalupo. The interview with Ricciardi concerned her book Ezra Pound. Ghiande di luce (Rimini: Rafaelli, 2006).]


Caterina Ricciardi teaches at Università di Roma Tre and has devoted many essays to Pound’s work, including Eikones. Ezra Pound e il Rinascimento (Liguori 1991) and the editing of Idee fondamentali(Lucarini 1991) and Indiscrezioni (Raffaelli 2004). Also for Raffaelli she has recently published Ezra Pound. Ghiande di Luce, an itinerary among places and memories in the Cantos.

Q. First of all, an explanation of the title is needed: what are the Acorns of Light [Ghiande di Luce] to which Pound refers?


A. “Can you enter the great acorn of light?” asks Pound at the end of the Cantos. The “acorns of light” are an echo of that line in Canto 116. The “acorn” to which Pound refers there is the “great ball of crystal,” the “Cosmos,” as well as the poetry that approaches the facts of the world, seeking light in dark “cunicoli,” in forgotten pages, in incunabula, to gather and transmit teachings, luminous details, ideograms of knowledge. The poet “in action” bravely tries to probe the archives of History, shouldering the risks of an often difficult, uncomfortable search. In that line there is also a rewinding of the thread of wisdom from Neoplatonic philosophy (Grosseteste), and the thread of classical myth that run through all the Cantos. (Venus, Circe: “honey at first and then acorns | Honey at the start and then acorns | honey and wine and then acorns,” is the food offered by the Sorceress in Canto 39.)  The acorn, a humble sign/seed of nature’s fertility, is an image dear to the writers of American Transcendentalism, especially Emerson and Thoreau (everything for Emerson is included in nuce in an acorn[2]), a fact that Pound does not seem to forget. It is rich with sense, or senses, already when it appears in the sequence Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1918-1920), that first masterpiece, where the daring project (recalling Dante’s adventure) is to “resuscitate the dead art | Of poetry,” after the experience of Aestheticism and Decadence. The poet takes on that project by trying to “[wring] lilies from the acorn,” in order both to achieve, at the beginning of the twentieth century, a modern aesthetic, and to give luster and new vigor to American poetry. To create beauty without alienating the native cultural heritage, still “half savage,” was among the aspirations of the young Pound. Even the “American peanut,” the peanut on whose Italian cultivation Pound insisted—arousing some scornful sneering—is, at one stage in its navigation through history, an acorn. All the more it seemed to me, then, that “acorns of light” could be considered those “monuments”—the “stones” of Ezra Pound—that survive the ruins of history. In those testimonies of artistic ingenuity Pound finds beauty and sacredness and, as well, patterns of right conduct, paths of wisdom.

Q. There are many places of memory in the Cantos examined in your book: what relationship can we find between the poetic work and the places that the poet loved?

A. The places loved by Pound are “texts” to be seen and read. “Text” is even the pristine “blue” of the waters of Lake Garda, or Tigullio, or Capri or Taormina. Like medieval cathedrals for the illiterate, the sacred places in the Cantos constitute a kind of Bible, a Gospel, Testament, which require, and include, an art of memory: history and religion, the human and the divine, the contingent and the eternal, chronicle and myth are engraved on stones and walls, on domed vaults, like the starry sky in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna: Pound’s “Byzantium.” “Difficult beauties”[3] that someone was able to leave us. In those places Pound finds the writing of enlightened minds, Frobenius’s “Paideuma,” which is “the active element in the era, the complex of ideas which is in a given time germinal.”[4] Traces, therefore, of “right words”, fine lines, smoothed, or, in the remains spared from wear and tear, the evidence of an arson by the “force that falsifies” (coin, Dante would add).[5] Pound writes in Carta da visita (1942): “Tradition inheres (‘inerisce’) in the images of the gods, and gets lost in dogmatic definitions. History is recorded in monuments, and that is why they get destroyed.”[6] The last line of the Cantos pleads, prays: “To be men not destroyers.”[7]

Q. Exiled from the U.S., Pound is perfectly at ease in 1920s Italy, which became his homeland of choice. What fascinates him most about our country?


A. The “vortices.” The predisposition that Italy has had, and we hope still has, to create “vortices.” By “vortex” (a term that lent its name to an avant-garde movement akin to Futurism) Pound understands the will and the ability to turn the creative fluid of human genius (in all fields: even domestic carpentry), on the one hand, and the dynamics of history—of materials that weave historical textures – on the other, in a construction (as from the acorn is born an oak), that is, in the work of art, the monument, in the broad sense, not necessarily aesthetic.

Q. How do history and geography, documents and people of all times and places intertwine in Pound’s poem?

A. The Cantos’ method of writing is inspired by the structure of the Chinese ideogram, it is therefore called “ideogrammic.” Parataxis, ellipses, quick juxtapositions, counterpoints, syncretism: this is how the material of Poundian discourse is cemented, in a musical fugue. It is not necessary to understand all the details, the meaning of words in a foreign language. The poet also makes us see and hear (try to hear a reading by Pound). Everyone can find something to share, to recognize, an emotion, aesthetic or intellectual, in which to recognize oneself, but one must learn to travel with the poet, just as in the Divine Comedy one has to learn to travel with Dante (who, however, had provided hinself with a map) and Virgil. Geography, for example, in Pound’s poetry is important, more important than one is led to feel. The movement to be followed is both a descent and a slow ascent (as in Dante) and is horizontal: from east to west to east. The reader must descend into history, myth, and chronicle, and learn to rise, as well as moving constantly in the space of the “Cosmos,” which is the world, the real geography of our world, and poetry. Already in the first canto, the translation of a passage from the Odyssey, we find Greece, Circeo, Venice; and then you are dragged away as in a vortex towards the Renaissance cities; and then to New York, to London, to China. Pound’s is a space that, through travel, includes time, times, and history, and with them cultural ideograms: protagonists, documents, monuments, multiplicity. In The Cantos there are no peripheries, everything is center, center of action and node of memory. It is a bit like in the Mediterranean of Homer, more than in the circular levels (gironi) of Dante’s Inferno, but  Pound’s dynamism is also affected by the sense of space that only an American can possess (or possessed then): the transformation of alien space into oikos, home, memory.

Q. Classical antiquities, European Renaissance, American Revolution, Confucian China and many other ideal worlds of which the Cantos are full represent an ideal model of homeland to which humanity should look with interest. What are the elements common to all these realities?

A. The common elements? Ethics: ethics leads to aesthetics. When the Medici developed their business as bankers, their Renaissance died. When the Popes assumed other powers or privileges, the Church ended up in a quagmire. On the other hand, Western civilization (dominant) and Eastern civilization meet, perhaps for the first time in the history of culture, in Pound’s cantos: Aristotle, Plotinus, Confucius, Egypt, the Africa of Frobenius, even the natural/spiritual knowledge of the American Native (de Angulo). And this is a great contribution, a great teaching: really the foundation of an “ideal homeland” for all. All ages are “contemporaneous,” Pound writes somewhere.[8] Just as the “revolution continues”[9] and by “revolution” must be understood the construction of the common good, the attentive care of the “res publica.” This was the case at the time of the Founding Fathers of the American nation (Jefferson, Adams), as it was in the classical world (“the fleet at Salamis”[10]), also with the advent of the empire (Antoninus Pius), with the Renaissance (Venice, Ferrara, Rimini, Lorenzo’s Florence), with the Monte dei Paschi’s Siena, with Pietro Leopoldo’s Tuscany, with the Chinese dynasties and the Sacred Edict. These are real and ideal models, and they are attacked by everything that does not naturally tend to the common growth. Pound believed he recognized the same “direction of the will,” a form of Confucian ethics combined with the sense of the Mediterranean “vortex,” or fluid, in Mussolini’s Italy of the twenties. Then nothing.

Q. In the same way there is a great interest in religions, or rather, in the sphere of the sacred. How does it relate to the Christian tradition that permeates the places and people of our country?

A. “It’s all one religion,” an old Romagna nun whom Pound met in Rimini tells him.[11] The Catholic nun is also a “polumetis” character. It cannot be said that Pound practiced a specific faith, in any case, he said, he felt “Confucian” (but how much Christian ethics jibes with Confucianism!). His family had, on the one hand, Quaker origins, and were essentially Protestant. Anyone who has seen a Protestant church, perhaps in the middle of a prairie, will have been dazzled by the pure whiteness of the walls, by the absence of ornaments or decorations. In Italy, Pound found something different in Catholic churches. He saw the ancient pagan religions, founded on the mysteries of fertility, transformed, or incorporated, into Catholic worship. For Anglo-Saxon travelers on the Grand Tour the all-Italian adoration of sacred images was superstition: a bad habit.  I do not believe that in Pound there was only an aesthetic interest in often forgotten masterpieces that, in the twenties and thirties, he recognizes and goes to find everywhere along the peninsula (of the Crivellis in Teramo or Ascoli Piceno, for example, “where no one ever goes”). I believe that—even before he came to the retrenchment of his old age—he recognized in our Madonnas not only the hypostases of the ancient goddesses  (the gods “‘have never left us.’ | They have not returned,” he writes in Canto 113) but a “religious” power—in the sense of solidarity with the human—alien to his original culture, insofar as in Protestantism the will to destroy sacred images, iconoclasm, is still strong. The representations of the Madonna are to him a temenos, a sacred enclosure. That Pound preferred the Madonnas of the fifteenth century to those of the seventeenth century, this is another matter that has nothing to do with religious sentiment. It has rather to do with the ethical sphere, with the decadence forced upon the expressions of religion by the deceptions of history and economic practices, as well as by the change in the relationship between artist and buyer. He makes a significant distinction between frescos, which you cannot sell, and paintings on wood or canvas, which you can trade for profit (a common practice, unfortunately, in Italy when Pound lived here). At this point the spirit of religion (re-ligare) contained in the work of art is fractured.  

Q. In your essay you also say that Pound knew of Padre Pio from hearsay...

A. Well, isn’t it surprising that  in 1931, as he travels across the Italian peninsula in search of sacred places, Pound should come across rumors of “a gent” in the area “who still carries stigmata.”[12] In fact, at that time the phenomenon of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo was much debated. There were fears of fraud, and the Vatican had taken precautions. But Pound cites the case as an example of how in Italy the sacred mystery survived in those years, especially in the South, though susceptible to the dangers of superstition (feared by the Church). “They worshipped him like St. Lucia,”[13] a sacristan would tell him of a baroque angel, and Pound repeatedly reports those words, in prose and poetry, to suggest the deep and ancient spirituality of the “Terra Italica.” It should be added that perhaps Padre Pio, Francesco Forgione, a Franciscan of the Capuchin Minors, bearing stigmata like St. Francis, could remind the poet of the saintly founder of the order. There is a “cult” or, at any rate, an interest in St. Francis running latently through Pound’s work. A lead to be followed.

Q. Ghiande di Luce is a further step along the path marked by your previous Poundian works: from Eikones to Idee fondamentali to Indiscretions. Is there a red thread that binds them?

A. Years pass. One reads and rereads. Times change and times are better studied. You remember less, and you know more. The red thread is there, and it does not consist simply of an exploration of Pound’s interest in the arts, an aspect which I have always pursued, thanks also to my passion for the history of Italian art, but which I had to adapt to what had to be recognized as Pound’s knowledge, research and tastes. Also, his involvement with the culture of the years of Fascism today stimulates me more than 15 years ago. The red thread is probably to be found in my belief in a coherence of and in the poetry of Pound, a poetry that in turn sought its motifs and materials almost day by day, though within the categories and the design that he had set himself. Therefore I have recently realized, more consciously, that that coherence will not be fully revealed (at least to me) without taking into account his American history and American history and history as it happens. Along with the editing of Indiscretions, I believe that Ghiande begins to explore these interweavings, interweavings that involve practices and cultural discourses (connections) sometimes not immediately recognizable.

Q. At what point are Pound studies in Italy, when compared with what is done in the U.S., where there still seems to be a political prejudice and ostracism regarding Pound?

A. Americans have at least three large archives at their fingertips. After the study of the text and sources, some now pursue the line of the history of the text, the variants, the philological aspects. There is no shortage of methodological readings based on the different hermeneutic theories of recent decades, especially since the publication of Hugh Kenner’s The Pound Era in 1971. The history of the relationships between the protagonists of Anglo-Saxon modernism is being explored better (many important correspondences, for example, have been published). New materials emerge, but many documents are still buried. There should be more collaboration and exchange among scholars, also in order to improve individual results. Thre is still much work to be done on Pound, his writing, and his time. There is room for group discussions, exchanges of skills, comparisons, verifications. The problem of ideological prejudice hasn’t gone away, in the United States and Italy (perhaps with different nuances) and has often interfered with the study of the poetry, as well as of the man and intellectual, as it has not interfered in the study of other leading figures of Modernism. Italy, in proportion, can boast of having, in the past and in recent years, given its careful and highly serious and dignified contribution to Pound studies along various perspectives.  But we have an advantage over the Americans, an advantage that we should make better use of: we know Italian, we know our history and our culture better, our classical heritage, our writers. The Italian twentieth century, the Novecento, in which we must also place Pound (at least for the relationships he had with writers and intellectuals, with the editors of magazines, and so on, for his stimulating contribution), needs to be studied and explored. The Americans can’t do that.

Q. To conclude, tell us about your works in progress or in the planning stage....

A. Some small collections of correspondence, I hope. They are fragments of the mosaic that can come to light if we turn over, beyond official history, the canvas of Pound’s long first stay in Italy. And then there’s always the study of the text, also of the “Pound” text.


[1] Pound Ezra. I luoghi della memoria nei «Cantos» (Intervista con Caterina Ricciardi) [Ezra Pound: The Places of Memory in the “Cantos” (Interview with Caterina Ricciardi)], by Luca Gallesi. Studi cattolici, 566 (April 2008): 275-278.

[2] “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” (Emerson, “History,” Essays (London: James Fraser, 1841), p. 4,

[3] ‘beauty is difficult’ sd/ Mr Beardsley” (Canto 74/464). References are to The Cantos of Ezra Pound (New York, New Directions, 1996).

[4] For a New Paideuma,” Criterion 17.67 (Jan. 1938): 205-213 (at 205), rpt. in Selected Prose 1909-1965, ed. William Cookson (1973), p. 284.

[5] “There is the force that falsifies, the force that destroys every clearly delineated symbol, dragging man into a maze of abstract arguments, destroying not one but every religion” (A Visiting Card (1942; Engl. tr. London: Peter Russell, Ltd., 1952), p. 7; Selected Prose 1909-1965, p. 306).

[6] A Visiting Card, p. 24; Selected Prose 1909-1965, p. 322.

[7] “Notes for CXVI I et seq.,” The Cantos, p. 823.

[8] “All ages are contemporaneous.” (The Spirit of Romance (Norfolk, Ct.: New Directions, 1953), p. 8).

[9] “‘THE CONTINUING REVOLUTION’ of the more recent proclamations, is almost a refrain out of Jefferson. . . . the rivoluzione continua of Mussolini is the first revolution occurring simultaneously with the change in material bases of life” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini (London: Stanley Nott, 1935), pp. 28, 127).

[10] Canto 74/449.

[11]“An old nun in hospital had a good deal of trouble in digesting the fact that I wasn’t Christian, no I wasn’t; thank God, I wasn’t a Protestant, but I wasn’t a Catholic either, and I wasn’t a Jew, I believed in a more ancient and classical system with a place for Zeus and Apollo. To which with infinite gentleness, ‘Z’è tutta una religione.’ ‘Oh well it’s all a religion.’” (Jefferson and/or Mussolini, p. 31).

[12] Pound, “Terra italica,” New Review, I.4 (Winter 1931/1932): [386]-389 (at 388).

[13]“l’adoravanto come Sta. Lucia” (in Italian in Pound’s essay “Terra italica”). “‘L’adoravano’ said the sacristan, Bari | ‘come Santa Lucia’ | So it, a stone cupid, had to be stored in the sacristy.” (Canto 105/767).


Caterina Ricciardi Bibliography 1977-2020

by Archie Henderson

This bibliography of Pound-related contributions by Caterina Ricciardi is arranged by decade. Within each decade, entries are grouped by category: Edited Volumes, Criticism, Translations, Reviews, and Interviews. In compiling this bibliography I have drawn on the helpful web page on Ricciardi included in the EPS feature“Italian Scholars and Their Work on Pound.” Thanks also to Massimo Bacigalupo and Walter Baumann for supplying additional details.



The Lost Generation: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pound, Cummings. A cura di Caterina Ricciardi. Napoli: Liguori, 1977.


“La cosmologia della luce nel sincretismo poundiano.” L’esotismo nella letteratura angloamericana. 2. Ed. Elémire Zolla. Roma: Lucarini, 1979. 83-119.



“Cantabile/cantobile: traduzione e poetica del suono in Ezra Pound.” Letterature d’America, Rome, 5.22 (1984): 161-184.

Panis Angelicus: una metafora poundiana.” L’esotismo nella letteratura angloamericana. 3. Ed. Elémire Zolla. Roma: Lucarini, 1982. 59-91.

“Pound e Williams sulla poesia americana.” RSA. Rivista di studi anglo-americani 1 (1981): 192-200.

“Pound traduce Pound: Frammenti del Canto 49 in ‘versione toscana.’” Letterature d’America, Rome, 1.2 (Spring 1980): 67-106.

“Le tentazioni di Calibano: Emanuel Carnevali e il rinascimento poetico americano.” Letterature d’America, Rome, 2.9-10 (Autumn 1981): 173-215. Free online.


“Prove su Pound.” Rev. of Pound, Prove e frammenti (Milano: Guanda, 1981). Il Giornale nuovo (27 settembre 1981). Ricciardi’s strictures about the translation produced a letter from the publisher (Guanda), which appeared in Il Giornale nuovo (3 ottobre 1981), and a second review by Elio Chinol, Il Giornale nuovo (25 ottobre 1981).



Pound, Ezra. Idee fondamentali: «Meridiano di Roma» 1939-1943. A cura di Caterina Ricciardi. [Roma] Lucarini [1991].


EIKONEΣ: Ezra Pound e il Rinascimento. Napoli: Liguori Editore [1991].

“Un’immagine di Piero della Francesca nella mitografia dei Canti Pisani.” Ezra Pound 1972-1992. Ed. Luca Gallesi. Milano: Greco & Greco, 1992. 495-517.

“Piero della Francesca nella poesia di Ezra Pound.” Piero della Francesca nella cultura europea e americana. A cura di Attilio Brilli. Siena: Edimond, 1993. 41-59.



Del Pelo Pardi, Giulio. Revisione dell’antica storia = The revision of ancient history. A cura di Caterina Ricciardi. Rimini: Raffaelli Editore, 2009. Originally published as “Revisione dell’antica storia,” Meridiano di Roma, Oct. 4, 1942. Italian and English translation, by Flavia Sabina Molea, on facing pages. Includes Prefazione: Ezra Pound and Giulio Del Pelo Pardi = Ezra Pound e Giulio Del Pelo Pardi (pp. 6-37).

Ezra Pound. Ghiande di luce. Rimini: Raffaelli, 2006.

Ezra Pound and Roma: Roma Amor. A Roman Album. Roma: Addenda, 2009.

“Mauberley, Hugh Selwyn.” Dizionario dei Personaggi Letterari, fondato da Pietro Fedele. 2. G - O. Torino: UTET, 2003. 1279.

“Nancy Cox McCormack scultrice a Roma, fra eventi artistici e vita sociale (1922-1924).” Le americane: Donne e immagini di donne fra Belle Époque e fascismo. A cura di Daniela Rossini. Roma: Biblink, 2008. 101-134. Free online.

“Pound and Henry James’s ‘Small Boy’ Persona.” Ezra Pound, Language and Persona. Eds. Massimo Bacigalupo and William Pratt. Genoa: Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione Linguistica e Culturale, Università degli Studi di Genova, 2008. 65-77. Free online.

“Tre note su Ezra Pound e Edmondo Rossoni.” Letteratura-Tradizione 42 (2008): 19-24.


Pound, Ezra. Orazio = Horace. A cura di Caterina Ricciardi. Rimini: Raffaelli, 2009English and Italian translation, by Caterina Ricciardi, on facing pages.

Pound, Ezra. Indiscrezioni o Une revue de deux mondes. A cura di Caterina Ricciardi. Con una nota di Mary de Rachewiltz. [Rimini] Raffaelli Editore [2004]. (Quaderni poundiani, 1). A translation with notes, by Ricciardi, of Indiscretions (1923).


Rev. of Ezra Pound, Canti postumiL’indice dei libri del mese 20.4 (2003): 18.


Gallesi, Luca. Pound Ezra. I luoghi della memoria nei “Cantos” (Intervista con Caterina Ricciardi). Studi cattolici 566 (aprile 2008): 275-278. An interview with Ricciardi concerning her book Ezra Pound. Ghiande di luce (2006).



Ezra Pound’s Green World: Nature, Landscape and Language. Eds. Walter Baumann and Caterina Ricciardi. Brighton: Edward Everett Root Publishers, 2019. “Preface,” by Walter Baumann and Caterina Ricciardi, xi-xvii.

I Poeti della Sala Capizucchi: The Poets of the Sala Capizucchi. Eds. Caterina Ricciardi, John Gery, and Massimo Bacigalupo. [New Orleans] UNO Press, 2011. No. 3 in The Ezra Pound Center for Literature Book Series. An anthology collecting poetic homages to Ezra Pound read in a special poetry reading (Sala Capizucchi, Rome) during the 23rd Ezra Pound International Conference, “Roma Amor: Pound, Love and Rome” (Rome: 30 June-4 July 2009). Bilingual ed. Contents include three poems by Maria Clelia Cardona, “Le bende,” “L'ibisco,” and “Circe,” trans. into English as “Bandages,” “The Hibiscus,” and “Circe” by Caterina Ricciardi and John Gery; a poem by Pier Paolo Pasolini, “Versi prima fatici e poi enfatici,” trans. into English as “Lines Phatic Then Emphatic” by Caterina Ricciardi and John Gery; and five poems by Tony Lopez, “A Path Marked with Breadcrumbs,” “Look at the Screen,” “On Tuesday,” “When You Wish…,” and “From Darwin,” trans. into Italian as “Un sentiero segnato da molliche di pane,” “Guarda lo schermo,” “Di martedì,” “Quando vuoi...,” and “Da Darwin” by Caterina Ricciardi.

Roma/Amor: Ezra Pound, Rome, and Love. Eds. William Pratt and Caterina Ricciardi. New York: AMS Press, 2013. “Preface,” by William Pratt and Caterina Ricciardi, pp. [vii]-ix.


“Archives.” Ezra Pound in Context. Ed. Ira B. Nadel. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. 148-158.

“Botticelli’s Mystical Nativity and the Isle of Capri in W. B. Yeats’s A Vision.” Ezra Pound and Modernism: The Irish Factor. Eds. Walter Baumann and William Pratt. Brighton: Edward Everett Root Publishers, 2017. 171-182.

“Canto 5.” Readings in the Cantos, Vol. 1. Ed. Richard Parker. Clemson: Clemson UP; Liverpool UP, 2018. 73-84.

“Ezra Pound and the Foundation of the Centro Italiano di Studi Americani: 1936.” Roma/Amor: Ezra Pound, Rome, and Love. Eds. William Pratt and Caterina Ricciardi. New York: AMS Press, 2013. 95-108.

“Piero Sanavio: estri, provocazioni, letture di un americanista amico.” Alias domenica - Supplemento settimanale de “Il Manifesto” (27 Jan. 2019). A remembrance of Piero Sanavìo (1930-2019).

“Remembering Burton Hatlen in Rome.” Paideuma 40 (2013): 46-48.


Booth, Marcella Spann. La pergola. [S.l.]: Addenda, 2012. English text (pp. 19-30) and Italian translation by Caterina Ricciardi (pp. 3-15).

Pound, Ezra. Musicians, God help ’em = Musicisti, che Dio li aiuti. [S.l.]: Addenda, 2010. English text (pp. 5-11) and Italian translation by Caterina Ricciardi (pp. 15-22).


“Un contributo sul giovane Pound stregato dalla poesia trobadorica.” Rev. of Roberta Capelli, Carte provenzali. Ezra Pound e la cultura trobadorica (1905-1915)Alias domenica 3.40 (6 Oct. 2013): 4. Free online and here.

“Dessì, cinese con Pound.” Rev. of a preview of an exhibition of Gianni Dessì’s works at the Diagonale bookshop in via dei Chiavari, Rome. Alias domenica (28 Oct. 2018).

“Economia amorosa di una figlia di Ulisse.” Rev. of Mary de Rachewiltz, L’economia amorosaAlias domenica(12 Jan. 2020): 5.

“Ezra in manicomio, Hilda prigioniera di poesia e desiderio.” Rev. of Fine al tormento - Ricordando Ezra Pound (a translation of H.D., End to Torment: A Memoir of Ezra Pound). Alias domenica 3.40 (6 Oct. 2013): 4. Free online and here.

“Giallo come un ideogramma cinese.” Alias domenica (11 Nov. 2019). On the occasion of the opening of an exhibition of Gianni Dessì’s works at the Diagonale bookshop in via dei Chiavari, Rome.

“Ingratitudine di Joyce verso Pound, l’amico degli anni indigenti.” Rev. of Pound, Lettere a James JoyceAlias domenica (27 Oct. 2019).

“Istantanee e voci sui soggiorni inglesi-americani in Liguria.” Alias domenica 7.47 (3 Dec. 2017): 6. Rev. of Massimo Bacigalupo, Angloliguria: da Byron a Hemingway.

“Nessuno tocchi mio padre.” Rev. of Alessandro Rivali, Ho cercato di scrivere Paradiso. Ezra Pound nelle parole della figlia: conversazioni con Mary de RachewiltzAlias domenica 8.40 (14 Oct. 2018): 5.

“Pound, finestre incandescenti per la rinascita americana.” Rev. of Pound, Dal naufragio di Europa. Scritti scelti 1909-1965, a cura di William Cookson, introduzione di Giorgio Agamben, traduzione di Valentina Paradisi. Alias domenica (9 Oct. 2016).

“Rinascimento tra i gangster.” Rev. of Pound, XXX Cantos, ed. Massimo Bacigalupo. Alias domenica 2.49 (9 Dec. 2012): 1.



“Cantos 72-73.” Readings in the Cantos. Volume 2. Edited by Richard Parker. Clemson, SC: Clemson UP, forthcoming (2020).

“Ezra Pound. L'ultimo dei Romantici?” In: Ricciardi, Novecento poetico americano. Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, forthcoming (2020?). A volume in the series Biblioteca di Studi Americani.