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POUND, YEATS, REMORSE – Pound’s Canto CXVI and Yeats’ “Man and the Echo”.

I’ve been dipping into Ezra Pound again, moving from the Selected Poems edited and introduced by Eliot, which I devoured as a sixth former in the late sixties to the very useful New Selected Poems and Translations edited by Richard Sieburth. The selection from The Cantos in the latter brought me to Canto CXVI, which excited me enormously in the early seventies. I seem to remember seeing it cited as showing that Pound finally “got it” in the sense of feeling remorse at his role as Mussolini’s propagandist in the Second World War. I’m not sure about that, at least … Continue Reading

Pound’s “The Garden”, Eliot’s “Preludes” – elegant superficiality and human depth

I’ve started looking at Pound again after a good many years in which I only read him occasionally and briefly. It all started with rereading Cantos II and IV in connection with some work on translations of Ovid. I found myself as gripped and excited by them as I was in my twenties. For me now, I think, going back to Pound essentially does mean going back the Cantos, and to Cathay.

It wasn’t always so; I didn’t read the Cantos till after I’d graduated and we didn’t “do” Pound at all at university. I came on him as something of … Continue Reading