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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
"Amy E. Thomas" <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 18:39:59 -0500
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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I think that Roxana Preda's question and comment on Canto 109 merits
serious thought. Having spent some time recently with "Thrones," I'd say
that Canto 109 *does* seem to me to constitute a satisfying ending.
That's not to say that the Drafts and Fragments don't have their place,
and not to suggest that The Cantos should be made to confirm with
received ideas of closure.  Pound's notion of an epic poem as "periploi"
is too open-ended for this.
        Looking at 109, however, I'm struck by how tight, how "cut" (to use
Davie's term) the writing is, and how the Canto does seem to "come full
circle." All the themes and motifical gestures we've seen throughout
"Thrones" are brought to bear here (Think of even the little key phrases
that keep echoing: "X the mother of Y", the continual frenchifying of
English words, etc.)
         In the interest of space, I won't enumerate all the ways I hear Pound
"coming full circle," but will invite others to, or to dispute. I
should, however, end by pointing out one small way: Pound's "Angliae
amor." Is this the same poet who wrote of "an old bitch gone in the
teeth?" His (let's face it) nostalgia for the best of Anglo-culture
(Coke, Elizabeth, Henry, etc. as factive personalities) shows a kind of
reconciliation that endings often require...
Peter Campion
PS Elizabeth as translator of *Horace,* against whom Pound raged in
Mauberly... and finally translated beautifully after returning to Italy.