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Brennen Lukas <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 4 Aug 2003 12:39:35 -0400
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I am certainly surprised that the lines I mused about were written by John
Adams. Even with that altered context, however, my analysis changes very
little. It's a perfect example of how the simple technique of enjambment,
expertly applied, can transform prose (even weighty political prose) to
poetry. It's not just prose with line breaks; Pound has transformed the text
into something new.

Apologies to John Adams, obviously a fine writer all by himself.

Down to one cent,
Brennen Lukas

>     For that two cents you'll get no change. But I must be surprised as
>to hear what a fine poetic ear John Adams had since the lines quoted here
>are from him and not Pound.
>     Now ain't you just a little embarrased to have said that one of our
>founding fathers wrote in "boring socio-political jargon"?
>     "presented in an unique way" - I like that. Maybe that is the reason
>one will ever write anything quite like the Cantos.
>     At least you answered. What happened to the other "Hotmail" persona
>would all eager be ta discuss Pahund, an activity largely foreign to this
> >From: Brennen Lukas <[log in to unmask]>
> >To: [log in to unmask]
> >Subject: Re: Rom. Pound
> >Date: Thu, Jul 31, 2003, 12:22 PM
> >
> > "...Is that despotism
> >      or absolute power...unlimited sovereignty,
> >      is the same in a majority of a popular assembly,
> >      an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto,
> > and a single emperor, equally arbitrary, bloody,
> > and in every respect diabolical. Wherever it has resided
> > has never failed to destroy all records, memorials,
> > all histories which it did not like, and to corrupt
> > those it was cunning enough to preserve....."
> >
> > I really like how the sound of the words sneaks up on me in this
>passage. On
> > the first quick read, the first five lines seem like a boring list of
> > socio-political jargon. But as I stare harder, I see the complex
> > soverignty/assembly/arbitrary; aristocratical/oligarchical/diabolical.
> > oddly positioned ellipse adds the interesting complication of at least
> > unfinished thought.
> >
> > Furthermore, I think the passsage is a thought-provoking statement in
> > philosophical terms, although the phrasing makes it very, very difficult
> > unravel the "message." My interpretation is that that "unlimited
> > sovereignty," or total power, is a terrible thing in all of the many
> > in which it is manifested.  Maybe that isn't very original idea, but
> > certainly presented in a unique way.
> >
> > Just my two (or three) cents,
> > Brennen Lukas
> >
> > http://members.cox.net/blukas/frames_index.html
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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