>From: Maria Anna Calamia <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Pound and Cavalcanti
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 21:18:52 -1000
>What thou lovest well remains,
> the rest is dross
>What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
>What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
>Whose world, or mine or theirs
> or is it of none?
>Someone told me that the line "What thou lovest well remains,
> the rest is dross"
>comes from a Cavalcanti poem. Does anyone know which one or where I can find
The most famous of all the Cavalcanti songs (at least as far as
we Poundites are concerned): the Canzone "Donna Mi Priegha."
See THE TRANSLATIONS OF E.P. (New Directions edition), top of p. 134.
Also translated as part of the Cantos, Canto XXXVI.
"Where memory liveth,
it takes its state
Formed like a diafan from light on shade
Which shadow cometh of Mars and remaineth
Created, having a name sensate,
Custom of the soul,
will from the heart;
Beneath T.S. Eliot's bland exterior glows the unwavering conviction that
the poet, in morning coat or drinking tea, possesses chiefly a more
honest mind than most minds, yielding him at the end of rigorous ardors an
intuition of which one aspect, as it was for Conrad's Kurtz, is horror.
And the poet walks through the streets of London or Boston bearing this
intermittent knowledge. --- Hugh Kenner, THE INVISIBLE POET: T. S. ELIOT.