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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ezra Pound: A Paradise Lost (Notes for Canto CXX)


Rock formation sculpted by wind erosion, Altiplano, Bolivia:
photo by Thomas Wilken, 2005

I have tried to write Paradise

Do not move
...Let the wind speak
.........that is paradise.

Let the Gods forgive what I
.........have made
Let those I love try to forgive
.........what I have made.

Lightning and lava flows over Eyjafjallajokull: photos by Olivier Vandeginste, Sunday 18 April 2010

Ezra Pound: Notes for Canto CXX, c. 1960


TC said...

Also by EP:

Ezra Pound: As toward a bridge over worlds

Ezra Pound: Farfalla in Tempesta

Ezra Pound: Separation on the River Kiang

Ezra Pound: Taking Leave of a Friend

Ezra Pound: The black panther lies under his rose-tree

Ezra Pound: The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter

Anonymous said...

Reading these "breaking through the noise", plain but bold words, makes me want to speak less but more clearly -- to make what I say count, to digress less. The Bolivian stone paired with its Icelandic prototype images is quite a feat of matching, half a world away.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Absolutely wonderful poem, thanks Tom.

TC said...

In turning the small quiet remaining "voice" of the poem over to the the elements, Pound almost seems to be passing on to nature -- always his spiritual source, though sometimes he spoke of it as gods and goddesses -- the keys to his kingdom. After this divestment came silence.

The wind speaking through the rock of the Altiplano, the earth speaking through the great volcanic rift in Iceland, these expressions of natural energy and force seemed to echo, perhaps, some of the poet's lost and unspoken "words".

As to the apparent admission of error, I think all that's revealed is that Pound was all along as conscious as almost everyone else of how close his whole great poem always came to disintegrating into chaos. But there are kinds of order within kinds of apparent disorder, maybe. This would be the theme of Robert Duncan, in exchanging thoughts with EP's onetime classmate and sweetheart H.D.:

Ezra Pound's Hodge-Podge (Robert Duncan to H.D.)