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The Cantos

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571219438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571219438
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 3.9 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,752,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The Cantos of Ezra Pound provide some of the most important and influential poetry of the twentieth century, arguably changing the course of English poetry forever.

About the Author

Ezra Pound was born in 1885 in Hailey, Idaho. He came to Europe in 1898 and settled in London, where he was to meet Yeats, Eliot, Ford, Hulme and Gaudier-Brzeska. In 1920 he moved to Paris, and later to Rapallo. His acquaintances by now included Joyce, Hemingway, Brancusi, Picabia, Cocteau, Antheil and C. H. Douglas. During the Second World War he broadcast over Rome Radio - for which, eventually, he was tried for treason in Washington. He was committed to a hospital for the insane, where he was held for thirteen years. He was released in 1958 and returned to Italy, dying in Venice in 1972. His main publications include The Cantos (I-CXVII), Collected Shorter Poems, Translations, The Confucian Odes, Literary Essays, Guide to Kulchur, Selected Prose and ABC of Reading.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How can you be critical about an opus which was so many decades in the writing and whose themes and methods changed between the slabs which were published piece by piece? Starting in the middle of Homer's Odssey and moving through Ovidian metamorphosis through several themes to the Russian Revolution, dropping in at the Italian Quattracento (and Lucrezia Borgia - `Madame Matter') as well as on his old pal Baldy Bacon en route (not to mention the Sigismondo cantos). He even brings in his granddad who `sweat blood' put to put that railroad... We follow the chapters on Jefferson `Nuovo Mundo' and even the Adams cantos put side by side with the Chinese history cantos. On the down side we read the fascism of the Italian Cantos, with a skull in a North African desert crying `Alamein! We will return!', and old Adolf `furious from perception'. On the other hand, we read the quiet reflections from Piza prisoner camp, follow American history intermingled with the Shu King, Confucius with modern life; and after the `rock drill', the 'thrones' showing flashes of saintly acts (eg del Mar)with flashes of the inferno. Finally, sad fragments from his depressed reflections in later life, the No-Khi wind ceremony. What can we make of this jumble of archaic snatchings and even hieroglyphics? Pound's need to change society, to battle against usury and to take example from those who lived the right way - Confucius, the Byzantines and the Sacred Edict of K'ung Hui. And to change ourselves. `Pull down thy vanity' is not the only beautiful introspective line in this maze of quotations.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Had TS Eliot not lived, Ezra Pound would be out-and-out the greatest poet of the 20th Century. But without Pound's input on The Wasteland, it might not have put Eliot there in the first place. The Cantos are Pound's masterpiece. For anyone who is anyone interested in poetry, this is a book to own, read and re-read in order to absorb the beauty and diversity and subtlety of a true master.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone who cares for twentieth century poetry must come to terms with Pound's Cantos and should do so at first hand. He published it in instalments over many years and never finished it so successive editions contain more and more of it. This is now surely the final edition and - barring detailed work on the text - should stand as definitive. The gap in the Cantos, namely the two wartime ones 72 and 73, written in Italian and highly provocative in their content, was left for years but these two have now been quietly slipped into their correct place. The Drafts and Fragments of the final Cantos are in as good a state as they ever likely to be. The names of politicians suppressed in the Hell Cantos have not yet been restored but can be supplied from the commentaries.

Faber have done Pound proud and this production is reminiscent of their palmiest days with handsome binding including a picture of Pound and an equally handsome dustjacket in the old and much loved style of Berthold Wolpe.

What of the poem itself? Well it is unfinished, and, I think, a failure as a whole. But there are many splendid passages, some long and some, as Graham Hough said long ago, 'the merest splinters'. You need to decide for yourself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion, probably the best book of poetry ever. This is craftsmanship; this is the master at work. I abhor antisemitism, but despite Pound's ant--antisemitism, there is none in this great opus. He has undergone a neglect at the moment which is a shame because he was one of the best. I look in vain on book shop shelves for even a small edition of his selected Cantos. If you are serious about poetry buy this book.
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