The Fourteenth Canto is something very new compared to the earlier Cantos – an enraged jeremiad against aspects of the modern age.

The particular aspects are dealing with financial dealings. Knowing what we know now, it is obvious that Pound saw the source of the corruption caused by finance and banking as being connected with Europe’s Jewish community (particularly the Jewish banking family, the Rothschilds).

But reading it while trying to hold off preconceptions, you would not be surprised to be told that the author was Communist or Anarcho-Syndicalist.

In addition, as a jeremiad, this Canto seems to lead in a direct line to Ginsberg’s Howl (though I couldn’t say whether Ginsberg specifically read The Cantos, though he was a well read poet).

Who disliked colloquial language,
Stiff-starched, but soiled, collars
                   circumscribing his legs,
The pimply and hairy skin
                   pushing over the collar’s edge,
Profiteers drinking blood sweetened with s–t,

Please note, it was Pound himself (or at least my edition of him) and not me that wrote “s–t” for “shit.”

One thought on “Ezra Pound: Canto XIV

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