Ezra Pound: Canto XV

The Fifteenth Canto continues in that same profane, jeremiadic style now associated with Ginsberg that we saw in the previous Canto.

The fragmented, angry lines are filled with images of the body in decline (“Infinite pus flakes, scabs of a lasting pox“). Again, the target is the financial, best expressed by the line crying “the beast with a hundred legs, USURA” (I take “USURA” to be a reference to “usury”).

This Canto does a better job of bringing the “traditional” Poundian form to than the last one. The language is more erudite and reference laden, and even at its most vulgar, remains more measured and does not sacrifice aesthetics for anger (nor did Ginsberg, by the way – in case my words might be interpreted that way).

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