Eighty percent of more of this Canto is all about banking and finance (again). It opens up thusly:

And if money be rented
Who shd pay rent on that money?

But instead of using this to jump off into a philosophical or historical poetics, he seems to just dropping historical names, places, and dates (Martin Van Buren, the Horn, 1926) without pulling it all together into a coherent and enjoyable whole.

Fortunately, he makes it all worthwhile with his final, gorgeous stanza.

Falling Mars in the air
bough to bough, to the stone bench
where was an ox in smith’s sling hoisted for shoeing
where was spire-top a-level the grass yard
Then towers, high over chateau –
Fell with stroke after stroke, jet avenger
bent, rolled, severed and then swallowed limb after limb
Hauled off the but of that carcass, 20 feet up a tree trunk,
Here three ants have killed a great worm. There
Mars in the air, fell, flew.
Employed, past tense; at the Lido, Venezia
an old man with a basket of stones,
that was, said the elderly lady, when the beach costumes
were longer,
and if the wind was, the old man placed a stone.

One thought on “Ezra Pound: Canto XLVIII

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