Article Index






Doges Palace in Venice1


Ruskin, in The Stones of Venice which Pound would surely have known, says that the Doge’s palace was the focal building of Venetian culture as the Parthenon was of Athens, and that what it expressed was, first, that Venice was no longer governed by its best individual but by an oligarchy, and second that its public policy was determined only by commercial self-interest with religion playing no part. For those reasons Renaissance Venice, in Ruskin’s view, lost its creative energy around 1423 when the new council hall was first used, and thereafter fell into luxury and decadence. Pound’s vision of the palace with the new hall appearing to hang “baseless” in the dawn mist could accord with that, if one reads the image as not just a fine aesthetic effect after Turner, but as declaring that the culture and government of Venice had no ground under it, no virtú, no individual genius, and no enlightened vision.

David Moody. Ezra Pound: Poet. The Epic Years 1921-1939. 86.



CANTO XVII [the Venice of dreams, poetry and imagination]

CANTO XXVI [city life, history and festivities in Venice]

CANTO XXXV [Venice and commerce]

CANTO XLV [art patronage and usury]










Ezra Pound reading a part of canto XXV in Venice, 1970-71.
Penn Sound.





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David Moody. Introduction to Canto XXV. Paul Cunningham reading the canto. Video clip on ucreate.

A Reading of The Cantos of Ezra Pound. II. Cantos of the 1920s.

Edinburgh University, 50 George Square, 5 October 2017.

Photos courtesy of Svetlana Ehtee, October 2017









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Canto XXV in A Draft of the Cantos 17-27
London: John Rodker, 1928.
Illumination by Gladys Hynes. 

Canto XXV in A Draft of XXX Cantos. 
Paris: Hours Press, 1930. 
Capitals by Dorothy Pound.

Note: The above images are not to scale. The 1928 edition is a folio, whereas the 1930 one is pocket-size.









Correspondence by Ezra Pound: (c) Mary de Rachewiltz and the Estate of Omar S. Pound. Reproduced by permission.




Moody, David. Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man and His Work. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007-2015. Volume II: The Epic Years 1921-1939. 2014.


Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound to His Parents. Letters 1895-1929. Eds. Mary de Rachewiltz, A David Moody and Joanna Moody. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010.



To Olga Rudge, April 1926

EPP 68

“In April he wrote that he had nine cantos more or less finished–they would have been 17-to 25–‘but they don’t make a vollum’. He went on, ‘She suggest a nice simple and continuous subjeck of UNIVERSAL INTEREST, to run from 26 to 33’ which would imply he had it in mind to match the first major division of Dante’s one hundred cantos.”



To Homer Pound, 3 April, 1927

L/HP 623

Dear Dad:


Rodker is preparing to print Canti XVII-XXVI; and has the mss. for nine of them [17 to 25] in hand. I suppose I get another one done by August, or sometime.


To Homer Pound, 10 April, 1927

L/HP 623

Dear Dad


Suppose if I got started on another canto, or hadn’t forgotten all the moozik I learned last summer I might feel better. At present I’m feeling inactive.


To Dorothy Pound, 4 June 1927, Venice

Lilly Library Pound Mss. III Box 1



Am making 1st draft of canto XXVI.



To Homer Pound, 19 August 1928

L/HP 666

Dear Dad:


Have signed title pages for XVII-XXVII, suppose they will get bound sometime. etc. [...]

Nancy Cunard has taken over Bill B’s printing press, also wants to continue printing. Expecting our illustratess or capitalistress in a week or so. [Gladys Hines].









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  1. Alexander, Michael. “Images of Venice in the Poetry of Ezra Pound.” Ezra Pound a Venezia. Ed. Rosella Mamoli Zorzi. Florence: Leo Olshki, 1985. 171-79.
  2. Casillo, Robert. “Ruskin, Pound, and the Fate of Venetian Art.” Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies I.1 (Part 2) (Spring 1988): 89-109.
  3. Casillo, Robert. “The Meaning of Venetian History in Ruskin and Pound.” U of Toronto Quarterly 55.3 (Spring 1986): 235-260. First page.
  4. Gery, John. “Canto 25.” Readings in the Cantos. Ed. Richard Parker. Clemson: Clemson UP, 2018. 213-26.
  5. Mamoli Zorzi, Rosella. “Il rapporto di Pound con le arti visive a Venezia” [Pound’s relationship to the Visual Arts in Venice]. Ezra Pound a Venezia. Firenze: Leo Olschki, 1985. 157-170.
  6. Ricciardi, Caterina. “Il Palazzo Ducale del Doge Mocenigo.” Ghiande di Luce. Rimini: Raffaeli, 2006. 79-98.
  7. Roessel, David. “‘Or Perhaps Sulpicia’: Pound and a Roman Poetess.” Paideuma 19.1-2 (Spring-Fall 1990): 125-135.



  1. Bacigalupo, Massimo. “Annotazioni XXV.” Ezra Pound XXX Cantos. Parma: Ugo Guanda, 2012. 349. 
  2. Barnes, David. “Power and Politics in Cantos XXV and XXVI.” The Venice Myth: Culture, Literature, Politics, 1800 to the Present. New York: Routledge, 2014. 129-136.
  3. Brooker, Peter.  A Student’s Guide to The Selected Poems of Ezra Pound. London: Faber, 1979. 269—71.
  4. Cookson, William. “Venice.” A Guide to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Anvil, 2001. 40-41.
  5. Coyle, Michael. Ezra Pound, Popular Genres, and the Discourse of Culture. University Park PA: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1995. 100, 184.
  6. Davenport, Guy. “Venice.” In Cities on Hills. A Study of I-XXX of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. Epping: Bowker 1983. 225-30.
  7. Dasenbrock, Reed Way. “Pound and the Visual Arts.” The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound. Ed. Ira Nadel. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. 230-32. 
  8. De Rachewiltz, Mary and Maria Ardizzone. “Commento: XXV-XXVI [Venice].” Ezra Pound I Cantos. A cura di Mary de Rachewiltz. [Bilingual English-Italian edition]. Milano: Mondadori, 1985. 1517-18.
  9. Dekker, George. Sailing after Knowledge: the Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Routledge. 31-35. 
  10. Fang, Achilles. “Materials for the Study of Pound’s Cantos.” 4 vols. Diss. Harvard U, 1958. Vol I: 45.
  11. Flory, Wendy. Ezra Pound and The Cantos: A Record of Struggle. New Haven: Yale UP, 1980. 124, 130, 138-39.
  12. Froula, Christine. “Canto XXV.” In A Guide to Ezra Pound’s Selected Poems. New York: New Directions, 1983. 157-59. 
  13. Furia, Philip. Pound’s Cantos Declassified. University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1984. 35-38.
  14. Gery, John. “Venice.” Ezra Pound in Context. Ed. Ira Nadel. Cambridge: Cambridge UP,  2010. 227.
  15. Hesse, Eva. “Introduction.” New Approaches to Ezra Pound. Ed. Eva Hesse. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1969. 24-25, 30-31.
  16. Ickstadt, Heinz and Eva Hesse. “Anmerkungen und Kommentar: Canto XXV.” Ezra Pound. Die Cantos. Tr. by Eva Hesse and Manfred Pfister. Eds. Manfred Pfister and Heinz Ickstadt. Zurich: Arche Literatur Verlag, 2013. 1231-32.
  17. Kayman, Martin. The Modernism of Ezra Pound. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1986. 113-14.
  18. Kenner, Hugh. The Pound Era. London: Faber, 1972. 307-308. 
  19. Libera, Sharon Mayer. “Casting His Gods Back into the NOUS: Two Neoplationists and The Cantos of Ezra Pound.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 2.3 (1973): 359. 
  20. Liebregts, Peter. “Canto XXV and the NOUS.” Ezra Pound and Neoplatonism. Madison: Farleigh Dickinson, 2004. 191-99.
  21. Makin, Peter. “Cantos XXI and XXV.” In Pound’s Cantos. London: Allen & Unwin, 1985. 158-62.
  22. Mamoli Zorzi, Rosella, et all. In Venice and in the Veneto with Ezra Pound. Venice: Supernova, 2007. 33-35.
  23. Moody, David. Ezra Pound: Poet. Vol. II: The Epic Years 1921-1939. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. 86-87.
  24. Nassar, Eugene Paul. The Cantos of Ezra Pound: the Lyric Mode. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP. 44-46, 68, 75, 98, 120.
  25. Nicholls, Peter. Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing; A Study of ‘The Cantos’. London, 1984. 44-45.
  26. Oderman, Kevin. Ezra Pound and the Erotic Medium. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1986.  71-91.
  27. Pearlman, Daniel D. The Barb of Time. On the Unity of Ezra Pound's Cantos. New York: Oxford UP, 1969. 72, 108.
  28. Ricciardi, Caterina. Eikones. Ezra Pound e il Rinascimento. Napoli : Liguori Editore, 1991. 217-223.
  29. Scappetone, Jennifer. Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice. New York: Columbia, 2014. 241-43.
  30. Tanner, Tony. Venice Desired. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard UP. 323-24.
  31. Ten Eyck, David. Ezra Pound’s Adams Cantos. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. 39-41.
  32. Terrell, Carroll F. “Canto XXV.” A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Berkeley: California UP, 1993. 99-102.



  1. “Canto XXV.” A Canto a Day. Blog, 19 February 2009. Accessed 11 April 2018. Free online
  2. Guidi, Paolo. “Canto XXV.” The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Etching series. 8 October 2012. Accessed 11 April 2018. Free online.
  3. Pound, Ezra. Reading of Canto XXV. [Fragment]. An Angle, recorded in Venice, 1970-71. University of Pennsylvania. PennSound
  4. Sellar, Gordon. “Blogging Pound’s The Cantos: Cantos XXV-XXVI.”, 20 June 2012. Web. Accessed 11 April 2018. Free online.


The Fifth Decad

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Cantos LII - LXXI

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