Article Index







From 1760 to 1826 two civilised men lived and to a considerable extent reigned in America. They did not feel themselves isolated phenomena. They were not by any means shrunk into a clique or dependent on mutual admiration, or on clique estimation. They both wrote an excellent prose which has not, so far as I know, been surpassed in our fatherland, though Henry James had a style of his own (narrative) which was fit for a different purpose.  [...]

I am not offering proof, because full proof will not go onto ten pages. I am offering indications, which the reader can follow for himself, but which will I think lead to perception:

That Adams and Jefferson exist in a full world. They are NOT a province of England. The letters abound in consciousness of Europe, that is of France, Holland, Spain, Russia, Italy. The truly appalling suburbanism that set in after the civil war, partly from our exhaustion, partly from the oedematous bulging of the British Empire, our relapse into cerebral tutelage, our suburbanism did not afflict Adams and Jefferson. Not only were they level and (with emphasis) CONTEMPORARY with the best minds of Europe but they entered into the making of that mind. Chateaubriand did not come to Philadelphia to lecture, he came to learn. 

Ezra Pound. “The Jefferson-Adams Letters as a Shrine and a Monument.” SP 147-8, 156.



CANTO XXXI [Thomas Jefferson]

CANTO XXXII [John Adams and Thomas Jefferson]

CANTO L [The American revolution vis-à-vis the French and Napoleon]








canto 33 title page

Ezra Pound and Dorothy Pound. Canto XXXIII. In Shakespear’s Pound: Illuminated Cantos

Nacogdoches, TX: LaNana Creek Press, [Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing], 1999.

Photo reproduction courtesy of Archie Henderson.









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




Ten Eyck, David. Pound’s Adams Cantos. London: Bloomsbury 2014.


Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound and Senator Bronson Cutting: A Political Correspondence 1930-1935. Eds. E. P. Walkiewicz and Hugh Witemeyer. Albuquerque: UP of New Mexico, 1995.


Beinecke Library, Olga Rudge Papers YCAL 54, Series I. Box no/ Folder no.



From Richard Johns [Pagany], 5 March 1931

YCAL 43, 39/1645; YCAL 54, 10/256

Is there no chance that a Canto might come my way? I can’t make great promises of great reward, I can promise the life of Pagany until I’m tired to the point of exhaustion, and surprising in this year and city, I find myself still healthy.


To Olga Rudge, 12 March [1931]

YCAL 54, 10/254

Ziao cara::

One damn thing after a nuther. He wrote 12 pages to Mr Harding after receiving a proper note from Mr H//

That tuk time. Then he was invited to symposiate re New Masses etc.etc. the Charkov congress of etc/ of assembled plenum authors

and to finish Chap. X. of Marx an to finish his nex thass that.


To Olga Rudge, [18 March 1931]

YCAL 54, 10/255


he hasn’t got a letter from her today


He has got about a page out of the Cong[ressional]. Rec[ord].... but that don’t etc…..


To Olga Rudge [19 March 1931]

YCAL 54, 10/255


Orl right, he forgave her.


He has retired once again to Mr. Jfrsn’s corryspondence.


To Olga Rudge, 20 March [1931]

YCAL 54, 10/255



Handed on Brookhart’s speech to Sen. Brown and also attempted to initiate American Revolution 


To Senator Bronson Cutting, 20 March 1931

L/BC 54-5

To Sen. Cutting

Thanks for Cong. Rec. of 28 ult.

Brookhart’s speech against Meyer seems to me very important. Have long thought Wilson wrecked the govt. but lacked detailed information. There is no reason why the Federal Reserve Board shd. be a private instrument of the executive.

Woodrow made. The president appoints the board and the board appoints the president (nominating, I take it; the candidates of both parties). That effectively bitches the Jeffersonian system. Destroys balance between execut. judic. and legislature.

If the papers report you correctly, you have said the constitution etc// Introduction of the fourth power: money, banks agan. [?] labor obviously upsets the original balance of the three other powers. Fed. Res. Board certainly more powerful than, let us say; the cabinet.

There is NO reason why the board shd. not be

  1. elective
  2. distributed either to geographic sections of the country


  3. among the various major interests, say corn, cotton, cattle, manufacturies as well so that the cd. put the screws on industries that treated men too rough, and onto the child labour states.
  4. There is no reason why the board shd. not sit as a committee of the senate.
  5. or that tribunes of people shd. not be present at the board meeting to report AT ONCE all attempts at malfeasance to congress.
  6. No reason why the board (in part or as a whole) shd. not be removable at the pleasure of congress. NOT for crime, and by impeachment but simply because their policy was unsatisfactory in a given case. This wd. supply your (? as reported in N.Y. World) idea of something like responsibility of European cabinets, and quick effect of general disapproval.

I dont mean that all these changes can be made, but a selection from them cd. be applied.

Brookhart shd. be made to see that his idea of nationalizing railroad or any single industry is naif by comparison. (all the supernumerary bureaucracy; red tape etc.) ineffective UNTIL you have democratized the credit control, and unnecessary when you have. (mere audit wd. [squeeze and create & chg. efficiency?]


To Olga Rudge, 22 March [1931]

YCAL 54, 10/256; AC 18


He has ordered his sleepink kar. As she has s’much to do, she do somfink more an’ send him back her carbon of Canto 32. “The revolution” said Mr Adams. 

He encs/ the remplacant. and they all better git aht ter woik. as acc Mr Johns’ encd.

Not that 33 is prob. in order. How the HELL can he be sposed to condencentrate ALL Mssrs Marx/Adams/T/J/etc. i[f] he is expected to fix his VOLITION etc/etc.etc/

Yeow, yeow yeow. Wuzz.


How does she XXXpect he is going to get thru the fag of typing XXXIII is he spends the rest of the morning writing letters??????


To Olga Rudge, 22 March 1931, 7.30 pm

YCAL 54, 10/256



other nooz///

have had time to read Bill Wm’z 28 page eulogy of cantos.

Sympozeeum wants ten pages/ Bill wants to know etc/ what to be done with rest etc. Dunno if he wants copy back at once. if not I may bring it to Parig. or send it you to send to Bill. an thass that. an itz time fer him to EAT.

ziao amure

he lugged her copy of 33 round to postha earlier in the pom. but it aint raccd/ cause fiesta.


To Olga Rudge, 27 March 1931

YCAL 54, 10/256


Canto 32 recd, graZ.


He is now goin’ out to send orf his mss/ to Mr Johns the distgt. edtr.


6 April – 22 May 1931 – research trip to Paris.

Pound is reading at the Bibliothèque nationale


To Dorothy Pound, 16 April 1931 

AC 19

I haven’t yet seen what there is in the Bib. Nat. Americana (Franklin-Adams etc). But will finish up as soon as I can without bustin’ a gut.


To Dorothy Pound, 28 April 1931 

Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III; AC 19

M-ao =

Had swat at J. Adams in Bib. nat. but the “woiks” wd take 50 days at 100 pages per. diem.

must invent some skimmier method.


To Dorothy Pound, 3 May 1931 

Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III; AC 19

Have done a good deal of Adams - short of tryin’ to read it word for word.


From Richard Johns [Pagany], 4 May 1931

YCAL 43, 39/1645

Today received your three Cantos which much please me. They will open the July number.


Cantos XXXI-XXXIII were published in Pagany II.3 July-September 1931.


To Dorothy Pound, 10 September [1931]

Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III

3 cantos in Pagany. with only a few misprints.  & a few lost commas.








Fed banks 


  1. Cantrell, Carol H. and Ward Swinson. “Cantos LII-LXXI: Pound’s Textbook for Princes.”Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 17.2-3 (1988): 111-44. Print.
  2. Chace, William M. “The Canto as Cento: A Reading of Canto XXXIII.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 1 (1972): 89-100. 

  3. Hesse, Eva. “New Light on Old Problems: ‘Litterae nihil sanantes’ in Cantos XXXIII/161 and XCVI/795.” Paideuma 7.1-2 (Spring and Fall 1978): 182-83. 

  4. Kappel, A. J. “The Reading and Writing of a Modern Paradiso: Ezra Pound and the Books of Paradise.” Twentieth Century Literature 27.3 (1981): 223-246. 

  5. Redman, Tim. "An Epic Is a Hypertext Containing Poetry. Eleven New Cantos 31-40." A Poem Containing History. Textual Studies in The Cantos. Ed. Lawrence S. Rainey. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997. 125-38. 

  6. Steven, Mark. “Ezra Pound and Mr Marx, Karl.” A Companion to Ezra Pound’s Economics. Eds. Ralf Lüfter and Roxana Preda. Nordhausen: Traugott Bautz, 2019. 235-54.

  7. Steven, Mark. “Reading Capital, Writing History: Pound’s Marx.” Modernism/modernity 24.4 (November 2017): 771-790. Free online.



  1. Cookson, William. “XXXI-XXXIV. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams – John Quincy Adams.” A Guide to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Anvil, 2009. 47-8. 
  2. Coyle, Michael. “The Prose of the Pagany Cantos of 1931.” Ezra Pound, Popular Genres, and the Discourse of Culture. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1995. 99-113.
  3. Davis, Earle. Vision Fugitive: Ezra Pound and Economics. Lawrence KS.: UP of Kansas, 1968. 124-5.
  4. De Rachewiltz, Mary and Maria Ardizzone. “Commento: XXXIII.” Ezra Pound I Cantos. A cura di Mary de Rachewiltz. [Bilingual English-Italian edition]. Milano: Mondadori, 1985. 1522-3. 
  5. Fang, Achilles. “Materials for the Study of Pound’s Cantos.” 4 vols. Diss. Harvard U, 1958. Vol I: 51-2.
  6. Furia, Philip. Pound's Cantos Declassified.  University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1984. 
  7. Ickstadt, Heinz and Eva Hesse. “Anmerkungen und Kommentar: Canto XXXIII.” Ezra Pound. Die Cantos. Tr. by Eva Hesse and Manfred Pfister. Eds. Manfred Pfister and Heinz Ickstadt. Zurich: Arche Literatur Verlag, 2013. 1241-3.
  8. Makin, Peter. “Politics and Mobility: Cantos XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII.” Pound’s Cantos. London: Allen & Unwin, 174-78. 
  9. Moody, David. Ezra Pound: Poet. Vol. II: The Epic Years 1921-1939. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. 163-4.
  10. Pearlman, Daniel. The Barb of Time: On the Unity of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1969. 137-51. 
  11. Surette, L. A Light from Eleusis. A Study of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1979. [Section: 135-37.]
  12. Ten Eyck, David. Ezra Pound’s Adams Cantos. London: Bloomsbury, 2012.
  13. Terrell, Carroll F. “Canto XXXIII.” A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Berkeley: California UP, 1993. 129-32. 
  14. Wilhelm, J. J. Ezra Pound The Tragic Years. 1925-1972. University Park: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1994. 99.



  1. Guidi, Paolo. “Canto 33.” Etching. 14 November 2012. Free online.
  2. “XXXIII.” A Canto a Day. Blog. 15 March 2009. Free online.
  3. Sellar, Gordon. “Blogging Pound's The Cantos: Canto XXXI-XXXIII.”, 6 August 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2015. Free online.


Cantos LII - LXXI

confucius adams 2