403px Anonymous Ming Chengzu


LVII.  Flight of Kien Ouen Ti

Ezra Pound The Cantos New York: New Directions, 1998. 255


Pound’s concern, like that of the Confucian historians, is with the increasing corruption of government under Ming. There is the key statement, ‘HONG VOU restored Imperial order/ yet now came again eunuchs, taozers and hochang.’ There was famine, and wasteful expenditure on armaments–a thousand primitive tanks that ‘were never brought into action’; there was ‘a rebellion of eunuchs’; there were heavy taxes, and a young emperor’s chief eunuch was found to have salted away ‘gold bars 240 thousand… / 15 million in money / 5 million bars silver’, and so forth. The next emperor ‘was a writer of verses/ in fact he said he wd/ like to resign; and in his time another court favourite was found to have hoarded up gold and silver […]. Private greed and luxury were at the heart of the later Ming government, and oppression and neglect of the people. 

Under the last Ming emperor, with decadence at court and disorder in the state, the hordes on the northern borders were uniting under the Manchu and driving back the Ming armies.

David Moody, Ezra Pound: Poet II: 280-1.





 Yu Qian by Gu Jianlong


Gilonis, Harry. “Canto 57.” Readings in the Cantos. Ed. Richard Parker. Vol.2. Clemson: Clemson UP, 2022. 95-110.



  1. Cookson, William. “Ming Continued – the ousting and flight of Emperor Kien Ouen Ti.” A Guide to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Anvil, 2009. 87-8.
  2. De Rachewiltz, Mary and Maria Ardizzone. “Commento: LVII.” Ezra Pound. I Cantos. A cura di Mary de Rachewiltz. [Bilingual English-Italian edition]. Milano: Mondadori, 1985. 1547.
  3. Fang, Achilles. “Materials for the Study of Pound’s Cantos.” 4 vols. Diss. Harvard U, 1958. Vol I: 145-9.
  4. Ickstadt, Heinz and Eva Hesse. “Anmerkungen und Kommentar: Canto LVII.” Ezra Pound. Die Cantos. Tr. by Eva Hesse and Manfred Pfister. 1284-5. 
  5. Moody, David A. Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man and His Work. II: The Epic Years 1921-1939. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 280-1.
  6. Nolde, John. Blossoms from the East. The China Cantos of Ezra Pound. Orono: National Poetry Foundation 1983. 303-22.
  7. Terrell, Carroll F. “Canto LVII.” In Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound.” Berkeley: U of California P., 1980. I: 244-6.



  1. Guidi, Paolo. “Canto LVII.” Diamond Point intaglio, selective hard ground, lift, etch, aquatint, copperplate. Printed on Arches 88 paper., 23 April 2014. Free online.
  2. Sellar, Gordon. “Canto LVI and LVII.” Part 43 of 56 in the series Blogging Ezra Pound’s The Cantos., June 12, 2013. Free online
  3. Sellar, Gordon. “More on Canto LVII and Canto LVIII.” Part 44 of 56 in the series Blogging Ezra Pound’s The Cantos., 30 December 2016. Free online.


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