John Singleton Copley Portrait Possibly John Adams 56604 b lg 2


Canto 64 focuses on John Adams’s early professional life, before he dedicated himself to politics full time. Relying on his personal diary and an autobiographical fragment, Pound traces the major events of Adams’s life between 1765 and 1773, following the general political situation, Adams’s cases in court, as well as his social network, observations, and own habits of relaxation and play. While revealing Adams’s perceptions and opinions on the world and people around him, the canto hovers on the two important historical events that impacted his life: The Stamp Act of 1765 and the so-called “Boston Massacre” of 1770. The canto shows that opinions Adams formed and articulated during the first event shaped his actions during the second. Pound also follows Adams’s efforts to be a moral person: be true to his political opinions, avoid the pitfalls of ambition and greed, get control over his own passions and violent temper.



CANTO XXXII – [the revolution was in the minds of the people]

CANTO XXXIII – Adams’s political principles

CANTO LXII – Adams’s youth: The Stamp Act and The Boston Massacre





800px The Battle of Lexington



Derdeyn, LeeAnn. “Cantos 64-66.” Readings in the Cantos. Ed. Richard Parker. Vol.2. Clemson: Clemson UP, 2022. 129-150.



  1. Cookson, William. “Stamp Act – Coke: Common Law Against Tyranny.” A Guide to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Anvil, 2009. 100-1.
  2. De Rachewiltz, Mary and Maria Ardizzone. “Commento: LXIV.” Ezra Pound. I Cantos. A cura di Mary de Rachewiltz. [Bilingual English-Italian edition]. Milano: Mondadori, 1985. 1556-7.
  3. Fang, Achilles. “Materials for the Study of Pound’s Cantos.” 4 vols. Diss. Harvard U, 1958. Vol I: 178-9.
  4. Ickstadt, Heinz and Eva Hesse. “Anmerkungen und Kommentar: Canto LXIV.” Ezra Pound. Die Cantos. Tr. by Eva Hesse and Manfred Pfister. 1295-6.
  5. Sanders, Frederick. John Adams Speaking. Orono: National Poetry Foundation, 1975. 128-73.
  6. Surette, L. “Adams.” A Light from Eleusis. A Study of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1979. 164-6.
  7. Ten Eyck, David. Ezra Pound’s Adams Cantos. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. 96-100.
  8. Terrell, Carroll F. “Canto LXIV.” In Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound.” Berkeley: U of California P., 1980. I: 278-87.



  1. Guidi, Paolo. “Canto LXIV.” Diamond Point intaglio, selective hard ground, lift, etch, aquatint, copperplate. Printed on Arches 88 paper., 23 July 2014. Free online.
  2. Sellar, Gordon. “Canto LXIV.” Part 51 of 56 in the series Blogging Ezra Pound’s The Cantos., 27 June 2018. Free online.


Cantos in periodicals

The Fifth Decad

rsz toscana siena3 tango7174


confucius adams 2


A Draft of XXX Cantos

ship4 for c1

Eleven New Cantos

rsz guido cavalcanti