CANTO XLVI – READINGS
Ezra Pound, reading.
Rome Radio, 12 February 1942.
“#9: February 12, 1942 — “CANTO 46.” Ezra Pound Speaking, 24 September 2009. Free online.
I am readin’ you now another Canto for diverse reasons. It contains things or at least hints at things that you will have to know sooner or later. Berle or no Berle, war or no war.
And as I stated last time, I am feedin’ you the footnotes first in case there is any possible word that might not be easily comprehended. The Decennio, and decennio exposition was the exhibition in Rome at the end of the first ten years of the Fascist regime. Mussolini’s fascist regime. They set up the office of the old Popolo d’Italia, very like what had been the New Age Office in London. Except that Orage’s office contained a couple of drawings by Max Beerbohm which have never been published.
John Marmaduke is a pseudonym, the rest of the names in the Canto are real. The MacMillan Commission sat after the other war to look into the sins of the British Financial system.
Antoninus Pius, a Roman emperor; lex Rhodi the law of Rhodes, well I say that in the Canto. The Latin phrase: Aurum est commune sepulchrum, “gold the common sepulchre.” Parallels: Troy the common grave, I think it is a part of a line by Propertius. But it don’t matter who it is quoted from. And the Greek: helandros, kai heleptolis kai helarxe, “usury destroyer of men and cities and governments.” HELARXE more or less twisted from a line of Aeschylus; about Helen of Troy destroyer of men, and cities. Geryon, Geryone; allegorical beast in Dante’s hell, symbol of fraud and all dirtiness. Hic Geryon est, is a Latin tag meaning, “with the other phrase,” Hic hyperusura: this is “extra strong usury.” Super usury. All right, now I am going on with Canto 46.
Peter Liebregts. Introduction to Canto XLVI.
Paul Cunningham reading the canto. Video clip on ucreate.
Readings in The Cantos of Ezra Pound. IV. Cantos of the 1930s.
Edinburgh Scottish Poetry Library, 23 January 2020.
Photo and camera courtesy of John Glendinning, 9 May 2019.
Copyright © 1934, 1968 by Ezra Pound. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.