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Confucius’s emphasis is on conduct. ‘Fraternal deference’ is his phrase. If a man have “fraternal deference” his character and his opinions will not be a nuisance to his friends and a peril to the community. It is a statesman’s way of thinking. The thought is for the community. Confucius’s constant emphasis is on the value of personality, on the outlines of personality, on the man’s rights to preserve the outlines of his personality, and of his duty not to interfere with the personalities of others.

Ezra Pound. “Provincialism the Enemy, Part II” (New Age, 19 July 1917) in SP 163.


Canto XIII defines the standard of an “illustrious” style with which the Cantos will treat examples of true virtue. Confucius is presented with unadorned, measured language and stately, graceful verse. [...] Kung’s words are an evocation of the “golden world” before nature had fallen. To keep the blossoms of the apricot from falling is to keep nature in a permanent vernal bounty. As in this last figure of Canto XIII, the Cantos will continue to render their civilized men with images of natural increase and divine tranquility.

Ronald Bush. The Genesis of Ezra Pound’s Cantos, 250-51.



CANTO XLIX [the Confucian model of government]

CANTO LIII [the history of China from the beginning to Confucius] 


Cantos in periodicals

Three Cantos (Ur-Cantos)

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A Draft of XXX Cantos

A Draft of the Cantos 17-27

Eleven New Cantos

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The Fifth Decad

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