CALENDAR OF COMPOSITION
Canto XXII was composed between May 1924, when Homer Pound sent his son materials on the life and opinions of Thaddeus Coleman Pound, and 25 March 1925, when Ezra wrote to his father: “Have typed out most of seven cantos, taking it up to XXIII.”
Canto XXII was also published in the Dial in February 1928.
Correspondence by Ezra Pound: (c) Mary de Rachewiltz and the Estate of Omar S. Pound. Reproduced by permission.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Moody, A. David. Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man and His Work. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007-2015.
Pound, Ezra. Jefferson and/or Mussolini. Fascism as I Have Seen It. . London: Stanley Nott, 1935.
Pound, Ezra. The Letters of Ezra Pound, 1907-1941. Ed. D.D. Paige. London: Faber, 1951.
Marsh, Alec. “Thaddeus Coleman Pound’s ‘Newspaper Scrapbook’ as a Source for The Cantos.” Paideuma 24.2-3 (Fall-Winter 1995): 163-93.
Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound to His Parents. Letters 1895-1929. Eds. Mary de Rachewiltz, A David Moody and Joanna Moody. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010.
Pound, Ezra. Literary Essays of Ezra Pound. Ed. T.S. Eliot. . New York: New Directions, 1968.
Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound’s Poetry & Prose. Contributions to Periodicals. Eds. Lea Baechler, A. Walton Litz and James Longenbach. New York: Garland, 1991.
Eliot, T. S. The Letters of T. S. Eliot. Edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden. Vol. 6: 1932-33. London: Faber, 2016.
Pound, Ezra. Pound, Thayer, Watson, & The Dial. A Story in Letters. Ed. W. Sutton. UP of Florida, 1994.
Pound, Ezra. The Selected Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941. Ed. D. D. Paige. New York: New Directions, 1971.
To IWP, 31 January 1910
When I go to church I usually wish I hadn’t. The carols I heard on Xmas were disgusting profanity and the trial of “preached to deathby wild curates” does not appeal.
The catholics are no better as they don't stick to their ritual but try to talk. I shall wait until I find myself in some southern climate . where they understand religion. The only worship of God I can at the moment remember having witnessed was in a little synagogue in Gibraltar and in San Pietro at Verona.
Most of the so-called “Christian” sects ought to be sued for breach of copyright.
From “Revolt of Intelligence” VIII [4 March 1920] in P&P IV: 24
A man may enjoy creating a railroad or a factory exactly as he may enjoy creating a poem or a picture.
I take, as I would always with to take, a particular example. In this case a relative on one side of my family, a member of the New York stock exchange, was discussing a deceased member of the other side of the family. I can still hear the puzzled intonation: “That man! He sweated blood to build that line of railroad. I dropped money on it. What he ever got out of it, I don’t know.” Apart from the titillation of vanity that might have come to a man from having his name in large brass letters on the front of a locomotive – for the early Western enthusiasm for transport named the individual machines as seamen have named ships through the ages – I must conclude that the reward must have been very largely in the sensation of accomplishment. The typical capitalist, Warenhauser, received, I believe, the cash benefits. I am disinclined to believe that the railway builder was led on by the hope of riches. The hope of riches could not have moved him to the greater and later labour of getting measures for the irrigation of the American desert through Congress. And in his extreme old age, when he no longer owned an inch of land, when he was so poor that he was glad to receive £2 from the present author as a Christmas present, he was still capable of being happy because the State’s crops for the season were good.
From “A Letter from London” (Much Ado, 1 April 1920) in P&P IV: 40
A chap names Keynes has invented a whole new Roman and Apostolic church of economics: “Orthodox economics,” with all the red tape and bamboozle that the ––– (deleted by the censor) of Babylon has strung around the Nazarine injunction “Don’t do the next man dirt.” This is a word of warning. I reckon you’ll be having it poured into young minds from various endowed “chairs” and settees before long. Am sending you Douglas’ book and hope you will peruse and publicly digest it.
“Underlying motive or purpose” of C.H. D. as openly declared on page something is to “Make Democracy safe for the individual.” I reckon it’s a game we’re all in on.
Few corollaries such as doing away with Fabianism, Hun-ism (militarism, philologicalism), or of “subjection of the individual to an objective which is externally imposed on him, and which it is not ‘necessary’ or even ‘desirable’ that he should understand.”
From Homer Loomis Pound, 14 May 1924
My Dear Ezra -
That(’)s a tough proposition – I can conceive of no more uninteresting thing to write about than to tell the story of the presidents – Pick out a few – but it is just as well to forget the rest and just say “and they all died.”
But in order to satisfy your wish – I take from your Grandfather’s old scrapbook several leaves--and send them to you, that they may give you light on Garfield and McKinley – I understand that just before Father passed away he destroyed all his letters and papers-but these few were found afterwards and sent to me-You can keep them [.] The two letters from Garfield and McKinley may be valuable-to collectors-I have not asked [Emphases and typographical peculiarities are Homer Loomis Pound’s.] Marsh 1995: 172.
To Homer Pound, 28 May 1924, Rapallo
Sorry I did not know T.C.P. The curious similarities of style; due to certain lack of beating about bushes, amuse me considerably.
About best phrase in this stuff is ‘as it costs the govt. about $20,000 per head to exterminates the red warriors’ etc. wd be cheaper to educate.
Sorry he burnt his papers – they might have had educational value for yrs. truly.
Is there any way of finding out exactly what T.C. did re/ indians, river traffic. & irrigation??
Do you know definitely what he did in way of originating & putting through legislation.
Cd. you write a brief life of him for me.?? – Perfectly simple statement of facts that you know.
Why did he die broke or nearly so? booze?? or optimism? or final philosophic indifference
From Homer Pound, 11 June 1924
My Dear Ezra-- .
Sending today pkg – It contains more data about father – The article from the Milwaukee paper will give you about as good a sketch of him as I could write and I think It is about as I understand ---
Your letter is a corker-I will try to get my wits together-[ ... ]
That [T.C.P.] wrote for a Boston paper before I was born was a new item to me---and verse at that-The greatest asset he had in my opinion was his “self –control – I can only remember a few occasions when he lost it – When I was a small boy I happened in the Office one day –He was busy going over the “book- keepers ledgers – finally he called to me and we went into a large vault – or safe – he put his arm around me and burst out crying – I did not understand why – but he then said that the books showed up that the “company was about to fail--we came out of the vault and he recovered himself – and no outsider ever knew that he had given way to any such feelings--- as he very seldom took me into his private financial affairs I had always thought of him as a rich man – until later in my life to my sorrow I found out different – I confess I do know something of the darker side of his life but desire to forget it- His struggle to get on his feet again was Heroic – BUT BUT he was mistaken and deceived somewhat by the men he trusted[.] His good nature made him a victim to their ideas---1 may be wrong but I used to hear-of it-many put the blame . on him ---He was a visionary-but but today his ideas regarding the Reservoir System are being carried out all over the west. I am sending you postcards of the big dam at Chippewa that furnishes water power--- for large Electric works that furnish power for hundreds of miles away---At one time Father and Uncle Albert owned the land where this great plant now stands-Some 50 years ago he had plans and surveys made at his own expense furnished the conveyance to take the surveyors out to do the work -- had Government surveyors there and their approval- Well that’s all gone and he died a disappointed man--- You know all about the Spring Water business--and how he spent a fortune getting it under way-- had to borrow large sums of money &&& Today the Spring is owned by others---It was just one dam [sic] thing after another-- and then I did not live up to his expectations---but it was almost impossible for me to see things as he did .... We will have to let it rest with that
Typographical peculiarities--including the odd single quotation mark which probably lay next to the caps key on Homer s typewriter are Homer Pound’s.]
[continued in manuscript]
While in Congress he did much for the Indians and I send one of his articles on that matter I found it in his scrap book
I enclose a piece of his scrip [money] – you refer to in your book [lndiscretions] ... The town was flooded with it at one time, and it was finally decided that it was not legal and the State outlawed it I understand I may have given you a sample of it before ...
To Homer Pound, 21 June 1924, Paris
L/HP 534, 535
Thanks for letter, very interesting, and interesting packets re T.C.P. Looks as if he wd. make a canto also paper money, had just summarized Marco Polo’s note on Kublai Khan’s issue of paper currency.
T.C.P. stuff very interesting.
Note: in his packets re T.C.P. Homer had enclosed ‘a piece of scrip’, the paper money issued by his father’s lumber company and valid only in the company store. ‘The town was flooded with it at one time, he wrote’, ‘and it was finally decided that it was not legal and State outlawed it I understand’ (Moody L/HP 535).
To Homer Pound 10 March 1925
Oh yes. The ?? Warenhauser story: Didn’t he get permission to build a railway and keep the trees, and then cut a belt of timber two miles wide?
You might send me particulars; what railway, etc.
what Warenhauser (if it was Warenhauser?) and in fact any information thereabout that you have time and inclination to send.
Note: “The ‘Warenhauser story’ went into canto XXII. Homer’s opinion, as he told Ezra, was that ‘Weranhauser’ was ‘strictly honest’ and ‘as for cutting the trees two miles wide, it’s just as likely to be your grandfather as any one else’. Friedrich Weyerhaeuser (1834-1914) was born in Germany and emigrated to America in 1852. Homer wrote that in 1925 the Weyerhauser Lumber Co. ‘is one of the largest in this Country and I understand controls and owns more timber than any other company’ (Moody L/HP 560).
To Homer Pound, 25 March 1925, Rapallo
Wot ells. Have typed out most of seven cantos, taking it up to XXIII.
To Homer Pound, April 1925
L/HP 562, 563
I must have got the Weranhauser from an obituary article on him in some paper. He died a year or so ago????
His dealings with the govt. were purrfekly legal. The senate was fool enough to tell him he cd. have the trees, and not to specify how wide the road wuz to BEE.
I remember your once saying that he et up pore ole T.C.
That’s how I came to notice the name when I saw it in the paper or magazine or whatever it was. Dont know what it was, most of these things come from you, Sunday Times or clippings. If I kept it it is with my archives in Paris, and heaven knows when I shall see it again.
To Isabel Weston Pound, 24 October 1925, Rapallo
Have got new raccogliatore for notes, as canti XXII to XXIII are about finished and need holder to themselves. Am going on to XXIV etc.
Proofs of the T. Quarter recd.
To Homer Pound, 3 April, 1927
Rodker is preparing to print Canti XVII-XXVI; and has the mss. for nine of them in hand. I suppose I get another one done by August, or sometime. [17-25]
To James Sibley Watson, 20 October, 1927, Rapallo
L/288-89; SL 213; L/TW 323
It is impossible for me to accept an award except on Cantos or on my verse as a whole.
It wd. also be foolish, I think, to send in a prose squib or a criticism of some Whifflepink like friend Morand.
There has been no definite request for Cantos, but there is no other verse available, and will be none.
The available detachable sections are (canto) 22 and the part of 27.
XXII is probably too frivolous for your purpose.
I suggest that you use the XXVII by itself; it will take less room, and probably cause less friction.
It is also possible to take the Gibraltar fragment, [(from canto XXII)] by itself, from point beginning
“And a voice behind me in the street” on page 17 (or red 3.)
As the immediate appearance in the Dial is largely a formality perhaps the XXVII will serve.
It wd. Be stupid to make the award on prose-basis as my prose is mostly stop-gap; attempts to deal with transient states of murkn imbecility or ignorance.
Note: Letter is presented here in the variant from L/TW.
From Sibley Watson, 11 November 1927
We are very grateful to you for accepting the offer and for the Cantos. Miss Moore is & I am delighted to have the part of No. XXVII for the Jan. number, (“which will satisfy our requirement”). Before deciding on the award I went to see Thayer in his sanitarium and he urged me to try you though we both doubted whether you would have anything to do with the Dial. He talks as rationally as ever on most subjects and his memory is as always better than mine, but he is said to have delusions.
I am not returning Canto XXII which is a masterpiece and which I hope we can use in February–if not in Feb. then in March. We hope to get some interesting “essays” about your poetry.
To Homer Pound, 27 December 1927, Rapallo
Have had 3 canti to correct in proofs.
Note: The 3 canti in proofs would have been ‘Part of Canto XXVII’ and ‘Canto XXII’ for The Dial and ‘Part of Canto XXIII for Exile no.3 (Moody 646).
To Homer Pound, 5 April 1928
Ask for my friend Yusuf Benamore in Gib. I dunno if Althouse still exists, he might have Benamores address. Shd like Yusuf to see himself in de luxe Cantos. If not ask for him on the dock. He may be a millionaire by now. on the other hand he may not. Anyhow, you’ve seen all Gib. except the old synagogue, and may as well spend yr. time hunting for Yusuf and doing anything else.
To Homer Pound, 19 August 1928
Have signed title pages for XVII-XXVII, suppose they will get bound sometime. etc. [...]
Nancy Cunard has taken over Bill B’s printing press, also wants to continue printing. Expecting our illustratess or capitalistress in a week or so. [Gladys Hines].
From How to Read  LE 17-18; P&P V: 112
[…] One winter I had lodgings in Sussex. On the mantelpiece of the humble country cottage I found books of an earlier era, among them an anthology printed in 1830, and yet another dated 1795, and there, there by the sox of Jehosaphat was the British taste of this century, 1910, 1915, and even the present, A.D. 1931.1
I had read Stendhal’s remark that it takes eighty years for anything to reach the general public, and looking out on the waste heath, under the December drizzle, I believed him. But that is not all of the story. Embedded in that naïve innocence that does, to their credit, pervade our universities, I ascribed the delay to mere time. I still thought: With the attrition of decades, ah, yes, in another seventy, in another, perhaps, ninety years, they will admit that … etc.
I mean that I thought they wanted to, but were hindered.
Later it struck me that the best history of painting in London was the National Gallery, and that the best history of literature, more particular of poetry, would be a twelve-volume anthology in which each poem was chosen not merely because it contained an invention, a definite contribution to the art of verbal expression. With this in mind, I approached a respected agent. He was courteous, he was even openly amazed at the list of three hundred items which I offered as an indication of outline. No autochthonous Briton had ever, to his professed belief, displayed such familiarity with so vast a range, but he was too indolent to recast my introductory letter into a form suited to commerce. He, as they say, ‘repaired’ to an equally august and long-established publishing house (which had already  served his and my interest). In two days came a hasty summons: would I see him in person. I found him awed, as if one had killed a cat in the sacristy. Did I know what I had said in my letter? I did. Yes, but about Palgrave? I did. I had said: ‘It is time we had something to replace that doddard Palgrave.’ ‘But don’t you know’, came the awestruck tones, ‘that the whole fortune of X & Co. is founded on Palgrave’s Golden Treasury?’2
From that day onward no book of mine received a British imprimatur until the appearance of Eliot’s castrated3 edition of my poems.
I perceived that there were thousands of pounds sterling invested in electro-plate, and the least change in the public taste, let alone swift catastrophic changes, would depreciate the value of those electros (of Hemans, let us say, or of Collins, Cowper, and of Churchill, who wrote the satiric verses, and of later less blatant cases, touched with a slighter flavour of mustiness).
I sought the banks of the Seine. Against ignorance one might struggle, and even against organic stupidity, but against a so vast vested interest the lone odds were too heavy.
Two years later a still more august academic press reopened the question. They had ventured to challenge Palgrave: they had been ‘interested’ – would I send back my prospectus? I did. They found the plan ‘too ambitious’. They said they might do ‘something’, but that if they did it would be ‘more in the nature of gems’.
- 1931 - This passage is taken from “Part One: Introduction” of the suite of articles initially called “How to Read. Or Why.” It was written in 1928 and first published in the New York Herald Tribune Books, V.17 (13 January 1929) (P&P V: 111-113). The date in the initial article is therefore 1928. In the text of “How to Read” reprinted in Literary Essays, it is 1931. The text as presented here follows the LE edition.
- the whole fortune of X & Co. is founded on Palgrave’s Golden Treasury – Pound’s ideas about the vested interests of publishers and the need to protect them is reinforced by how his anecdote was itself published. Pound was censored at every point: In the initial publication in the Herald Tribune, the whole sentence is missing. Eliot’s censorship of the canto, when it first appeared in The Draft of XXX Cantos at Faber in 1934, is detailed below in the correspondence Pound had with him and Morley in 1933 (L/TSE). In the LE version of How to Read, first published in 1954, Eliot retained the sentence (which is the punchline to Pound’s story), but replaced the name of the publisher (Macmillan) though an innocuous “X”. In all publication instances of this story, the need was felt to protect the identity of the publisher. In the canto, the name is replaced by a pseudonym (“MacNarpen”); in “How to Read,” it is either excised or replaced by an “X.”
- Eliot’s castrated edition – Pound refers to Eliot’s edition of Pound’s Selected Poems, published at Faber in 1928. Though Eliot was to reprint the American edition of Personae. The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound (Liveright, 1926), he chose to leave out Homage to Sextus Propertius from his own edition, which was supposed to offer the British public a selection of Pound’s most important early poems.
The reference to Eliot’s “castrated edition” is missing from the article as it was first published in the Herald Tribune. To his credit, Eliot published the Homage to Sextus Propertius at Faber separately in 1934 and retained the reference to his censorship in the LE edition of How to Read.
To Dorothy Pound, 13 October 1931
Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III
I dunt see that I can write anything MORE to O. S. as fer havin’ a country.
Having done what I could to keep the sonzofbitches from boring holes in the bottom of the damn boat I feel completely free to refrain so far as possible from sinking with the rats, lice and maniacs and also to git off as much of your canned goods as possible.
From J/M, dated February 1933
Any thorough judgment of MUSSOLINI will be in a measure an act of faith, it will depend on what you believe the man means, what you believe that he wants to accomplish.
I have never believed that my grandfather put a bit of railway across Wisconsin simply or chiefly to make money or even with the illusion that he would make money, or make more money in that way than in some other.
I don’t believe any estimate of Mussolini will be valid unless it starts from his passion for construction. Treat him as artifex and all the details fall into place. Take him as anything save the artist and you will get muddled with contradictions. Or you will waste a lot of time finding that he don’t fit your particular preconceptions or your particular theories.
[A review of] The Secret International; The New and the Old Economics, by Major C. H. Douglas; and Mercanti di Cannoni [by Paolo Zappa]. Symposium IV. 2 (Apr. 1933): 252-6. P&P VI: 31-34.
I think Mr. Munson is in error when he says people couldn’t understand Douglas’ early work. The incapacity had root in a very strong volition not to be honest. When a man has the brass to say that the high cost of living is due to lack of labour, there being millions of men out of work, that man is either an imbecile or a liar. I refer to Maynard Keynes. When Lloyd George ‘consults’ such a man, with large newspaper headlines announcing that George is getting the real inside dope on economics, the sensitive nose yearns for pomander. (P&P VI: 33)
From Francis Morley, 11 August 1933
L/TSE 6: 522
Have you had a letter from The Deacon [TSE] abaht the two lines in your Cantos where you remark upon Macmillan and the Golden Treasury? He had some notion, which seemed to have some germ of [truth] within it, that it might be amusing to refer to the family name of Palgrave, which was Meyer Cohen. It was the unpleasant Francis T.’s grandfather who was Meyer Cohen and changed the name. The Deacon was a-going to write to you about it.
From T. S. Eliot, 16 August 1933
L/TSE 6: 621
Well, here's a long time, since much water has Flowed under many bridges has they say well I Dont know hardly where to begin but here one point for immediet attention.
In Cantos Page 106 I query Palgrave’s Golden Treasury. On one hand identity of MacMillan hardly concealed, second allegation cant be proved and cannot be literally true and might be resented & possibly libellous. I regret that this point was not noticed before. Might do to put Cohen’s Thesaurus instead but perhaps spoils the point, which does not seem to me very important or telling especially as no one will believe it in that form. I suggest leaving out those lines or if you prefer dotting them. As time is short will you send at our expense (collect, if possible, but otherwise will refund on presentation of claim) Wire to Morley (see telegraphic address above), giving assent or making suggestion, as the book should be through the press immediately.
Note: Pound “assented to the alteration by cable, 19 Aug. 1933: ‘PUTT COHENS THESAURUS’; and the emendation was passed on to the printers by Richard de la Mare two days later.” (L/TSE 622)
Letter to The Observer, 4 February 1934, 11. In P&P VI: 131.
The Golden Treasury
Sir,- At any rate I am glad Mr. Palgrave is dead. Mr. Hobbs quotes me incorrectly. Palgrave is less of a nuisance than his imitators and camp-followers. He concentrated if not on the lowest taste of a really loathsome era, at any rate something considerably lower than the ‘taste due’ to the keenest perceptions of men living during Tennyson’s middle age.
Sanctioned by the cambric/tea Laureate, his muddled neo-Wordsworthian head was accepted as a measure. Hence his attainment of the status: nuisance. A false measure, naturally, falsifies all measurements made therewith.
Mr. Summerville can exercise his ingenuity on Palgrave’s omission, and possible ignorance of English sixteeeth-century poets. – Your obedient servant Ezra Pound.
Ezra Pound, Pisan Cantos
from Canto LXXVI/474
So that in the synagogue in Gibraltar
the sense of humour seemed to prevail
during the preliminary parts of the whatever
but they respected at least the scrolls of the law
from it, by it, redemption
$8.50, @ $8.67 buy the field with good money
no unrighteousness in meteyard or in measure (of prices)
and there is no need for the Xtns to pretend that
they wrote Leviticus
chapter XIX in particular
with justice Zion
from Canto LXXX/520
so that leaving America I brought with me $80
and England a letter of Thomas Hardy's
and Italy one eucalyptus pip