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The letters below give a fair idea of the time of research and composition of canto XXIV, between October 1925 and April 1926. As a method of composition, this canto has a great deal in common with the Malatesta Cantos: research in the archives, trip to see the lay of the land in the Este domains, and combining information from books with documents found in the archive.

The canto was not published in periodicals and was printed in A Draft of the Cantos 17-27 for the first time in 1928.



Correspondence by Ezra Pound: (c) Mary de Rachewiltz and the Estate of Omar S. Pound. Reproduced by permission.




Moody, David. Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man and His Work. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007-2015. Volume II: The Epic Years 1921-1939. 2014.


Pound, Ezra. Ezra Pound to His Parents. Letters 1895-1929.Eds. Mary de Rachewiltz, A David Moody and Joanna Moody. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010.



To Homer Pound, 1 October 1925

L/HP 577

Dear Dad,


Fortnight of excursions. The Sayres motored me down most of the way to Florence, where I looked into archivio. [...]

Mrs S[hakespear]. due on Thursday next, or rather she goes through and D[orothy Pound]. gets into same train, and they go to Perugia for fortnight while I go to Modena for a bit of a job. Stopping off in Milan.

Note: The archive of the Este family is housed in Modena. 


To Homer Pound, 17 October, 1925. Venice

L/HP 578

thanks for photos. etc.

waiting at Rapallo

going back in a week

Venice in Oct - something new


To Homer Pound, 23 October 1925. Rapallo

L/HP 578

Dear Dad:

Back to the keyboard. Venice rather different in Oct. Looked at Este, and the hills thurabats, dont think I shall shift to that side of Italy, though I like it very much, conveniences for habitation not so plentiful.


Have now four more canti on the way, (beyond the three that are supposed to be in press for T. Quart.)

Have grub up some material on last trip, and have a case of book comin from Venice, etc.


To IWP, 24 October 1925, Rapallo

L/HP 579

Dear Mother:

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 section recd.


Ploughing thru mass of books collected on last trip. ETc.



To Olga Rudge, April 1926

EPP 68

“In April he wrote that he had nine cantos more or less finished–they would have been 17-to 25–‘but they don’t make a vollum’. He went on, ‘She suggest a nice simple and continuous subjeck of UNIVERSAL INTEREST, to run from 26 to 33’ which would imply he had it in mind to match the first major division of Dante’s one hundred cantos.”


The Fifth Decad

rsz toscana siena3 tango7174

Cantos LII - LXXI

confucius adams 2