Benjamin Blyth 1766


IF moral analysis/be not the purpose of historical writing ...

Ezra Pound quoting Charles Francis Adams, Canto LXII 


The work of John Adams is to be committed to in his own time, ‘planting and ruling and ordering’, in Massachusetts primarily, then increasingly for all the colonies. He is shown first arguing in a Boston case that the law, properly understood and applied, should be subject to reason and so should take account of human nature, of our emotions and passions; and yet, at the same time it must be dispassionate, ‘not bent to wanton imagination and temper of individuals’. Next he is arguing for the natural rights and liberties of the colonists against the unlawful oppressions and tyrannies of the British parliament. ‘Are we mere slaves of other people?’, he demands, as he makes the case against the colony’s judges being in the King’s pay; and Pound comments, ‘These are the stones of foundation [...] These stones we built on.’ From 1774 until Lexington, the first battle in the war for independence, he guides the public mind in the formation of self-governing state constitutions, and is recognized as the ‘clearest head in the Congress’ as it moves reluctantly towards its declaration of independence and prepares for the war that will follow.

David Moody, Ezra Pound Poet II: 286.



CANTO XXXI – [Adams and Jefferson in Paris]

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

CANTO XXXIII – Adams’s political principles

CANTO XXXIV – Portrait of John Quincy Adams







772px Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West 1783 


  1. Ten Eyck, David. “History and Anonymity in Ezra Pound’s Documentary Method.” Ezra Pound and Referentiality. Ed. Hélène Aji. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2003. 279-88. [286-8].



  1. Cookson, William. “Origins of Adams family – Defence of Preston – Birth of a Nation – Negotiations with Holland & France – France – The Intrigues of Hamilton.” A Guide to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Anvil, 2009. 97-9.
  2. De Rachewiltz, Mary and Maria Ardizzone. “Commento: LXII.” Ezra Pound. I Cantos. A cura di Mary de Rachewiltz. [Bilingual English-Italian edition]. Milano: Mondadori, 1985. 1553-5.
  3. Fang, Achilles. “Materials for the Study of Pound’s Cantos.” 4 vols. Diss. Harvard U, 1958. Vol I: 175-6.
  4. Ickstadt, Heinz and Eva Hesse. “Anmerkungen und Kommentar: Canto LXII.” Ezra Pound. Die Cantos. Tr. by Eva Hesse and Manfred Pfister. 1290-3.
  5. Moody, David A. Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man and His Work. II: The Epic Years 1921-1939. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 286.
  6. Sanders, Frederick. John Adams Speaking. Orono: National Poetry Foundation, 1975. 50-107.
  7. Ten Eyck, David. Ezra Pound’s Adams Cantos. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. 60-4; 87-89.
  8. Terrell, Carroll F. “Canto LXII.” In Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound.” Berkeley: U of California P., 1980. I: 259-73.



  1. Guidi, Paolo. “Canto LXII.” Diamond point intaglio, selective hard ground, lift, etch, aquatint, copperplate. Printed on Arches 88 paper., 8 July 2014. Free online.
  2. Sellar, Gordon. “Canto LXII.” Part 48 of 56 in the series Blogging Ezra Pound’s The Cantos., 28 April 2017. Free online.


Cantos in periodicals

The Fifth Decad

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confucius adams 2


A Draft of XXX Cantos

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Eleven New Cantos

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